Brass Burlesque

30 images Created 23 May 2018

“Even in a New York art scene, which is very queer and pushes gender, there is still a lot of rigidity,” said Michi Osato, a performer trained in West African dance. She’s one of the founders of @brassburlesque, a New York City burlesque troupe created by queer women and women of color to redefine a scene that they say has often failed to provide queer and transgender performers opportunities. The idea of creating a community where women of color could be their unapologetic selves had — almost a year ago — existed solely as a figment of her imagination. For the founders of @brassburlesque — Michi, 31; her sister, Una Osato, 35; and their longtime friend, Dawn Crandell, 43 — growing up in and around NYC taught them how to interact with people from diverse backgrounds. But performing in the city highlighted a disparity: the #burlesque dancing community, they said, was still predominantly white, cisgender and thin. “The kind of burlesque that we do has never been celebrated in mainstream shows,” Una told our journalist @mychivas, who took this photo. “People have limited views about who can perform burlesque.” Visit the link in our profile to read more about the group redefining burlesque. #SurfacingNYT
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