Thursday, April 26, 2018
Features and More

Learn the art of the tease at the Suncoast Burlesque Festival

But burlesque is an art; it's not stripping.

When Johanna Krynytzky puts on her leopard lingerie and red lipstick, when she hoists an ostrich feather fan and slips into the character of Miss Lily Tiger, she knows her mission.

Burlesque. It's the art of the tease. Part comedy, part vaudeville, part choreographed dance. Most people who come to watch understand, while some clothes may fall away, burlesque has a story line. It's not stripping in the realm of a pole and dollar bills, and Krynytzky tries to get that across.

"In this area, because we have so many gentlemen's clubs, people instantly go to that end of things," she said. "Burlesque is a wonderful art form that really celebrates all shapes and sizes of women. It empowers women to be in charge of their sensuality."

Local burlesque enthusiasts will gather this weekend for the inaugural Suncoast Burlesque Festival, sponsored in part by Krynytzky's business, Hip Expressions Dance Studio in St. Petersburg. If fans come together, she hopes, they can strengthen the burgeoning industry in Tampa Bay.

"You can't be an artist by yourself," said Krynytzky. "You have to have some sort of outside input. Everybody's got different ideas and when they share their ideas, that's where the art form grows."

The festival is open to dancers, actor, curious onlookers, anyone. Workshops will cover perfecting pin-up hair and makeup, juggling, bumps, grinds, shimmies and struts. The Accidental Circus cabaret group will perform Saturday at St. Petersburg Nights, a restaurant and dinner theater. And Sunday, local burlesque troupes will return to compete in a contest judged by dancers including longtime local burlesque star Vita deVoid.

Burlesque has found a home at Hip Expressions, where dancers explore everything from Polynesian dancing to hooping to Egyptian street moves. Krynytzky got her start belly dancing 11 years ago after taking a trip to Turkey with her grandmother. She eventually added burlesque to her repertoire, forming a troupe of four women under the name Meow Factor.

Tampa Bay has always lagged behind big cities like New York, Chicago and even Portland, which have hosts of cabaret clubs and vibrant burlesque scenes. But gradually it caught on here, buoyed by the 2010 movie Burlesque with Christina Aguilera, a trend of naughty workout classes and underground word of mouth. School teachers and nurses met in garages after work and assumed alter-egos and new personalities, forming their own grassroots troupes.

Burlesque is liberating, Krynytzky said, because it doesn't demand the levels of tradition many cultural dances do. It's a bawdy, winky, centuries-old and quintessentially American. It's glamorous. And it pushes people past their limits.

"You never know until you try," she said. "It's something that you don't have to be good at. That's why you come to class, to explore your boundaries."

Comments
Enjoy a beach day in Mahahual, minutes from the cruise port in Costa Maya, Mexico

Enjoy a beach day in Mahahual, minutes from the cruise port in Costa Maya, Mexico

A trip to the Caribbean conjures up visions of swaying palms and a watercolor palette of blues, greens and shades in between. Just 10 minutes or so from the port of Costa Maya, Mexico, a fixture on most western Caribbean cruise itineraries, lies an i...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Bar review: Danny’s Sports Pub in Palm Harbor

Bar review: Danny’s Sports Pub in Palm Harbor

Every town has that institution, the reliable neighborhood dive: enduring for decades, with the nicotine stains and scuffed furniture to prove it. The appeal of these places is that they never really change; they’re largely the same as they were in t...
Published: 04/26/18
Local craft beer of the week: Skaterboarders, drink up this After Sesh Lager from Cigar City

Local craft beer of the week: Skaterboarders, drink up this After Sesh Lager from Cigar City

Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing has been in the collaboration game longer than most, working with breweries across the world, as well as musicians, artists and local businesses to produce a growing list of partnered brews, most of which are one-time relea...
Published: 04/26/18
Why does Yelp think Asian restaurants serve cat and dog meat?

Why does Yelp think Asian restaurants serve cat and dog meat?

A strange thing happened when typing "dog menu" into the restaurant ratings website and app Yelp. It automatically generated suggested searches. There were dog massage, hot dogs, pet groomers. Also: "dog meat." But it got more disturbing. Take Yelp...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Jobsite Theater wants to challenge audiences with an adaptation of ‘1984’

Jobsite Theater wants to challenge audiences with an adaptation of ‘1984’

TAMPANow is as good a time as any, since there is no great time to take a deep dark look into the apocalypse of humanity.But history rewards those brave enough to try, from Nostradamus to George Orwell, who are looking more and more like the same bre...
Published: 04/25/18
‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is stunningly dark, but it’s still wildly entertaining

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is stunningly dark, but it’s still wildly entertaining

What does Thanos want?That question lies at the heart of Avengers: Infinity War, the at-once dark, maddeningly open-ended yet fiercely entertaining new chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), which pits the titular global do-gooders — still s...
Published: 04/25/18
Performances, songwriting get ‘Waitress’ from serviceable to filling — plus, there’s actually pie

Performances, songwriting get ‘Waitress’ from serviceable to filling — plus, there’s actually pie

TAMPA — A lonely and changeable sky illuminates the top of the stage through most of Waitress, running this week at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. The neon lettering of Joe’s Diner reflects days and nights that don...
Published: 04/25/18
Tex-Mex chain Chuy’s opens first Tampa restaurant, Nebraska Mini-Mart grab-and-go coming soon

Tex-Mex chain Chuy’s opens first Tampa restaurant, Nebraska Mini-Mart grab-and-go coming soon

NOW OPEN: TEX-MEX CHAIN CHUY’SThe Austin, Texas-based Tex-Mex chain Chuy’s opened its first Tampa restaurant on Tuesday, giving away free Chuy’s for two for a year to the first 50 customers. I know, we missed it, it’s a bummer, but we can still visit...
Published: 04/25/18
We tried the new restaurants at Tampa International Airport, and we're full

We tried the new restaurants at Tampa International Airport, and we're full

When Tampa International Airport debuted in 1971, each terminal had a newsstand and a snack bar, called something kicky like Snack Bar.
Published: 04/25/18
Jobsite cues up ‘1984,’ ‘50 Shades’ parody’s Danielle Trzcinski premieres ‘Little Black Dress’

Jobsite cues up ‘1984,’ ‘50 Shades’ parody’s Danielle Trzcinski premieres ‘Little Black Dress’

MINISTRY OF JOBSITE: 1984When selecting an adaptation for George Orwell’s 1984 (there have been a few of them), Jobsite Theater had to strike the most controversial one off the list. That version by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan ran for 125 perfor...
Published: 04/25/18