Last Night: Burlesque Body at Continental Room
Better Than: The shame of withdrawing strip-club money from an ATM on a Wednesday.
There were lots of things I could have done on a Wednesday night: read a good book, work on my next story, see a live band, etc. Of course the "seeing a live band" option might have warranted the kind of Last Night Reviews you're used to seeing on this blog. This review however, is not one of those. Of course there are ways of describing the tight-bodied gyrations of Miss Dakota in musical terms as she made her debut in one of my favorite local bars, The Continental Room, around 11 p.m. last night.
Backed by L.A. Latin fusion troupe Quetzal and the Warriors, Dakota's presentation of Burlesque Body, which we alerted you to in a previous post, was definitely one for the books and definitely one I wouldn't mind seeing again.
I had to admit, before stepping into the crimson light of Continental's Vegas-like bar scene, I had my doubts as to how the band and the girl were gonna pull this off. Even the Elvis impersonator that spouts diamond-studded covers by the King on Wednesdays can barely be contained by the venues modest, yet classy stage. And during a hundred previous performances I'd seen with ensemble groups nearly spilling onto the dance floor, I wondered what kind of room a buxom, acrobatic, half-naked salsa temptress would have to move around. Even with her lengthy resume including her current career at Forty Deuce Burlesque Clubs in L.A. and Vegas, this seemed like a challenge.
I was only two or three beers deep (plus what my friends and I drank at $1 Beers over at Kelly's in Placentia) when the crushed velvet curtain opened and curious crowds inched toward the stage. Slowly the curtain rose, revealing...a bunch of dudes. Well, Quetzal and the Warriors to be exact. Though, the full ensemble seemed to be missing. The band was paired down to a three piece of stand up bass, drums and Guerrero on guitar/violin. What? no girl? Eh, whatever, good things come to those who wait I told myself. What the audience didn't have to wait for were some eternally smooth Spanish guitar-driven songs that gave the slow filling dance floor a sultry mood as girls got the confidence to try take their faux salsa dance steps for a spin.
Fortunately, it wasn't long before Guerrero dropped the guitar and picked up his cobalt blue violin while riling up the crowd for the night's curvaceous guest performer. Peeking through the rear stage door draped in red curtain cloth, the tanned skin of her arm stretched out seemingly out of nowhere on the back of Guerrero's trembling solo. With every squeal of his strings she stretched out, reveavling her legs next, draped in fishnet stockings that continued up her thighs to a thong and a red corsetbehind which you could see several tight layers that promised a very intersting show. Her face, all but covered by a black bowler hat was the last to emerge from the back of the stage near the drums.
Her entrance, slower than a content jazz bass line, offered slow spoonfuls of sexuality as she poured herself on stage, one limb at a time . Bass and drums brought her hips to life as the violin continued on a winding path that inspired her body to move in full body waves as she clutched her gloves with her teeth, pulling them off as as hoots and hollers from the audience shot back at the stage. But there was more to this Bronx-born dancer than sexy playfulness, this chick had moves. Darting from the stage to the top of the bar, her legs moved in a whirlwind of salsa steps as a few lucky guys at the bar became instantly eye-level with her as she jumped, dipped and strutted on the bar.
With drums pounding wildly and howling violin egging her on, Dakota whipped her hair around with Janet Jackson-like authority as she peeled off another layer and leaving us wanting more. That's basically how it went, the band would come one, play a song, she would come out and strip a little bit and then one other girl dancer would come out and take her turn to heat up the crowd. As a first timer to the world of burlesue (strip clubs don't count), the whole thing seemed to go off without a hitch. Though a wardrobe malfunction or two would have been nice.
While I've never been a fan of girls who like to "tease", the whole burlesque show scenario gave me a new found respect for the word. It was definitely one of the most unique performances I had seen at Continental so far and by night's end I wondered why they hadn't done it before. That's truly the sign of a great performance. When a skeptic audience member can walk in with doubts and curiosity and walk away wanting more, you can't ask for much more than that.
Personal Bias: Cheap beer, half-naked dancers and no cover charge...I've had worse Wednesday nights.
Random Detail: I noticed plenty of girls in the audience studying some of those fancy moves on stage, good for you.
By the Way: If you want to see more of Dakota and her Burlesque Body, click here .