Launching their revue at 40 Watt, The Modern Pin-Ups, a local burlesque-style performance group, showcased their talents on October 22.
Modern pin-ups encompass other dance styles, including jazz, hip-hop, musical theater, tap, and lyrics. With two acts and 17 dances, The Modern Pin-ups certainly demonstrated their versatile dancing feet.
Playing for their fifth consecutive season, The Modern Pin-Ups show was a boon for Athens local Palm House Recovery Center. A fundraising goal for the evening was $770, the exact amount needed for one woman to complete the program. This figure provides housing, job training and a supportive environment to help a client get back on their feet.
Family and friends crowded around the 40 Watt stage, sitting on sofas, chairs and standing on their tiptoes to watch the dancers. The Modern Pin-Ups kicked off the fundraiser by dancing to Butch Walker’s “She Likes Hair Bands.”
Having only seen a burlesque performance at the Go Bar, I wasn’t sure what to expect. After a dozen girls took the stage in denim shorts and cropped black shirts, it was apparent that the group encompassed a variety of dance styles and styles. Although the opening seemed somewhat messy and offbeat, the girls were excited and engaged with the audience.
Cher’s “Welcome to Burlesque” in “Burlesque” was more in line with my novice knowledge of burlesque. Five or six ladies commanded the stage in red and black strappy dresses, drawing another 75 to 100 cheering crowd members.
My favorite dance troupe was the Contact Dance Company, which performed to “Bad” by The Cab. Six couples came downstairs to play. Each couple had a chair to facilitate their performance. Both men and women danced energetically with tight footwork and sexy pirouettes.
Another strong performance from “Monsters,” a compilation of Halloween-themed songs, followed. It started with a couple like Janet and Brad from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, moving on to Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.” Posing more like Halloween creatures, the ladies danced loudly, drawing unsuspecting onlookers into the final move.
During intermission, a couple from the audience took two steps toward “Suzie-Q.”
The Modern Pin-Ups took to the stage after intermission, to the cheers and shouts of the crowd. They performed “Outkast Medley” along with “Rosa Parks”, “Roses”, and “Hey Ya”. “Caroline” was a crowd pleaser and seemed to be the girls’ favorite as well.
Local emcee George Marston hosted the evening. His introductions to each performance were peppered with Halloween jokes.
“What kind of music do ghosts listen to? asked Marston. “Soul Music!”
The Concert Dance Apprentice Company performed a lyrical dance to Marc Cohn’s “Walking in Memphis,” the most moving dance of the evening.
“Partition” and “Mustang Sally” both thrilled the audience. Voracious cheering and shouting ensued. A member of the public went as far as to howl for the rest of the evening.
The modern pin-ups ended their night with “Girls!” by Beyoncé. bring the whole troop back.
All in all, it was an entertaining evening benefitting a great cause and showcasing local talent. But the next time I see a burlesque show, I might opt for the “Time Warp”.