Like peeling off the pages of a calendar, members of the Savannah Sweet Tease Burlesque Revue discard clothing in a performance that celebrates art, music and the human body.
On Sept. 20, the revue will make its public debut at The Jinx in an homage to the calendar that will feature traditional American Burlesque, Neo Burlesque and Boylesque.
"We saw a burlesque show at The Jinx and we were like, 'Why don't we have a burlesque troupe here?'" says co-founder and co-creative director Anita Narcisse, who performs as Erin Go Brahless. "It would make sense we would have one in Savannah."
The other founders and creative directors are Wendy Benney, who performs as Rebel Belle, and Jessica Knapp, or Miss Cherry Box. They decided to form their own troupe - one with Savannah flavor and flair.
"Jessica is primarily our costume designer and Wendy is the choreographer," Narcisse says. "Jessica is not in the show, but she still has a burlesque name."
The upcoming show will double as a launch party for the revue's 2014 calendar, shot by photographer Geoff Johnson. After the girly show, The Chop Tops, a rockabilly trio from Santa Cruz, Calif., will perform. There also will be stickers, T-shirts and limited-edition posters available for sale.
MC Skippy Spiral will be the master of ceremonies. Other teases who will perform include Remi LaRouge, Magnolia Minxxx, Dalia St. Sin, Venus Thightrap, Ginger DuMonde, Daisy Von Darling, Vesper Von Havoc, Trixie Tickles, Vixie Hammer, Jack N. Thacox and Trevor Chest.
The three creative directors make an industrious team.
"When one girl is too busy to do something, another will see that it gets done," Narcisse says. "It's good that there are three of us. We all have careers and Wendy has a family. We all get quite busy, but we have been working together really well."
The types of burlesque that will be performed are quite different.
"Traditional American is more in the style of burlesque from the 1950s," Narcisse says. "It's sort of a nod to nostalgia.
"Neo Burlesque is avant-garde, the more artistic form out there," she says. "Boylesque is where men are incorporated into burlesque."
The show is designed for adults, she says.
"No matter who you are, if you like things a little more out there, or if you like things that are glamorous, this is for you," Narcisse says.
"Our show is definitely adults only. There is a risque element to it all.
"With burlesque, there are people getting down to pasties," she says. "It definitely has to be for the adults."
Burlesque is a true art form.
"Our main objective is to be able to creatively express ourselves as people in general," Narcisse says.
"Wendy is a trained dancer and choreographer and I have dance experience, as well. We get to use things that we've learned or already enjoy doing.
"We show everyone we're comfortable with ourselves and our bodies and want everyone else to enjoy that, as well," she says. "We're not strippers and not necessarily perfect - we are regular girls and look like real women."
It took research to learn how to dance in burlesque style.
"Some years ago, a friend of mine owned a retro design company," Narcisse says. "Since she knew I had dance experience, she asked me to choreograph some routines. I got a couple of books and research documentaries.
"There's a whole entire element to it," she says. "The art of enticing someone and keep their attention, as well as knowing how to move on stage, are all important."
The theme of the evening is "Calendar Girls," and the troupe's calendar will be available for purchase at the show.
"This a pretty big deal," Narcisse says. "It's our first time out of the gate and we have an awesome show planned."
And it's just the first of many.
"We plan to have eight shows a year," Narcisse says. "We want to do this as long as we can.
"Ideally, six shows will be local and two will be on the road. We want to be able to send our girls to different burlesque festivals.
"New Orleans is having their festival this month," she says. "Las Vegas has a huge one. We want to represent Savannah and be as good and great as we can be."
Anyone who wants to learn burlesque will get their chance.
"We do offer workshops every now and then," Narcisse says. "Our next one is in November.
"People can come and learn the choreography and purchase their very own pair of pasties. We've already done two of them, and they're a lot of fun."