While attention is being drawn to racial and social injustice nationally, Savannah Sweet Tease Burlesque is taking action locally.
This Friday, the troupe will host the "Black Movement Matters All Black Digital Revue," a virtual burlesque show featuring only BIPOC (Black and indigenous people of color) dancers. The revue is an effort to highlight Black burlesque dancers while simultaneously raising funds to directly assist the local Black queer and trans community.
Anita Narcisse, founder and executive producer of Savannah Sweet Tease, shared with Do Savannah the inspiration and purpose behind creating this event.
Do: What is the Black Movement Matters All Black Digital Revue?
Narcisse: "It’s a digital show that can be viewed at any time and it will be released July 24th at 7pm. Tickets for the show are $10. Once purchased, viewers will receive a confirmation email. The email the digital tickets are sent to is the email address where the viewers will receive the private link to the show. This show features an all Black cast of performers, and were excited to bring y’all some awesome entertainment."
Do: Can you describe what a revue is like for readers who have never attended one?
Narcisse: "It’s got a little bit of everything! Burlesque is the art of striptease but of course we’ve all put our own spin on what that is to us"
Do: How will this event contribute to the black community?
Narcisse: "All the proceeds from this show will be going to the only organization in town that provides outreach and resources to our most marginalized members. The Tee - Transgender Empowerment Education, led by Evonia Pollard, has partnered with us.
"It’s important to look to those most in need, our local Black queer/transgender community will be receiving funds and relief kits we’ve put together."
Do: What inspired the creation of the event?
Narcisse: "Black performers in burlesque are often overlooked, and not mentored as much as other performers. If you look at how many working performers in burlesque there are worldwide, there’s only about 500 Black performers and more than 5,000 total all together. Black performers make up a small percentage, but have so much to offer.
"Representation is very important, so I wanted to bring together this group to show everyone that Black performers can shine, while also doing something for folx in Savannah that need help. Do Black Lives Matter? Absolutely. However, so many people have donated to BLM and other major organizations, none of which have chapters here (in Savannah) so that money isn’t staying local.
"The Tee - Transgender Empowerment Education is local, we have to give all this money going out to Black lives to the very Black lives we have here in town."
Do: What made you choose The TEE as the recipient of the proceeds from the revue?
Narcisse: "They’re local and the only people providing outreach to BIPOC queer/ transgender folx here. The Black queer/transgender community are so often disenfranchised, and left without any assistance. This money will provide rapid relief for those most in need. Whether that’s buying groceries for the week, paying a bill, basic means of survival a lot of us take for granted."
Do: How does this event coincide with the values of the burlesque community?
Narcisse: "People in burlesque love to have fundraisers. It’s a great way to get the community involved with something positive. Black people, we’re always out here helping our own and I think really that’s where the tie in is for us. Even when we don’t have a lot, we will make something happen to be able to give a little bit. We really want to make this happen so we can give a lot. We also hope that more people work with this or donate to this organization so overall they can survive."
Do: What can attendees look forward to from the Black Movement Matters All Black Digital Revue?
Narcisse: "A night of entertainment brought to you by an all-Black cast. This show is produced by and starring BIPOC performers, all of which live right here in Savannah. A local show helping out our local community."