Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Wink and a Smile, the art of Burlesque dancing. Movie review

A Wink and a Smile is a 2008 documentary about the art of Burlesque dancing by filmmaker Diedre Allen Timmons. Centering the film on Miss Indigo Blue's "Burlesque 101 Class" at the Academy of Burlesque in Seattle, Timmons follows a class of ten women of all ages and sizes as they progress through the six-week class and learn about themselves while practicing striptease and burlesque, their final dissertation being a group performance at a local club.

I have long been enchanted with belly dancing and love the eccentric and elaborate costuming, so it should not be a surprise to see many similarities and thus A Wink and a Smile held me spellbound and wishing I could learn such an art with Indigo Blue herself.  I am also a flirt-addict internally, but too shy to ever allow it to show.  Ironically I do love the stage, having been a musician. I can dream though . . .

Here's the film's trailer so you can get a taste for yourself . . .

It was great fun watching the various lady-students improve in their burlesque abilities as the movie progressed. Below is the first page of  her site

All the Dirty Details

Comic Queen of the New Burlesque Dancer, Teacher and Strip-Tease Artiste
It could be the elephant trunk attached to her crotch, or the dozens of blown up latex gloves surrounding her torso, but you just know that sultry bombshell on stage isn't your uncle's burlesque dancer. She's Miss Indigo Blue -- and get ready, because she's one comely coquette that will leave you panting for more.
Miss Indigo Blue HeadshotMiss Indigo Blue is also the President and Chief Twirling Officer of, creating exquisite pasties for discriminating nipples, and the founder and Headmistress of the Academy of Burlesque in Seattle. She has teaches Tassel Twirling and Teasing techniques in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London and Seattle. Miss Indigo Blue is based in Seattle, WA.
Comic Queen of the New Burlesque Dancer, Teacher and Strip-Tease Artiste
Sexy, funny, irreverent and ingeniously clever, Miss Indigo Blue flirts with the edgy, exotic and erotic fringes of burlesque. Evoking the elegant tease of legend Gypsy Rose Lee, and inspired by the brilliant comic wit of Whitney Biennial recipient Julie Atlas Muz, Miss Indigo is more than just a great practitioner of the ol' bump and grind; she enlivens her performances with a heady blend of brainy and bawdy that makes audience's mouths water, as their minds whirl.
For the last ten years , this “nouveau burlesque” entertainer has titillated crowds across the country and in Europe with her wild tassel-twirling techniques and smart, sexy, and funny skits. With a strong dance and theater background and extensive experience as a stripper, Miss Indigo Blue brings sensuality, sexuality, eroticism, and humor to her carefully crafted routines. Miss Indigo is known for her creative and hilarious surprises, erotic dance skills, detailed and authentic retro 1930’s-1960’s costuming, and naughty reformulations of favorite characters like Holly Golightly and Wonder Woman.
"Miss Indigo Blue flirts with the edgy exotic and erotic fringes of burlesque..."
Miss Indigo Blue with the Atomic BombshellsMiss Indigo has performed across the globe including with the Twisted Clits in Amsterdam, Va Va Voom Room in New York and San Francisco, Gurlesque Burlesque in Chicago, Burlesque As It Was in Denver, Kit Kat Follies in Los Angeles, and BurlyQ in London. Seattle's burlesque stalwart, Miss Indigo is a three-time award-winner at the annual Miss Exotic World competition, and currently holds the First Runner Up title from the Jenny Lee Tassel Twirling. Miss Indigo founded BurlyQ Queer Cabaret in 2002, which now has outcroppings in New York and London. Miss Indigo currently performs as a soloist *and* with the Emerald City All-Stars and the Atomic Bombshells, to be one of the most sought-after performers in the Northwest.
still from the movie where Indigo Blue plays with her fan
I very much enjoyed this film and will be watching for others that might be similar.  In the meantime I want to watch it again. If our readers are aware of other great films, or resources. . please . .  let us know.

Available on NetFlix.
her website is  Miss Indigo Blue 

While researching the film and Indigo Blue herself I did run across a brief news documentary about the Burlesque School there in Seattle, since that's the subject of A Wink and a Smile, I've included that video here as well

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