Orange County has seen an explosion of shimmies and shakes presented in burlesque revues over the past couple of years, thanks largely to Long Beach's Miss Yadi Hurtado. She's the founder of Yadi Presents, the ambitious and imaginative burlesque institute that started when Hurtado began putting together rockabilly concerts.
"In 2010, I really loved the rockabilly scene and would go to rockabilly music shows a couple of times a month," Hurtado explains. "After a while, people would tell me that I should start producing my own shows. Like the many rockabilly shows I had attended, I decided to feature burlesque dancers. After a year of doing music shows, I felt like I wanted to do something more creative. I decided to do a fully themed burlesque show."
And the first Yadi Presents show, Candyland Burlesque, came to be.
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The performance was an immediate success. "Once I did my first show, I was hooked!" Hurtado says. "I starting coming up with tons of ideas and soon would produce a monthly burlesque show."
It wasn't long before pompadours gave way to pasties, and her shows evolved into purely burlesque lineups with kitschy names such as Gotham Girls, Burlesque Bingo and this month's Reservoir Burlesque: The Quentin Tarantino Burlesque Film Festival Parody. Now, with a few years of experience, she's up to two shows regularly—one at Big's in Fullerton, plus a larger-scale theatrical production at the Yost Theater in Santa Ana—and there's plenty more of her burlesque bonanza in store. Hurtado recently partnered with Sort This Out Cellars to produce a burlesque soda six-pack featuring a half-dozen of her dancing beauties paired with classic flavors such as black cherry and cream soda. "My hope is to do a 'Gotham Girls' soda line this year!" she adds.
"I feel like burlesque in the OC/Long Beach area keeps getting bigger and better," Hurtado says of the scene she has helped to flourish. "I love many things about burlesque. I love that it allows me to be creative. I love that it allows women an avenue to express themselves through dance and glamour. I love to see ideas and concepts come to life in a burlesque routine. But, hands down, the best part of burlesque for me is all the friendships and wonderful memories it has given me. The amazing people I get to work with make me smile and make all the hard work of putting a show together worthwhile!"
Next up for Hurtado and her tasseled troops? "We hope to travel with three or four dancers to Europe this fall," she reveals. "Our dream would be to go to Paris, London and Barcelona."