Editor’s note: Heather MacAllister passed away on February 13, 2007.
San Francisco’s Fat-Bottom Revue is making it big in the burlesque business — real big. Composed solely of plus-size dancers, the company is the country’s only regularly performing group of its kind. In the episode “Forbidden Territory,” Spark checks out the show and gets an eyeful of all the sexy, hip-grinding, high-kicking action.
Fat-Bottom Revue is the touring company of Big Burlesque, a performance collective of self-described “fat artists and activists.” The show is a spirited revival of the tradition of burlesque performance, a racy style of singing and dancing that saw its zenith in the 1920s. With the proliferation of the modern strip club in the late 1960s, burlesque came to be regarded as tame and old-fashioned and soon died out. In recent years, however, burlesque has enjoyed a resurgence, with a number of clubs opening in metropolitan centers across the country.
Founded by Heather MacAllister (aka RevaLucian), who was a size-acceptance artist and activist dedicated to redefining the contemporary notion of beauty, Big Burlesque challenges Western standards of female beauty including a thin body that is often unattainable, unrealistic and potentially unhealthy for many women. By providing a burlesque act that features only larger-sized women, Fat-Bottom Revue is seeking to widen the current standards of beauty.