Dirty Martini (burlesque)
New Jersey, United States
|Occupation||Burlesque dancer, pin-up model, dance teacher|
She is best known for her over-the-top performance acts, which mostly incorporate various classic burlesque styles such as the fan dance, balloon strip tease, the Dance of Several Veils, and shadow stripping, as well as her 50s styled pin-up images.
Martini regularly performs in New York City and extensively throughout North America and Europe in a wide range of venues from Carnegie Hall to weekly burlesque venues to gay leather bars. She was crowned Miss Exotic World 2004.
Dirty Martini, born to an opera singer/visual artist mother and a band director father, had grown up in New Jersey. She studied dance since she was six. Martini honed her choreography skills when she attended SUNY-Purchase, where she graduated with a BFA in Dance Performance.
Martini moved to New York City and started out working in collaborative theater and modern dance groups. She then viewed some old burlesque reels when she was searching for a style that was conducive to performing solo and showcasing her voluptuous figure. Martini started with developing and performing a fan dancing act. Among Martini's notable acts are her homage to Mae West, Jennie Lee (dancer), Zorita (burlesque dancer) and Sally Rand.
In May 2001, Martini performed in the first new burlesque convention, "Tease-o-rama", in New Orleans. Later that year, at the Miss Exotic World 2001, she won the Sally Rand Award for Fan Dance. She was also the first runner-up at Miss Exotic World 2003 and was awarded the main title as well as the Jennie Lee award for tassel twirling at Miss Exotic World in 2004.
Martini has worked with comedian and drag king personality, Murray Hill, playwright/performer Taylor Mac in Red Tide Blooming, follow burlesque performer Julie Atlas Muz, and Penny Arcade in Bad Reputation and New York Values. She also performed in Margaret Cho's 2007 burlesque-style variety show, The Sensuous Woman.
On 6 December 2017 Dirty Martini opened Off-Broadway in Jack and the Beanstalk, the first large-scale pantomime to be presented in New York for over a century, at the Playhouse Theater of the Henry Street Settlement. Adapted from the fairy tale of the same titles by Mat Fraser, and directed by Julie Atlas Muz, the production also starred David Ilku, Michael Johnnie Lynch, Matt Roper and a cast of downtown performers. Awarded the NYT Critic's Pick, the production closed on 23 December 2017 and enjoyed a revival the following year at the same theatre, running for three weeks during the 2018 holiday season. Martini played the role of the Good Fairy.
TV and film appearances
Martini has appeared on the AMC TV series, "Into Character", in the 2004 documentary The Velvet Hammer Burlesque, in John Cameron Mitchell's 2006 film Shortbus, and in Mitchell's video for "Filthy/Gorgeous" by the Scissor Sisters.
She has been the featured subject in two documentaries. One is the 2009 short film Dirty Martini by Iban Del Campo, which won the best documentary film award at the 2010 FreeNetWorld International Film Fest held in Serbia. The other is the 2010 feature length Dirty Martini and the New Burlesque by Gary Beeber, which is about Martini and her colleagues in the Neo-Burlesque scene.
Martini also appears in the Burlesque Undressed documentary with Immodesty Blaize, Catherine D'lish, Satan's Angel, and Michelle L'amour, and in Exotic World & the Burlesque Revival, which focuses on the history of Dixie Evans' Burlesque Hall of Fame Museum (formerly The Exotic World Museum).
Martini along with burlesque performers Mimi Le Meaux, Kitten on the Keys, Julie Atlas Muz, Evie Lovelle and Roky Roulette were featured in Mathieu Amalric's 2010 Cannes-award winning film, Tournee. A drawing of her is used for the film's poster.
Martini has been featured in the books, "Striptease, from Gaslight to Spotlight" by Jessica Glasscock, "Burlesque, The New Bump and Grind" by Michelle Baldwin and Katherina Bosse's "New Burlesque". Martini is also featured in "Neo-Burlesque: Striptease As Transformation" by Lynn Sally, released in October 2021.
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