The Art of Burlesque is Cetywa Powell’s photography project, following the burlesque group, the Lalas. The Lalas, run by choreographer Erin Lamont, are a traveling burlesque group that fuse professional dance with striptease. Despite their striptease, Erin Lamont runs the Lalas like a professional dance company. They rehearse, book venues and perform for a live audience every weekend. Unlike normal strip venues, this is a company owned by a woman and managed by a woman; and in the world of Burlesque striptease, it’s the women who call the shots. There are still strip clubs where men drop dollar bills for the strippers and lap dances are performed in corners, of course. But Burlesque is making a separate name for itself. It’s sexy, upscale entertainment where dinner and drinks are served and where up to 50% of the audience are married couples.
Cetywa Powell is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles. As a photographer, Cetywa received an Honorable Mention in the 2015 International Photography Awards and a selection in the 2013 National Geographic Daily Dozen photographs. Cetywa has also been part of exhibitions at galleries in France, New York, Los Angeles, Maryland, Virginia, Hungary, Florida, the Trieste airport in Italy, Vermont and Texas.