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Eva D'Luscious Oral History Interview

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Eva D'Luscious Oral History Interview


Eva D’Luscious introduces herself as a Burlesque performer, producer, emcee, and teacher. She defines Burlesque as theatrical stripping that pays less than club stripping. She goes on to explain that Burlesque takes all sorts of art forms and brings it to the stage: theatre, dance, costuming, acting, and whatever theme the artist wants to present. She loves Burlesque because it doesn’t have the boundaries of other forms of performance, and it’s wide open for each individual artists to interpret the story they want to tell. Eva feels that her style of Burlesque is a feminist practice. She feels that women showing themselves enjoying their sensuality is still a revolutionary act that society frowns upon. She feels there is so much shame put on sexuality and on women by society, that it’s important to go out and share one’s own expression with others.

Naming her Burlesque school Showgirl Temple, Eva wanted to create a safe and sacred place for people to explore their personal expression through the art of Burlesque dance. She mentions that the word Burlesque often gets censored on social media. The word Burlesque is actually flagged and that can reduce the visibility of your post, and reduce your ability to broadcast information about your classes and performances. Eva uses the term Showgirl instead of Burlesque. She named it a Temple because of the aspects of personal development and her teaching about body magic. She believes there’s something magical that happened during dance when you’re moving energy through your body; she calls that body magic. In her teaching, she holds a safe space for people to explore, without judgment, their own body magic.

Eva goes on to detail her artistic process in creating a new piece of Burlesque to perform, describing the choices in costuming, music, choreography, and just the entire theme that she’s trying to convey. In terms of cultural appropriation, Eva takes her cue from people who have felt that their cultures have been appropriated. She gives credit to what she has been taught by them. She asks herself “is this my story to tell?” as she considers any new work she creates. In the Portland Burlesque community, she acknowledges there is a good deal of LGBTQ+ inclusion. She observes that Portland is not a very racially diverse city to begin with, and that the inclusion of performers of color is still being worked on. She mentions how she supports people of color in the Burlesque community.

When talking with people outside of the Burlesque community, Eva says she’s discreet and circumspect. She finds there is still a general negative social judgment around Burlesque and stripping. Although she celebrates the fact that Burlesque audiences, those who know about it and go see it, are very loving and supportive. She goes on to talk about the philosophical question of why is she taking off her clothes in front of other people. She states that in Burlesque it’s about more than just sparkles and glitter. It’s about people creating art and revealing of themselves, sometimes in heart-wrenching performances about mental health issues, body issues, physical disability, and struggles they have had. She describes how life-altering these performances can be, not only for the performers but also for the audience who shares in that experience.

Eva describes the challenges of finances and time as being a Burlesque performer and creator. She observes that social media and the calling-out culture can be destructive within a community. She wishes the public would understand how difficult it is to create Burlesque. And, she wishes that the online trolls would go away. She celebrates, for many people, Burlesque is a real place of joy.


Eva D'Luscious


Oregon Burlesque Performers Oral History Collection (OH 49)


Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Oregon State University Libraries


January 3, 2020


Laurie Kurutz


Born Digital Video




Oral History



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Laurie Kurutz


Eva D'Luscious


Portland, Oregon

Original Format

Born Digital Video



OHMS Object

Interview Format


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