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Burlesque Confidential: Up Close (and Behind the Scenes) with Les Dolls (NSFW)


The May 2015 lineup of Les Dolls: dancers JennaBeth StockmanThe May 2015 lineup of Les Dolls: dancers JennaBeth Stockman, Kelsie Koziol, Jenna Walasek, Erika Cortes, Monica Lopez Aleman and Alyssa Marquez. Not pictured is featured dancer (and Les Dolls co-creator) Miss Dakota. The current (July 2015) lineup includes JennaBeth, Jenna, Erika, Alyssa, Clarissa Mcelroy and Ursula Grunewald.; Credit: Gustavo Turner

Every month, at the historic, intimate Harvelle’s Club in downtown Santa Monica (which bills itself as “the oldest live venue on the westside,” featuring blues, jazz and soul since 1931), Dollhouse Entertainment presents Les Dolls, a modern burlesque show with a traditional cabaret soul. Miss Dakota, a local player in the burlesque scene for 13 years (she was a featured dancer at the much-missed Forty Deuce club during the burlesque revival of the early 2000s) and her partner, choreographer Abbi Puanani, have selected a team of stunning, formally trained dancers who combine “the art of the tease” with a Hollywood twist on French cabaret. LA Weekly shot the May and July shows and one of their rehearsals. All photos by Gustavo Turner.