Known for her bold and risqué dance moves, the internationally acclaimed burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese will be visiting India next week. And she is already excited about gorging on Indian food and buying saris, she told us in an interview.
Asked to describe the dance form that she has made popular across the globe, she says, “20 years into my career, I usually still cut to the chase and say I’m a stripper so I don’t have to explain what burlesque is. This, mainly because I feel silly explaining it all, I feel it sounds pretentious to talk about burlesque versus stripping.”
Born as Heather Renée Sweet, Von Teese chose her name Dita as a tribute to silent film actress Dita Parlo and Von Teese from the phonebook. “I chose Dita as my strip club name back in the 90s when I was working in one, but when I posed for the Playboy magazine for the first time the editor told me I had to have a full name, so I found this name Von Treese in the phone book and they misprinted it as Von Teese.”
She has also been very open about her plastic surgery that includes breast implants and getting an artificial beauty mark. “I have been honest about these things, but I have been vilified by the press for my honesty. If it weren’t for that, I think celebrities would be more open,” she feels.
‘I want a black lace sari’
The 40-year-old Von Teese who is the global brand ambassador of the liquor brand Cointreau is gung ho about her India trip. “I am really excited about visiting India. I’ve been told it’s a magical place, but I have also been asked to be prepared for some things I’m not used to. I love Indian cuisine, so I hope to enjoy some excellent food while I’m there. I’m also trying to have some tourist days, when I’m not working,” she shares.
And it is not just Indian food, Von Teese wants to pick up a few Indian attires as well. “I have an idea in my head of a black lace sari, so I’m hoping to find someone who can make me a nice one that I can wear anytime even after I’m back home,” she says. Von Teese also has to her credit bringing back the glamour and allure of old Hollywood stars. “I was obsessed with films from the 30s and 40s from a young age. When I started my shows, I liked the idea of creating glamour, and emulating the look of my classic silver screen icons, and then finding ways to bring the pinup to life onstage,” she says.
For now of course, she is just waiting to reach India.