Q: What do child prostitution in India and burlesque dancing in Petaluma have in common? A: Melinda Miller-Klopfer, a native of Mendocino County and a former ballet dancer who’s melded her love of dance and its healing powers with an extraordinary experience abroad.
When Miller-Klopfer quit her job of coordinating and teaching at a small dance company, she moved to Bihar, India, to teach dance and movement therapy to child prostitutes between the ages of six and 16. This profound and dangerous experience inspired her current burlesque project, Polaris Dance Troupe, and their show Les Filles Rouge. The show, coming to the Mystic Theatre July 28, focuses on the empowerment of women.
“The ironic juxtaposition between working with victims of sex-trafficking and teaching women how to take their clothes off for an audience is not lost on me,” she writes, “but I think they are the same issue at heart: empowerment, ownership, feminism, self-love and self-respect.”
A portion of all proceeds from the show go to an educational fund to give Miller-Klopfer’s former students access to higher education. Witness dazzling dance and support a good cause when Les Filles Rouge hits the Mystic Theatre on Saturday, July 28. 21 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma. 8:30pm. $20–$25. 707.765.2121.—Holly Abrahams