Best Aerial Burlesque Dance Troupe - 2010
San Francisco has gone burlesque crazy in recent years, with troupes and reviews popping up all over the city. But even people who think they aren't into dance would do well to check out Cirque Noir, the four-woman group that mixes cheeky burlesque with stunning aerial choreography. The evolving show (performed in intimate venues around town) is both modern and classic, comprising several vignettes. The dancers swing, shimmy, and contort their bodies on various apparati connected to the ceiling — swinging stripper poles, inverted bathtubs, you name it. Because the troupe eschews traditional staging in favor of performing throughout the room, guests get to enjoy their cocktails while the action unfolds above and around them. Call it a party or a happening, the result is a stellar production — elegant, daring, and drop-dead sexy.