An intoxicating mix of private thoughts and public behavior, the feature length documentary A Wink and a Smile exposes more than the human body by putting gender, power, sexuality and social identity under the glittery spotlight, as it follows the lives of ten "ordinary" women who do something extraordinary - learn the art burlesque dancing and striptease.
Students of Seattle's Academy of Burlesque have just six weeks to peel and reveal their hidden talents with little more than a tassel and a twirl. Seasoned burlesque divas strut on stage in their own entertaining, satirical and beautiful performances to illustrate the candid and often hilarious lectures by the Academy¹s headmistress, Miss Indigo Blue.
As director Deirdre Timmons draws back the velvet curtain providing a rare glimpse into the intimate experience, audiences watch with glee as Miss Indigo's budding divas learn to shimmy, shake, bump and grind their way into our hearts. Through their adventures, we see how a homemaker, a reporter, a doctor, an opera singer, a taxidermist and a college student, join the American cultural revival of burlesque, as it moves from fringe fascination to mainstream obsession, engaging a world where performance art and showgirl spectacle, music, theater and sensuality crash into over-the-top glamour - a world where many want to go, but very few dare.