It’s all happening in the media this month. To begin with, one of our Sunday morning burlesque Googles (surely you do that too?) revealed that the Dallas Observer has a really solid interview with an established burlesque performer who really dishes some dirt on the burlesque experience … What we really like about it was the section on how different audiences have different ways of appreciating burlesque both during the performance and after – it’s a great reminder that if you’re stepping out for your first burlesque show, you may get an unexpected response, which doesn’t mean they didn’t like you, or you didn’t do brilliantly, it could just mean that your audience is culturally disposed to offer politeness or respect as a tribute rather than catcalls and mad applause.
While we’re talking about first performances, we’re always being asked about how a new performer can know he or she is ready for the stage (or just to give a loved one a very special experience!) and we have a couple of suggestions that may help:
- Join a class – yes, blah, blah, blah, it’s what everybody always says, but it really is helpful because you will be performing burlesque in front of other people, even if they are only your classmates.
- Plan a private dance – if your loved one is keen on burlesque, pick a significant date: Valentine’s Day, an anniversary or even Halloween and create a simple themed burlesque spot to celebrate it. Just two minutes of well-rehearsed burlesque in front of your beloved can really boost your confidence as well as thrilling them. If you’re taking this route, we recommend a costume that doesn’t have wings or a cape, a tail or complicated props for your first performance. A fantastic first burlesque costume would be our Sinister Pierrot – easy to wear, easy to remove and stunningly attractive.
- Throw a party – this is a great idea gif you have supportive and open-minded friends. Simply set a date, state the burlesque theme, buy some booze and practice your moves. It’s a good idea to send your chums some links to burlesque sites and performances and online shopping venues like http://www.loveburlesque.com and then simply pick your moment, and your music, and give them a show!
GLITTER TRIBE – A BURLESQUE DOCUMENTARY
Then, the Love Burlesque team was fascinated to discover that there is a new burlesque documentary doing the rounds of independent cinemas and community movie clubs, although we can’t find it being shown anywhere in the UK as yet. Called Glitter Tribe it offers a view of burlesque that is much more than simply a ‘celebration’ or even an interrogation of what burlesque is about, what it’s ‘for’ and who’s doing it. This documentary explores the aspect of burlesque often described as ‘outsiderism’ – the way that burlesque is determined to reveal and engage with the aspects of human sexuality that are often taboo. This could be anything from body shaming to racism, from religious and cultural censorship to humour itself. This makes the documentary quite hilarious but also a deep exploration of why burlesque has continued to be a successful, transgressive art form since its inception.
Perhaps one of the lovelier things about this documentary is the loving approach to performance which, when balanced with the performer interviews, means the viewer gets to see some quite exceptional recordings of live burlesque (including a huge sexy taco) that are bound to inspire even the most amateur performer and delight any burlesque aficionado. Interestingly, co-producer Miriam Garcia is a folklorist with a professional interest in the formation of fringe groups and ‘chosen families’ which may explain the fine blend of enjoyment and enquiry that runs through this very welcome new addition to the field of burlesque study.