Monday, December 13, 2010

Burlesque

What is naughtier than burlesque? Such a delicious, sensuous, playful wink and nod at proper behavior. There's so much to like about it. 

The women of burlesque tend toward the curvaceous. None of that "stick figure heroin chic perpetually pissed-off catwalk model" look. Oh no. These women look like women. Their costumes highlight their femininity. Unlike a strip club dancer, they emphasize the tease in striptease.

I haven't seen Cher and Christina Aguilera's movie Burlesque, so I can't comment on it. In a way, it worries me, because by the time Hollywood notices a trend and makes a movie that proves that they have no understanding of it, the trend is usually about to die. On the other hand, several burlesque troupes are among my FaceBook friends, and they seem hard at work on their shows, so maybe the Hollywood curse won't be enough to kill the resurgence.

 So what brought burlesque back?   Maybe people got tired of the in-your-face style of strip club dancers. Maybe it was a backlash against the jutting ribs, plastic boobs and shaved pussies that made women look about as sexy as plastic dolls. Or maybe it's just that someone offered something different to jaded palates and had the ability and vision to do it right.

If you don't already know about her. allow me to introduce Dita Von Teese:

Dita Von Teese didn't start the resurgence of burlesque, but she's its biggest star. She embraces the glamour look of long ago Hollywood and mixes it with social network savvy, the skill of a trained dancer, and eye of a former costume designer. Great costumes and the ability to look like she stepped out of a pinup poster isn't what made her, though. She tapped into our desire to be seduced. She's flirty, feminine, stylish, seductive, and above all, a great tease. What could be naughtier, or nicer, than that?

9 comments:

  1. Hi Kathleen!

    I've always felt that burlesque is that place where we worship the erotic and teasing nature of women.

    Garce

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  2. Kathleen,

    Great post! I've never been a fan of strip. But I can appreciate a fine burlesque style tease.

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  3. Garce - I agree.

    Craig - While I've seen my share of nude and nearly nude dancers, it seems like a lot more fun when they show less. The ladies on stage in burlesque just seem happier, with a sweeter sexuality.

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  4. Hi, Kathleen,

    I agree! I was just singing Gypsy Rose's theme the other night while doing the dishes:

    Let me entertain you.
    Let me see you smile.
    Let me do a few kicks,
    Some old and then some new tricks.
    I'm very versatile...

    Every now and again we visit the go-go bars. Some of them have completely naked women, others are more creative with their costumes. I find the latter far more arousing.

    Warmly,
    Lisabet

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  5. Lisabet - I was singing that all today at work. If they didn't wonder about me before, now they do.

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  6. Hi Kathleen,

    all I know of Burlesque is what I've seen in Hoppers paintings and a couple of movies. I was surprised to hear that it still goes on in this any-act-any-time-on-demand-porn-internet world.

    The only equivalent I have experience is French caberet which I^m afraid comes across to me a seedy and a bit sad.

    I do like the attempt at power reversal that the fans provide but on the whole, if life is a carbaret then I'm the guy who wondered in thinking it sold burgers and now can't find the exit.

    I loved the images in this post

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  7. I love burlesque too and appreciated this post. Also, I laughed out loud at this:

    "by the time Hollywood notices a trend and makes a movie that proves that they have no understanding of it"

    Ha!

    I've worked as a stripper, and I will say that I feel similarly oriented toward the costume-oriented, dance-oriented burlesque style of stripping/dancing. The club where I worked didn't seem very oriented toward it at all, but I myself loved the costume-creation and dancing part of my job just as much as the naked part.

    I love seeing the resurgence of burlesque, in part because of what Mike called the "any-act-any-time-on-demand-porn-internet" environment. It seems nice to me to see other options as well, and I appreciate the treatment and perception of erotic dancing as the art form I see it to be.

    Thanks!

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  8. Mike - I saw part of a show in New Orleans. Sure, the theater was run down, and the costumes a bit tatty, and nothing was as polished as it should have been, but the entertainers were having so much fun that I was charmed.

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  9. Emerald - I've been to a few cabaret style shows that were nude, or nearly so, and the ones I liked were the ones that showed off the dance ability of the cast. Artists deserve to be respected for what they do, even when it's really sexy.

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