Burlesque- the movie or the art form?

(Postings From: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/missexoticworld )

I finally broke down and responded to questions about the movie they happened to call "Burlesque." I know, I know. Another one? I can only offer that it is not a review, just a response to some of the press:

"I will not join the chorus of my burlesque brethren reviewing the film because I have not seen it. I have read and heard enough reviews to know that I'm not interested in paying for what will likely be a disappointing experience. (Maybe I'll rent it some drunken night next year.) I'm not livid that it's out there, I just don't think I'd enjoy the film, regardless of its title. It has also been made clear that it does not reflect burlesque as our community knows/practices/ cherishes it. I do recognize the opportunity that this film's publicity presents for us to get new audiences in to see what we do, even if they were expecting something quite different. I support a very broad definition of burlesque and can live with the fact that mine has very little in common with Mr. Antin's.

However, I do take exception to this sniffing attitude of superiority to dirty strippers. Down & dirty strippers (and confrontational performance artists too) are every bit as much our forebears as cabaret and vaudeville artists. Burlesque is a working class art form. It historically employs low humor to skewer self-righteous so-called high culture. It lampoons politics and is a political art form itself, especially in our puritanical society. These are essential elements. It seems to me that his film does none of these things. Another critical element in burlesque is Self-Expression. That is very difficult to achieve when you're trotting out tired imitations of Fosse's brilliant work. Most artists feel strongly that you do not celebrate your heroes by merely imitating them but by learning from them and perhaps feeling their influence here and there in your own original work.

Attitudes like those attributed to Antin & Culpepper in the press suggest that they seek to "elevate" burlesque. (From The Advocate: "The two shared a vision of burlesque — musical parody with sexual innuendo, as it originated in Europe in the 1800s, before it got muddled together with stripping.") These people who strive to make burlesque highbrow are working to kill it. When burlesque becomes elitist and ceases to connect with real people, it ceases to be burlesque. By all means, we should be intelligent and subtle and witty in our work, but we have to achieve the high/low balancing act. We need to deliver thoughtful content and practiced artistry while Entertaining the people in the cheap seats.

Similarly, opera used to be for everyone and was lively and exciting. Opera stars used to be rock stars. Once upon a time, ordinary working class people could afford to see it and even had fun at the opera. As far as most ordinary people today are concerned, opera is as good as dead. I do not want to see that happen to burlesque."

xxx Tigger!

I agree with Tigger wholeheartedly. I also have to say that a large amount of the "dirty strippers" would LOVE to be entertaining in a more artistic manner, but it may be difficult paying the bills being an artist for a living,there is not much inspiration nor many mentors in that environment to bring them out , and the clubs hardly encourage performance in most places.Or at least they didn't the last years I danced.I headlined at The Body Shop for about 5 years when it was a Burlesque club(in L.A) as did several of the lovely ladies in this forum.Even more worked there as non headliners, with equally stunning and riveting artistic portrayals of the art as "we" know it.I was the last headliner there before it was gutted and remade into a nudie bar.I danced for another 5 years or so after we all got unceremoniously dumped out the back door after pay day one night by the new owners after Jamal died"We're closing to become a nude bar, whatever you don't
take tonight will be thrown out"It was awful trying to pack years of props and whatnot in an hour after a full nights work while stunned.Except for Jumbo's(which I loved)every club I went to after that, the only way you could make enough to survive was to "hustle the floor" for those lapdances.I still did my best to do shows, but as one dancer put it I was usually "casting my stripper pearls before swine".I worked in Atlanta a couple years (I won best overall performance" in Miss Nude Atlanta one year, it didn't change anything in my life except an extra few tips during the contest)and a couple in Houston and then one here in Las Vegas I never gave up trying to do shows, but ultimately it was just too expensive, time consuming and the men didn't come to see that .What with the high availability of internet porn free and at anyone's disposal without even putting on clothes,"a little titillation" with some art won't pay the bills, much less pay for the
costumes.While I was grateful I already had beautiful costumes,.even the upkeep was expensive after a while..I guess my long drawn out point is, that dirty strippers might be that way because that's what pays the bills.Not across the board, and I certainly don't know the numbers as to how many would prefer to be more creative and less nasty,I also agree with all his other points as well, he writes very well.Better than me,lol I'd expand on some of them but I've babbled a bit already here..I haven't seen the movie yet, I've heard it called "Showgirls 2" around here too, lol.One final note, I've noticed there's "amateur troops" sprouting up on Craig's list. I tried to get in one one, but the amateur who has never done it besides in her living room thinks "anyone who is not an amateur will be a diva and suck the fun out of everything". I have had several spinal surgeries over the last few years and am all healed up now and would like to get back into
performing.I would LOVE to be part of a group, I have no desire to be a Diva(lol) I just want to be part of the magic i once knew and be part of
bringing it back if I can.Now that I would be doing it more for the love of the art than to survive,I think I could bring a lot of energy , love, humor, experience,and of course talent to an existing group, or if there are other performers in Las Vegas that would like to make a troupe, or if anyone has any information on how I at least can get into performing again solo here, I would REALLY appreciate any information or help.I wish we had burlesque 411 here.I don't get a chance to read the forum every day, I may have missed a post about groups here.I REALLY want to be performing again, but purely entertainment. Not lap-dancing. .I might break a hip..I attached the promo ticket of me from back in the day for a little trip down Body Shop memory lane if anyone would like to see it.I love this forum and I thank you for taking the time to read my post!I apologize for my crappy grammar or any mistakes.I hope everyone's holiday is a bright one!..Katz.
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