Burlesque Performers Bare (Almost) All

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2010

Last weekend, Burlesque Club performed a show entitled, “Burlesque is More!” a sizzling event that drew crowds of students to St. Mary’s Hall on Friday, Nov. 11, Saturday, Nov. 12, and Sunday, Nov. 13.

The shows were late in the evening, and featured several acts performed by students, exemplifying the coy and playful nature of the burlesque art form. The performances included music, comedy, dance, strip-tease, and various parodies.

At the request of the performers, no names will be mentioned and individuals will be referred to by their stage names.

The show began with a mesmerizing performance by Dangereyes, who created a set up using a rotating optical illusion and attempted to hypnotize the audience with her routine.

“Being on stage was such a strange experience,”said Dangereyes . “It was made easier by how well I knew my routine but I could see everyone in the audience . . . I was shaking, though.  I got onto stage and people started cheering. I was going through the movements and my leg was shaking uncontrollably and my heart was racing.”

“A lot of people say they black out once they get on stage but I don’t,” she said. “I am very conscious of what I’m doing and that I’m performing my act correctly.  The best part was having a new pair of eyes seeing my routine.  In the beginning, when I was a hypnotist they gave ‘ooh’s’ and ‘aah’s’ because they understood the comedy of my routine and then the entire atmosphere shifted when I started to get sexy after my failed attempt at hypnotizing them.”

“I saw the SMP last year and was horribly misinformed on what Burlesque was,” said Dangereyes.  “I was told it was a comedy show but when I got there it was just a lot of women taking off their clothes.  But I thought I could come up with a really funny act so I tried out for the club and was happy to see I got in.  I was then told that it is supposed to be a comedy routine but comedy more in the sense of satire. I feel my act really exemplified the classic burlesque routine.”

The routines all held an element of the satirical nature , and some of the artists also chose to include social commentary in their performances. One such performer, Shockwave Chicago, concluded her act by displaying the word “debt” on her body, since her dance depicted the struggle to survive financial hardship.

Similarly, Miss Fortune and Miss Conduct, who performed a routine together to the song “sail” by AWOLNATION, commented on the advancement of technology  using black lights and glow sticks in their performance for an entrancing effect.

Liquid Jazz, another memorable performer, became involved in burlesque last year and also used this performance as a social commentary.

“Specifically, my piece is about the dichotomous relationship between how many people view the glamorous high life of gay members of a community, like on the A-List, and then project that assumed stereotype on the LGBTQA community as a whole,”said Liquid Jazz. “In many cases gay men are just like anyone else, and the rules of the real world still apply. Being gay is not an economic bracket, and simply being gay doesn’t make you upper class. We freeze, starve, breathe, love, and lose just like everyone else.”

“I strongly believe that burlesque is an art,” Liquid Jazz added. “The body itself is both art and canvas for whatever we wish to portray on it or with it. Because part of burlesque is the focus on the naked, or nearly naked, human form, it makes an extremely powerful statement about the body itself. The body is elevated from mere exposure and vulnerability to a very powerful place of strength and respect for oneself. The audience itself should not simply view burlesque as an opportunity to see people take off their clothing, but understand that they have the privilege of seeing art in its most raw and awesome form, and that the artists themselves literally expose themselves to the proverbial elements in order to convey their message.”

This performance included an impressive jazz dance routine, and many other acts featured moving dance performances, such as the duo Hurricane and Avalanche and The Dybbuk.

“I felt that the show was done well,” said Junior Khamsin Meadows. “I especially liked the pair routines. I’d always liked the idea of taking part in the Burlesque Show and I’d definitely be interested after seeing this show.”

“Burlesque is a great chance for all kinds of people to become comfortable with their bodies as a representation of themselves artistically,” said Liquid Jazz. “We all have a body, so why not use it as a canvas to show who we are as human beings that can create acts of profound expression.”

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