Some weeks back, I went with a group of friends to a burlesque show to see a “vintage” performance of the art of burlesque dance.
I’d seen burlesque represented in lots of plays and movies, I just have never seen one in the flesh, as it were.
It was a very interesting form of storytelling: the women were dressed in rather cheesy vintage outfits, (lots of feathers flying around) and created characters who seemed funny, sly, clever and for the most part, naked. I’d never seen pasties on a woman before, and they looked…odd. It just was strange to see a woman’s breast, and so much focus on looking at a woman’s breast, but then the nipple had to be covered up. With pasties. Very odd.
The emcee was a very charismatic performer, crooning away, winking at the crowd, with a terribly sophisticated and bored persona. The crowd was very young, as in late twenties, early thirties (I seem to see a much older audience in the plays I see here in Los Angeles). And they seemed to have great fun: lots of laughter and joking and carrying on.
I’m still amazed at the graciousness and generosity of the dancers – they really included the audience in their form of tribal dance (“opps, I lost my clothes” kind of tribal dance), but they conveyed a kind of self that I really admired. And it was great to see a part of Los Angeles culture that I had never seen before.