5.27.2009

Day 6, part IV of IV - Kubrilesque

This is the late-night neo-burlesque homage to Stanley Kubrick, complete with a Dr. Strangelove striptease in a wheelchair.

It's as weird as you think. http://www.myspace.com/tangnightclub or www.kubrilesque.com

This got me thinking about neo-burlesque. Wondering, really. And this is not a criticism, I genuinely hadn't thought about it until I saw the show, and now I don't know the answer. What is the point of neo-burlesque?

Historically, there's reasons for burlesque - the dancehalls, the rules against explicit nudity in public - it's all tease, right? What's the tease now? Lap dances where you can't touch? We've exchanged visual tease for tactile, which is a lot farther along the continuum of tease. I'm not saying that there's no point to neo-burlesque, and I don't even know enough about it to suggest that it simply hasn't found its point yet (there's one such show coming to Moct on June 12, I think, incidentally). It almost felt like a new subset of dance - the aesthetics of bodies in motion, a subset in which the first image is the most variable because of the clothing, and the last image is inevitable, the almost naked female form.

And because this was a tribute to Kubrick, it raised different sets of questions. Was this just a gimmick for different costumes? If so, do you really need a gimmick? Can't you just do the different costumes? Kubrick made it seem campy - generally that they were following more of an arbitrary script - look, I'm the guy from Clockwork Orange! Except that I'm a hot woman! Which you can see now that I don't have any clothes on.

Is neo-burlesque supposed to be campy? Is it supposed to be titillating? What is it trying to do as a performance genre? What were they trying to do specifically?

Don't get me wrong, they were good. The performance was solid in that they did everything that they planned to do. I just didn't understand it. There was too much going on for me to let it wash over and just "be what it is" and not enough for me to figure out what "it" was.

And if I hear one more person here pronounce the word "jaundra" I'm going to punch someone.

No comments:

Post a Comment