We couldn’t help but notice the ongoing discussions and repercussions around various features about ‘bad burlesque‘ currently doing the rounds. Obviously, we wanted to add our twopence-worth.
Bad Burlesque Backlash?
We’re concerned about the level of antagonism this is causing. Yes, there is bad burlesque dancing out there but there are also bad singer-songwriters, comedians, magicians and assorted ‘talented’ folk doing the rounds in any local pub, bar or club you happen to visit in the capital or beyond.
Nobody deems any of the others worth writing features about. Maybe in other art forms there’s a consensus that the live circuit is vital for artists to showcase their material and cut their teeth in a live setting.
Inevitably the good, the ambitious and the downright bloody-minded make their way to the top – it’s the way of the world, rightly or wrongly. Beyoncé wouldn’t be the world-class performer she is today if she hadn’t cut her teeth. From the age of 14 she was part of Destiny’s Child in her mum’s Headliners Salon and so it is or should be with burlesque, n’est ce pas?
Is the current debate saying more about the inherent misogyny in society? Or the fact that we’re all that little bit defensive because for years our psyches have been dented by the all-too-easy parallels with the sex industry? Or the fact that: surely anyone can strip, right?
No wonder we can be down on ourselves.
At Burlexe we’ve always believed burlesque is a precious jewel that needs to be nurtured, cherished and respected. Inevitably, we need to pull together, respect each other and our choices but also be able to know when something is worth worrying about and just as much, when it’s not.
Debate is great but we’re dying to get back to the bap flashing…
Tops off in…
Check out some wonderful Emerging Burlesque Talent and read Kirby Marzelle’s response, Women Behaving Badly – Some Thoughts on “Bad Burlesque”.
Burlexe is a sensational London burlesque show inspired by the women who created the genre and perform the art. It fuses burlesque performance with storytelling, dancing with acting.
We enjoy burlesque’s influence on the world but hope it’s judged as a form of entertainment, like any other, rather than this focus on bad burlesque.
(Image from Elle China)