Talloolah Love reporting for duty!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010 | |

Next Meeting: January 4th 2011

At previous Atlanta Burlesque and Cabaret Club meetings we have discussed that the club meetings do better with a topic of conversation. At the last meeting we all chatted briefly about the movie "Burlesque" we all said a big ol' gaggle of us should hit the new movie "Burlesque" in the movie theatre. We all knew this thing was going to be an atrocity, but then, in the process of planning a decked out descent upon the movie theatre I read something that gave me pause... a moment to reconsider putting my hard earned sheckles into seeing a film that pretty much smacks of absolute ignorance of a genre we all sweat, bleed, and cry for because we love it so.

Let's face it my bedazzled brethren of boundless bounty... we don't make much for the thing we love. Is it really a good thing to put one dime behind something that really just does not get what burlesque really is? I am not going to even attempt to say what my dear friend Tigger! has put so eloquently and succinctly down already. And I for one haven't totally made up my mind either. But I thought that Tigger!'s words are so nicely said, sharing this illumination with our little community would do a lot of good. So here it is, and I would invite you to discuss with me, or with others in the local scene your feelings on it as well ladies and gents, if you haven't had the divine pleasure already, the retarded genius himself, Tigger!:

Date: Mon, 6 Dec 2010 23:45:08 +0000
Subject: [missexoticworld] Burlesque- the movie or the art form?

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!

SOOOOoooo... now that you have read that, I would love to know your feelings on the matter. I personally feel that the Opera point is an interesting topic, and i would very much like to talk about how that correlates to our art form in your opinion.
So THAT is our next topic of conversation for the January Atlanta Burlesque and Cabaret Meetup!


Anonymous said...

As a lay person my interest and enjoyment in the movie Burlesque led me to purse looking into this amazing art form here in the Atlanta area. And while Tigger's attitude toward it was not negative, which I appreciate, I see that yet another alternative community here in the ATL is too busy being negative, petty, and low class for me to waste my time on. Thanks for saving me money and disappointment. I won't bother visiting any shows here in the ATL.