Dieselpunk: Because Steam Wasn't Dirty Enough!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lab teching my way through striptease school: Honoring Bettie and Belly Dance

I=m getting off to a great start on my resolution for 2014.  Bettie Page Reveals All made its way to Dallas, and I got to stage kitten for the mini burlesque show on opening night.  It was fun working with familiar faces.  The experience did teach me that sometimes you just have to accept things not working out.  Like my Hulk strength manifesting itself when I was struggling with the zipper on my corset.  The whole thing wound up coming right off.  Thankfully I had decided to pack a black bra with my strapless nude one.  Those two items will always be in my bag from now on.  As I=ve mentioned many times before, you have to roll with the punches.  That's what everyone did, and we pulled off a successful show.

Photo by Cher Musico/Roots
We all changed into pin-up dresses as the movie got started.  I didn't have a real pin-up dress, but my gothic lolita jumper skirt was a nice substitute (it feels like sacrilege, but hey, I'm a fashion rebel).  Instead of watching the film, I wound up hanging with the dancers and their friends and partners.  I figured it was better to get to know people even if I saw some of them on a weekly basis.  There would be other chances for me to see the movie, and I knew that I'd go into awkward turtle mode when the rest of the crowd came out for the after-party.

I never do well with large crowds and starting/joining conversations.  Or photoshoots for that matter.  Thanks to Cher Musico though, I did make my way into the pre-show cast photo.  Eventually I wound up ducking into the dressing room because I needed to clear my head and grab my coat.  Also my partner, who had to work, wanted to know where to pick me up.  Of course, the post-after party (in Japan, this would be known as the "nijikai") plan was to hit up Velvet Taco.  It was an nice little finale to cap off a great night.

Photo by Doc Strange

A week later, I got to attend a workshop by Jodi Waseca, also known Oleeander Moon from the Hubba Hubba Revue, on fusing burlesque with belly dance.  Even though I had not been belly dancing on a regular basis for a couple of years now, I was curious as to how the line between to two could be blurred— especially when extreme strong ideas about how they should be distinct were instill in me… and probably every other beginner belly dancer.  The truth is, however, that belly dance came to the U.S. around the time burlesque did so the similarities cannot be denied.  Jodi focused on the burlesque as it was back then: tongue-in-cheek satire.  She used her "Dance of the Seven Failz" routine as an example, as it pokes fun at the mishaps that can happen in a performance.  At the same time, she did not deny that both dances can be flirtatious and sensual.  The message that I took home was theatricality.

Although belly dance is an important part of my dance career, I don't know if I'll ever incorporate it into my burlesque acts, aside from utilizing moves that span the genres.  I'm okay with others doing it, but at this point, I would feel like I was disrespecting my former teachers.  Plus there's a lot of cultural weight that I am not prepared to bear despite belly dance having evolved into something different from traditional Middle Eastern dance.  Nevertheless, I really loved Jodi's fan dance-belly dance fusion from the performance that came after the workshop, and the potential for cross-talk is very exciting.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

From Paris with Love: A Valentine Burlesque Review

From Paris with Love
A Valentine Burlesque Review

Les Filles Rouges

Saturday, February 8, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. 
Gualala Arts Center
46501 Gualala Road
Gualala, CA, 95445