Thursday, 22 March 2012

a lifestyle of freedom and passion called burlesque

Looking at the latest spring fashion, one could get the impression that there is a tendency towards glamour and femininity. I have asked two gorgeous women who made a profession out of their passion about experiences and motivation.

Miss Glitter Painkiller by Julien Lesur
Miss Glitter Painkiller, burlesque performer since 2005, was one of the first french girls discovering the burlesque. 
Co-creator of the troupe Bump n' Grind Honeys and organizer of La Glitter Fever, she spreads her glitter now solo in the most popular french and european parties! 
She's the director or Le Velours, a booking agency of burlesques artistes and owns her own school where she teaches the art of burlesque.

Cherry Dee Licious is part of the Helsinki-based burlesque troupe The Itty-Bitty Tease Cabaret which has been teasing and delighting the audience since 2008. 
She spends her days in the harbor and as a freelance designer with her own fashion blog, but when the night falls she conquers the stage in her glittery heels.

Where and how have you found the burlesque for yourself and what is the motivation to perform?

MGP: I came to the burlesque by chance six and a half year ago. I immediately liked it, the costumes, music, makeup, glitter, it was really made for me!

CDL: I personally got interested in performing after seeing my first live show in Helsinki early 2008 (the first time for decades that anyone saw burlesque here in Finland). I have seen videos and images before, but never a live show and it immediately struck me, because it was so down to earth, regardeless ot all the glam and glitter. 

Sounds a bit contradictional perhaps, but whereas burlesque on a visual and aesthetic level is over the top, the attitude of the performers was fun, not too serious and laid back, which made it easy and nice to watch and also gave me the idea of "this is something I would want to do". Also the fact that the bodies on stage were classically feminine and not too thin or pumped up added to this.

The Itty-Bitty Tease Cabaret
We've been to many places and met different kind of people and other artists trough burlesque. It is also a form of entertainment where you can mix many fields and skills, depending on what you like and are capable of : costume, music, performing, dancing, making props... there are basically no limits other than practical of how you can make your shows and numbers.

Can you explain what the burlesque means for you?

MGP: For me, burlesque is a lifestyle, a discipline that allows me to live my passion and to be free.

Who is the audience you want to reach?

MGP: I'm not trying to reach a particular audience. It would be a lost case from the beginning, but when I organize parties I wish that the entrance fee is not too high...

CDL: When it comes to audiences, I would not limit it to any certain group. I've learned from many shows and places I might have been sceptical about before, never to underestimate a crowd. One can have a great audience at a venue one would never had thought would be right on spot for burlesque...
Burlesque may not be for everyone out there, but in the end it is a form of entertainment that is quite easily reachable. Most people have been positively surprised after seeing a show for the first time. 
Of course, there are different kinds of burlesque (and also different kinds of prejudices). Not everyone is thrilled by the humour in neo burlesque, they just want the diva like appearances and grace of the so called more classical acts, while others again find that boring and want to see funny faces, stories, making fun of one self and twirling. Some performers want to make statements with their numbers and not everyone is interested in that either.
In general, as a performer and entertainer I'd perform for anybody pretty much anywhere, but I choose the acts depending on where and for what audience the show will be. 

Miss Glitter Painkiller by Eve Saint-Ramon
Which part of the burlesque attitude is important for you in your every day life?

MGP: This is a very feminine milieu and I have many friends here. We support each other a lot, because it's not always easy to evolve in a microcosm.

CDL: For me, I think one thing with burlesque is and should be the fact that one should not take oneself too seriously. This does not mean that one should not work hard on shows and performance in order to get better, but more of an over all attitude to keep in numbers and on stage. And good to remember in every day life too.

The Itty-Bitty Tease Cabaret
And do you see cultural differences travelling abroad?

CDL: There are big differences between performers and their styles, not necessarily determined by culture as you can find some of each kind everywhere. I think  you could see the same kind of number made by a performer anywhere in the world, the differences in between the acts mostly depending on which genre and style of burlesque the performer prefers. 
I did notice in the States for example that the northern parts where more into neo and humour where as the souther parts  were more about sultriness and classical striptease. One also saw more breast implants in those performers for example. 

The burlesque audience may differ from country to country though, also of course depending on the venue. But in general the audience in Finland is very mixed, often with more women, whereas in the States I was told, it is still more men in the audience on burlesque events.

MGP: I performed in New York and I find that the performers have less cold eyes than the French! But maybe in France we do more numbers that tell a story...

So if you are more curious now, I have some links for you:

No comments: