I have always thought that there were certain timeless things that were sexy and classy. Like Myrna Loy. And I often think if it were possible to go back to that time period and be a well-dressed individual like that, well, it'd just be damned sexy. If you brought that time period forward, it would STILL be damned sexy.
And that includes the thought of burlesque shows.
I'm blushing right now, btw. But yes, burlesque shows. I'm sure they were quite the scandal of their time, but there was just something glamorous about women being strong enough to go out and strut their stuff covered in naught but rhinestones, feather boas, and giant ostrich feathers. The costumes were exotic, and I like to imagine some of them looking like the stained-glass pictorials in Art Deco, covered in peacock feathers and dark cabochons holding together tasteful draped fabric that revealed yet concealed. It's all a highly romantic image, and I'm sure there were just as many that got up there in cotton or rayon and did their thing.
I always thought slipping your gloves off with your teeth was rather sensual, as was slowly strutting back and forth, or dancing with your intimate bits barely covered by feathers and fabric, yet in utterly no threat of being exposed. It wasn't giving the whole thing away like strippers would, or porn would. There was a certain amount of desire built up around the with-holding of the full thing, and a certain amount of power to be shown for that, and respect to be given.
Anyway, I was excited to find out that Philadelphia has it's own burlesque troupe. (Or at least one, there are probably others but this came up most often in searches!) Called The Peek-A-Boo Revue, I'm not going to call this classy just yet because some of the photos on the website have given me pause. But I am damned curious and I am now hoping to get a chance to go see it. It's in the realm of odd things I would like to be able I sat down and saw once in my life. Like the Carnivale freak show and La Boheme.
I was reading an article earlier today which talked about burlesque schools that opened in Seattle and New York. Seattle?? Damnit, if only I'd known! I remember seeing fliers in passing as I wandered around my city and pondering going, but not wanting to go with the guy I was with. My main thought was I didn't want to take someone who thought it was all about the skin and the sex, which he would have. Part of me now wonders if I should have judged, but I know at that time anything he would've said...ANYTHING...would've set me off. And, of course, it never occurred to me to go alone.
I ran the idea past Bob, who's interest was piqued, especially since he thought such things no longer occurred. So maybe at some point in the near future we go see it and I get to revel in it while getting my idealistic fantasies straightened out rather quickly.
That is not to say that I wished I were a burlesque dancer, although part of me always did want to be a show girl. I no longer have the body, for one thing. But it would be neat to see it in person and see how others choose to take the performance. I'm a big fan of all kinds of art, and performance art/theater is one of the ones I have been guilty of not exploring as much as others. Although not necessarily theater so much as spectacle, I secretly hope I will enjoy it more than La Boheme, which I have seen and did not like. (Overrated, really.)
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