If it's crap ... We'll tell you
With the new movie out starring of course Christina Aguilera, Kristen Bell and Cher, I thought I'd take the initiative to point out what exactly makes a burlesque show that this movie seems to be lacking. Whether or not you've already seen the movie, it's still not a bad idea to take some notes to compare. So no, this isn't a review really. Rather, this is more of a wordy clarification and comparison.
Now I don't consider myself a burlesque connoisseur of any sort, (That's Jo Weldon's job.), but I'm sure I at least have more knowledge of the art than this movie does, which seems to think that it's Showgirls with more glitter and feathers.
For instance, there's a bit of history behind the art...
From the 1840's to the 1960's, burlesque was a show of comedy and music and, while always sex-based, the original idea was to mock the gender role of women. [*] However, during the later years, the sexuality of the show became a bigger attraction to try to keep the people's interest. [*] In the Victorian era, it was a challenge for women to be as controversial as to show so much of their physique that the fashion of the era tried best to hide. [*]
How dare they show their ankles! Put those petticoats on, ladies!
The idea was to titillate, but not to offend. As times went by, the shows became more known for their raunchy reputation. [*]
What is known as burlesque now is more of a neo-burlesque movement of performers who mostly perform stripteases, humorous skits, cabaret, and even novelty acts that would include fire-breathers or contortionists. As it is now, it is a show of unusual entertainment that is not meant to be your average type of show. It takes influence from the vaudeville scene, despite the way that vaudeville performers often looked down upon burlesque performers. [*]
The thing is, the movie seems to make the burlesque scene seem as though it's a glittery jazz and strip show when it's not very... well, 'burlesque' at all.
Let's look at some burlesque performances and see what you guys think...