Pound Sign

New York City, pop culture, art and nightlife. Because nobody else is blogging about those things.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Second verse, pretty much the same as the first.

A couple of fun articles about the neo-burlesque boom from this week that all the burlesque-specific blogs have been linking to, in Backstage and Reuters.

The impetus for the current wave of national press is Margaret Cho's traveling burlesque and variety-comedy revue The Sensuous Woman, which is currently running here in New York. (I had the pleasure of seeing Margaret's burlesque performance debut when she emcee'd the 2006 Miss Exotic World Pageant and took the stage the following night) It's funny, as her national tour has progressed, the local press in each city writes their version of the same story, with the brief intro to the new scene, some brief history of bump 'n' grind through the ages, and interviews with performers local to that city's scene, usually with very similar thematic focus on what burlesque means to the contemporary women who embrace it. There are other things that make these articles appear; Exotic World Weekend, the Burlesque Festival, the Spiegeltent, or a successful local show coupled with a general look at Dita Von Teese's continuing rise in national profile as a pop culture figure. But it's very often slightly different versions of the exact same article. That actually sounds much more critical then I meant it to; press is great! These two articles are fun because a number of my friends with important places in the New York scene are quoted to great effect (especially since the New York local press has mostly moved beyond the "burlesque is back?" piece), and they consistently name-check the Burlesque Hall of Fame which is really important, and of course I want all of these talented people to get the recognition they deserve! And, the more articles that make it clear that contemporary burlesque doesn't begin and end with the fucking Pussycat Dolls is a great thing. It's just funny. And it serves as a reminder to those of us who are surrounded by it all the time that this artistic movement is still well on the edges of mainstream culture--and I'm definitely not saying that's a bad thing either! I like it out here.


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