is x burlesque really burlesque?

July 21, 2010

At the beginning of July my partner and I made a quick pit stop in Atlantic city on our way down to Sea Isle for vacation.  Upon checking into the Showboat Hotel and Casino I passed a large cardboard ad promoting ‘X Burlesque‘ and thought I knew how I’d be spending my night.  I excitedly showed it to my partner who shook their head and told me it wasn’t what I thought it was.  I was a bit confused, but later when I looked up more about it online, I understand what my partner was getting at.

Now, there is a lot of debate about what ‘new burlesque’ is, but I can tell you why I feel X Burlesque really is not…

  1. The names of the performers are not mentioned in any of the advertising.  As much as burlesque is supportive and performers help each other out, every burlesque performer deserves to at least have their name on the billing unless they are a troop (but even troops give the names of their performers on the website)
  2. The new burlesque is accepting of all people and all body types and will accept you for the creativity you bring to it.  This is actually one of the reasons the new burlesque is so popular amongst women, it celebrates ALL body types.  Now this, these lines from the X Burlesque site frustrate me to no end: “As with any show of this nature, it all starts with the quality of the girls. X features eight of the most beautiful and talented girls to ever share a stage. Producer Angela Stabile gives strict attention to details in the hiring of the girls for X. The look and personality of the girls is the most important element of the show. Each girl is hired for her beauty, her personality, her talent, her sensuality; and most of all, her ability to exhibit those traits to a live audience. The X Girls are as international as they are beautiful in an effort to guarantee a type, or “look” for everyone.” Wow, so the focus is not on the performers and their skill, but rather that they fit a certain ‘type’ of woman and that she be ‘beautiful.’
  3. Burlesque has a wonderful DIY feel.  Many performers make their own costumes, come up with their own ideas, and do their own choreography.  Some even do their own singing.  I’m pretty sure X Burlesque is all choreographed by an outside person, basically making the X girls dancers who dance in outfits picked out for them to music they didn’t choose.
  4. Lastly, I have a feeling that the show isn’t very female friendly.  I know a burlesque performer doesn’t get to choose her audience, but I think if you compare the fact that the New York School of Burlesque advertises for bachelorette parties, I question any show currently playing in Reno, Las Vegas and Atlantic city that is advertised as such: “This titillating production is the perfect way to spend your guys night and a great surprise for any bachelor party!”

We ended up not going to see the show for the reasons above, but if anyone has seen the show, please feel free to comment and clarify any of my arguments.

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