I’ve had my eye on putting together a burlesque solo for a long time. Moving across the country and changing teachers slowed things down a bit. And then there’s the lack of money.
But it seems that it looks very likely that I’ll join a class at the end of this month to craft my first burlesque solo for a debut at the beginning of May. Whoa! I initially had brushed the idea aside: this version of the class is shortened. How could I possibly put together a real act in just over month? But then the wheels started spinning and in the last week, I’ve:
- dreamt up all the costume pieces I’ll need
- decided on a character for the piece (“If you wanna win it, you gotta get a gimmick…”)
- edited my music together (almost) perfectly into a tight little 3 min and 41 sec piece
- on a slightly unrelated note, created my very own Facebook profile
So I guess all that’s left are the actual movements! I’ve even got my “events” more or less planned out. That’s what Jo Weldon calls clothing removal during a performance in The Burlesque Handbook.
I’ve been pondering something she wrote on her blog, Daily Burlesque, a while back:
“And often a trained dancer new to burlesque will merely dance, stop, and take off a piece of clothing instead of making the clothing removal playful, enticing, and innovative.”
I’m already getting concerned about 1) having enough choreography that I’m not just walking around taking off my clothes, but 2) not have so much choreography that things aren’t somewhat flexible. I know I want to embrace the traditions of burlesque – shimmies, bumps, and grinds – but I need to also let go a little bit, which is hard for me.
I think Jo’s comment, too, is of critical importance: keeping the tease in striptease. One person who is phenomenal at this is the a-ma-zing Michelle L’Amour – both in performances and classes. (I’m sure Jo is too; I’ve just never seen Jo perform yet.) Michelle focuses her students on the slow, playful removal of clothing, on the I’m-almost-ready-to-show-but-not-yet moments to milk. I have to keep this in mind for my “events”…