Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Paris Burlesque Festival: A bias review distilled on an Absinth spoon

ABOVE: My Absinth spoon, and Gypsy Wood in full swing...

BELOW: Kitten on the Keys doing her thing in Paris and making reference to the size of Sarkozy's cock during banter with crowd.

Just like in the blogging world, in burlesque you ain’t nothing without a good gimmick.

I have yet to find mine at the moment, oscillating between using cheap innuendos wherever I can, random perfume reviews and gushing elegies of war correspondents and celebrated columnists – but apparently my blog gimmick issues pale in comparison to the burlesque starlets who performed at last week’s first ever Paris Burlesque Festival, my glamorous Paris mole reported back to me over a glass of Absinth (yes, I occasionally drink this stuff, check out my spoon in the photo) at my house over the weekend.

Oh yes, Paris – the spiritual home of showgirls– not only took forever to jump on the global burlesque bandwagon (years after the development of a scene in Australia, Germany , Blighty and the US unleashed thousands of imaginatively-named divas), but it also apparently failed to deliver promising burlesque talent and put on a good show at its first annual knees up on October 22-25.

According to my discerning Mole, True Burlesque Spirit (i.e a bit of sauce, a bit of vintage style-underwear, suspenders as opposed to hold ups, a bit of tongue in cheek, a bit of humour ect ) was only exhibited by the two overseas acts: the American Kitten on the Keys and our very own Sydney-based Gypsy Wood. I say very own, because Gypsy is a gem. A few months back I interviewed Gyspy for the blog as part of a feature entitled "How to become a showgirl for the Blade Runner Age," which you can read here.

Oh and apparently the balloon-popping girl Lolaloo des bois was excellent too.

My Mole complained that the rest of the girls were wearing too much black and red underwear and that they all looked really serious and not much fun on stage, too self-consciously sexy, taking inspiration from strip clubs as opposed to the `1940’s - 1950’s stage stars.

The Mole also complained (she is Parisian) that the girls did not mingle with the crowd, preferring to walk around with a haughty air and giggle nervously amongst themselves. I unclip my suspender to anyone who has the balls to undress to music in front of a packed crowd, and they must have been slightly terrified – but I get her point about their choice of underwear.

For some reason, the promoters wrote that burlesque came out of Paris during the flapper period and has been taken up by the world since then. Which is a bit of a bizarre thing to write because not only did it originate much earlier than that but it was very much an American movement.

Anyway - you can check out more images, a video and unclip your own conlcusions from this link here.


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