A friend from out of town wanted to go to a Burlesque show — something I had never done. To my surprise there are quite a few of them in New York City. And the one she and I ended up going to was great fun.
The general idea of these things is to be a kind of post-modern reboot of the Burlesque form. Unlike the seedy and somewhat exploitive original from an earlier time, this show was all about female empowerment and sly fun, with a young and very hip audience in attendance.
The comedian/MC made it very clear that he was just pretending to be the MC of a Burlesque show, with lots of shout-outs to the absurdity of this pretense. Extravagant underlining of this pretense wasn’t just part of his act, it was pretty much the point of his act. The message was clear: This is not Burlesque, this is “Burlesque”.
Interestingly, several of the performers come from the world of circus. In fact, the physical feats of grace and skill by the aerial silk performer were so stunning and beautiful that I found myself slightly disappointed when the obligatory moment came for her to remove some clothing.
I was so delighted by her amazing acrobatics that in that moment I didn’t wanted to be reminded that I was in some hip reboot of American Burlesque — I just wanted to revel in the feeling of being a little kid at the circus.