So, some broader context:
It feels a little absurd to launch a fun arts podcast on such a hellscape of a day. For reference, Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court a few hours ago, and every woman I know, myself included, has gone into the pain-fog of whichever ailment or illness is their nearest companion. Migraines! Rheumatoid Arthritis! Fibromyalgia! Pelvic Myofascial Pain! The Raging Sleepies! We've got it all. The public health toll since November 2016 seems significant, particularly when it comes to women's bodies.
On today's episode of The Context:
Playwright and burlesque performer Natalie Ann Valentine talks to me openly about some stuff that turned out to be totally relevant to today's dystopian dumpster fire, like the necessity of the audience being actively engaged and receiving enthusiastic consent from a burlesque performer in order for the show to work. To put a finer point on it: Nobody gets to see any boobs unless everyone's having fun and into it. THERE'S A LESSON THERE.
We get into some theatre history, some compare/contrast between burlesque audiences and Captal-T "Theatre" audiences, how she builds narrative arc for a 3-minute dance as a sexy trash-raccoon, and how the art form pulls her away from the knee-jerk instinct to apologize for her female body.
Remember joy? What even is that? Put on your duct-tape corset and plastic-bag bustle and find out as Natalie takes us through the dramaturgy of burlesque.
Where to catch Natalie next:
10/26/18: Ominous Theatre Festival with Who What Where Theater Collective
11/1/18: DC Gurly Show - Gurlies Get Stuffed at Bier Baron Tavern in D.C. (No tickets required)
12/7/18: Manic Pixie Nightmares - So You Think You Can Burlesque at Town Tavern in D.C. (Tickets here.)
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- Amazon.com: Behind the Burly Q: The Story of Burlesque in America eBook: Blaze Starr Leslie Zemeckis, Blaze Starr: Kindle Store — Burlesque was one of America’s most popular forms of live entertainment in the first half of the twentieth century. Gaudy, bawdy, and spectacular, the shows entertained thousands of paying customers every night of the week. And yet the legacy of burlesque is often vilified, misunderstood, and left out of the history books. Behind the Burly Q is a painstakingly researched love letter to the women and men who once made up the community of burlesque.
- The Burlesque Handbook: Jo Weldon: 9780061782190: Amazon.com: Books — From one of the stars of the New Burlesque scene, Jo Weldon, comes a definitive, easy-to-use, and indispensable guide to the art form, with a foreword by superstar comedian and burlesque enthusiast Margaret Cho. Fans of Dita Von Teese—as well as performers of every stripe—will love the helpful advice and feisty attitude of The Burlesque Handbook.