(originally posted on my Tublr blog July 2011)
Well I thought it was about time that I actually wrote something to do with burlesque on here rather than the inane whitterings that come so easily to me…. One of the wonderful things I bought with some money for my recent birthday was the Dirty Martini and The New Burlesque DVD. Trailer below:
Dirty Martini is one of my favourite burlesque performers (if not my favourite), she absolutely oozes old school glamour and glitz and embodies everything that is fabulous about burlesque. When I first started to get into burlesque she was one of the ladies that jumped right out at me, not only for her dance skills and the preciseness of her movement but the characterisation that goes into every act that blossoms from her imagination into reality.
The little glances, the sultry faces, the amazing smile…she’s a complete master of her craft. Sex on legs basically. After watching many a youtube video of Dirty I got to see her perform live at Neil Kendall’s Halloween Ball at the Guildhall in Chester (if you haven’t been to one of his burlesque events you need to get there sharpish) and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
She performed her spider act (Zorita tribute) one of my absolute favourites (below if you haven’t seen) and I was in awe.
I was also lucky enough to meet her backstage at the Tournament of Tease last November and she’s so so lovely (who would have thought anything else?).
Anyhoo……on with the DVD stuffs: As much as I love Dirty it’s not all about her, it’s not just about how she started and the people that she met on her journey to become one of the biggest burlesque stars of our day, it’s about how the new burlesque evolved from performance art and how these performers kick-started the current neo-burlesque epoch in NY.
There are interviews with Julie Atlas Muz, World Famous *BOB*, Bambi the Mermaid, Murray Hill, Angie Pontani, Tigger! Jo Boobs, Scotty the Blue Bunny, and many more who speak not just about Dirty and when/how they met her but about their friendships with each other and how performing neo-burlesque is an an outlet of their art and creativity.
The interviews with Dirty show her for all that she is, a generous, loving, talented free spirit and a beacon for burlesque. She shares stories, talks of her passion and how burlesque has affected her life personally and professionally. All of those interviewed are honest in their opinions about aspects of their work, take for example working in burlesque full time.
In world famous *BOB*’s own words: (speaking of teaching at NYSB) “……..welcome to a fantastic hobby, because the illusion created by a successful burlesque dancer is one of complete glamour and carefree and only having time to be absorbed in this beautiful movie star performers life” and “……and there’s an illusion that there’s money in it but as far as a steady paycheck it’s not something I would reccommend.
People ask me sometimes what’s the difference between a stripper and a burlesque dancer and I always say strippers make money” It’s good to see those interviewed being so upfront about the financial side of a regular performer’s life.
In Dirty’s words: “Interview any burlesque performer that’s doing burlesque today and they’ll tell you they have a day job and they do it because they love it. I am so fortunate to say that I am one of the people that now after five years of being a legal secretary quit my job and I just sort of plunged head on into the world of nightlife, burlesque, corporate parties and gosh, now international touring with the Cabaret New Burlesque“.
It’s refreshing to hear this, esepcially in a climate where some performers see the big names and expect overnight success and big bucks after a couple of gigs and/or a lucky break. I really enjoyed watching this documentary, it was an honest, frank and thoroughly entertaining look at the world of neo-burlesque and the lives of those living it daily, exploring feminism, sex work, burlesque, relationships and friendships. It’s about performers’ passion for their art, for burlesque, for life and for not being put into a box. I would highly recommend this for anyone who performs, is thinking about it or just has a general interest in burlesque. You will not be disappointed!
Want to read more about Dirty Martini? links below: