Burlesque on the big screen

Burlesque, as I’ve known it, is a dance form ripe with gender play, body reclamation, and audacious creativity. The burlesque of Chicago-based troupe Lickity Split, San Francisco performer Lotta Bootay, and others is characterized by women claiming full agency in their own sexuality–however strange, stereotypical, or salacious it might be. So you can imagine my “uh oh” when a friend recently sent me this trailer:

So. Torn. For the record, I have a real serious crush on Christina. I definitely didn’t take to all that genie in a bottle crap, but when she stuck a hose between her legs and egged on the boys in that one video, and then told every human being they were beautiful, I swooned. She’s fierce and a little confused and I like that. And Cher? Holy shit, Cher. If she can’t keep things a little bizarre and wonderful, I don’t know who can.

But I fear, even despite the incredible duo of Cher and Christina, this film might take burlesque back to its less radical roots, where men called the stage shots and it was all about stereotypical beauty. Say it isn’t so.

Thanks to Kate for the heads up.

Join the Conversation

  • http://feministing.com/members/bumblebecky/ Becky

    This movie isn’t burlesque. There is NO strip teasing at all. It’s singing & dancing.
    I do burlesque and am planning on not spending money on this movie. I’ll wait for Netflix watch instantly, thank you very much.

  • http://feministing.com/members/owleyes7/ a

    *sigh* giving out boners is totally liberating! Also, this idea of “body reclamation” is utter bullshit. Dancing for men, in traditionally submissive manner is NOT reclaiming your body; it’s actually doing the opposite. Feeding into the patriarchy and finding empowerment from pleasing dudes is not liberating and it’s certainly not ‘owning’ your body. burlesque is whole-heartedly un-feminist in that it expects women to look a certain way, a way that men have told us they preferred us to look for decades – barely dressed and acting like we want them ALL the time. Sorry to burst your fun-feminist bubble, but feminism is about more than prancing about in panties and blowing men kisses, actually it’s not about that at all. When did patriarchy become something to be encouraged rather than destroyed? I mean, if you like burlesque then go ahead but don’t lie about it.

  • http://feministing.com/members/reni/ Reni

    After viewing the trailer, it just looks like another Showgirls. *shrug*