Burlesque – not what you’d expect!
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Well that was fun!
I went to watch the World Burlesque Games last night, with competitors from India, Portugal, Italy, USA, France and Canada. There was a lot of Bettie Page being channelled in the audience and staff, dozens of pushed up bosoms, girdles, and slappings of make up and general vintage sauciness.
The common denominator for the competitors was, of course, that they all got their tops off (knickers stayed firmly on), but what was amazing was that, watching, it wasn’t so much about the bodies (they were all shapes and sizes, and wobbly and ‘normal’) but about personality and creativity. That sounds like the kind of lame thing middle-aged men say when they’re trying to justify Spearmint Rhino, but honestly, I’m serious!
Those who had a talent like singing or acting, or others who created drama through costume and dance, and perhaps most importantly, who had a good sense of humour, won on the night. Burlesque seems very British to me in that sense – more Barbara Windsor than Brigitte Bardot, more saucy seaside postcard than X-rated magazine, and all the better for it.