Friday, December 9, 2011

Letters from the Tech Desk

By Soundscrat, Audio Ninja, DSI

Recently, I had a conversation with a local burlesque producer about different types of burlesque in Boston. She mentioned to me that people think burlesque is burlesque, an art form that, when viewed once, simply changes on a theme. My response to that was a short story: 

I work with some students at a university, where a dance team is putting on a burlesque-themed show. Granted, it’s a large club on campus, and must do all-ages shows as part of their charter. When I was asked by a student to consult on the show I refused. I did so on the grounds that the world I choose to take part of in Boston is a varied and demanding one, both technically and artistically. I sent an e-mail back to the student including a list of YouTube links to show the range of what burlesque really was, and to show that what they were looking to do was not real burlesque in my opinion. 

A group of dancers in "revealing" clothing is simply a dance routine in costume -- a recital to show off the talents of the dancers. This is what the students are putting on. 

Burlesque is much deeper, and much more varied, especially troupe to troupe. As a technician, I keep in mind the specific goals and designs of each troupe when approaching their shows.  For instance (and these just a few)

Axe to Ice
Axe to Ice, through Bent Wit, put on a cabaret with a burlesque twist. Their shows truly bring a great many artists, from many walks of life, into an collaborative environment.  They string many unrelated acts into a cohesive show through comedy, video, music, dance, striptease, and performance art. 

Rogue Burlesqu
Rogue Burlesque ties story lines together through troupe and individual skits spotlighting the talents of individual members, as well as inviting other troupes to perform as guests within their shows. Rogue likes to spotlight amateur and up-and-coming performers, and seek new talent and new looks while defining their own role in the market. 

Black Cat Burlesque
(photo by Caleb Cole)
Black Cat Burlesque explores the darker and more twisted side of the human psyche and sexuality through the burlesque of its performers. This group likes to take dark, twisted, and even toilet humor to a whole new extreme while still being visually stunning and sensual.

The Glitter Bomb
The Glitter Bombs is a new troupe that brings a hip-hop base of dance style with group performances, and pop and hip hop music with burlesque teases and choreography, adding an urban beat to an old art. 

Babes in Boinkland
Babes in Boinkland looks to bring sensuality and well choreographed modern and ballet into high- energy dance routines. 

The Slutcracker
Sugar Coated Productions brings highly polished, high-production-value shows of political or philosophical nature to the main stage. This group produces shows such as Slutcracker and Beaver. The former is a burlesque ballet (as a start), while the latter is a grotesque of the modern political structure through a scripted musical intermixing stand-up comedy, burlesque dance, and theater dialogue.

Each group does "burlesque." However, seeing one group does not mean you have seen it all. Much in the way having seen a modern dance show does not mean you have seen Alvin Ailey, experiencing only one of the many flavors of the art in Boston does not expose yourself to the amazing smorgasbord that is Boston burlesque. 

As burlesque gains popularity and traction in Boston, I hope the general public can gain a taste for the genius and truly remarkable art that is created, and gains a thirst to experience the many flavors coming out of our region, and eventually the same love of experiencing the craft that I feel every time I stand behind the console and look out over the talent I am blessed to be a part of on those stages. 

No comments:

Post a Comment