Category Archives: Uncategorized

Historietas de burlesque

 

Empezé un serie de posts para la pagina de facebook Burlesque Barcelona, al ser posts cortos también decidí juntarlos aquí.

Hoy empezamos un serie de posts que se publicara cada viernes sobre las Reinas coronadas del burlesque.

El titulo es “Miss Exotic World” y por exelencia ese ha sido y sigue siendo el titulo mas prestigioso que una bailarina de burlesque podia y puede conseguir.

Tiene mas de 25 años de historia, organizada y respaldada por el museo de burlesque Burlesque Hall of Fame, hoy en dia localizado en Las Vegas, Nevada.

Empezado por Jennie Lee de su colección privada de artefactos privados de burlesque y luego llevado por Dixie Evans ya llamándolo “The Exotic World Burlesque Museum”, que luego creció gracias a piezas de donación para preservar la historia de burlesque.

Los primeros festivales hayan sido organizados para recaudar fondos para el museo y para poder ayudar las viejas estrellas de burlesque que lo necesitaban.

El concurso empezó en el año 1991 bajo el nombre “Miss Exotic World Pageant”, primero como un encuentro pequeño en el desierto donde se encontraba el museo antes de mudarse a Las Vegas.

Aqui os dejo con los enlaces del museo y del festival.

https://bhofweekend.com

http://www.burlesquehall.com

1991: Toni Alessandrini

La primera reina coronada como “Miss Exotic World” ha sido la californiana Toni Alessandrini en el año 1991.

Empezó su carrera inspirada por la película de Natalie Wood sobre la vida de Gypsy Rose Lee llego a ganar varios títulos incluyendo Miss World Burlesque en 1980.
Ha salido en varias películas entre 1980 y 1996.

Me ha costado encontrar videos de ella, pero aquí la tenéis con su tributo a Dixie Evans.

 

1992: Catherine D´Lish

Una “Miss Exotic World” realmente excepcional, porque no solo ganó el año 1992, pero en el año 1994 también.

Os presento a Catherine D´Lish.

Una auntentica veterana, mejor amiga y mentora de la mismísima Dita von Teese, diseñadora de vestuarios exuberantes y artista aun activa y divina hasta el día de hoy!

Lució en el escenario de teatro El Molino de Barcelona en el 2011 para el primer festival de burlesque de Barcelona.

 

1993: Alexxx Marvel

El titulo de “Miss Exotic World” en el 1993 se lo llevo Alexxx Marvel, tristemente de ella se sabe bastante poco, no he encontrado ni fotos, ni videos…

Así que avanzamos al año 1994, cuando de nuevo ganó Catherine D´Lish, según fuentes este año Dita von Teese se retiró de competir al enterarse de que Catherine iba a competir.

 

1995: Pillow.

La reina coronada es Pillow.

Empezó su carrer en 1976., una chica de Alaska,luego conocida en circulos de body-building como “the She-Beast” era una verdadera pionera del genero.
Contribuidora de la comunidad y el museo hasta el día de hoy. y una de las primeras artistas de contemplar el sub-genero “nerdlesque” o “geek burlesque”.

Os dejo un video mas viejo, pero por youtube podéis ver videos mas nuevos también.

To be continued…

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The inside of it all – impostor syndrome and the constant self doubt

I am all support and good words when I teach, I tell you there is no impossible, just go on try and be persistent…

BUT…

Inside of my head lives a voice, a very cruel and crazy kind of a voice.

A voice that with the passing years only gets louder and louder, telling me all kinds of things.

I am a rare breed of girl, that has no problem with her body or her looks, nobody can touch me with that, I am beautiful and my body rocks, it is my honest opinion, just like that. Kaboom, I know that since age 14 and 3/4…

Yet, if it comes to skill and talent and art…

I hate myself deeply, so deeply, it makes it terribly hard to work with me sometimes, or it used to be, because I learned to cut the crap and shut up and only leave a side comment about the fact I am NEVER content with my performance.

I get off stage and the first thing you hear is how shit I did, how floppy my feet was, how I might have skipped a move, or did not extend enough my knees.

At best I watch my videos and I nitpick my “cara de culo” face expression…

What do I think about my career??

That I was just very lucky, that people hired me before figuring out how untalented I was…

That when I began I was ignorant enough to not know how terrible I was, because if I knew…

That nobody is banging on my door for bookings, because they saw me being terrible and would never give me another chance to proove otherwise.

That my flexibility is shit, I am blind to see any of it.

That an aerialist who cannot do a “lavadora” or the kind is just worth nothing.

When I was in the Molino I had days, when a single facial expression unraveled in my head like this:

Woah, the señor must be a retired circus genius and gives this face thinking, “god what does this girl do here!?? She has floppy feet, shit face and bad technique, her acting is terrible, while other artists are without work and are a million times better…” and go on and on…

When a professional friend comes and says it was lovely and clean, I think she is being too nice and just doesn’t want to sink me to the bottom of depression, but really thinks how I should not be on that stage. Yet, when I get a comment about bettering my act I get deeply depressed and full of doubt about everything.

I cannot see my marvelous stage presence, I only see shitty facial expressions and bad port de bras all over, half moves and awkward positions…

Oh and btw, Im over 30 so I am old to even begin with don’t even mention being a mother.

Every success is drop of nothing while every fail is a mountain falling over me.

Right now I struggle to even create a sequence for a video of pole dance.

I am blinded by the perfection of the instagram fake.

My April pole competition was an epic kind of a fail (Exotic Generation Italy), I literally froze and every obstacle just made it worse. I cannot stand being judged and compared like that.

 

 

Interdisciplinary

Amongst all my many disciplines I always thought how one scene could learn some little thing from the other so here I specify that…

 

Burlesque

Well, burlesque has a lot to learn, I mean let´s just start with dancing. Learn  to dance, go to class, don´t just put it in your bio (professionally trained dancer). I wanna see burlesque DANCERS, not graceless chicks trying to sell the smoke… Learn from strippers, seriously, and then have the minimum of decency of not calling a million year-old strip club move your signature trick/peel please.

Other skills too, although I was quite a sinner with this myself, I debuted after solely 3 months of aerial hoop classes, but I kept on going and almost ten years later I am a solid professional, so learn your skill, don´t just walk around with a fire stick on your hand.

Interpretation, well let´s just do something more than generic pouting and pin-up face please, I hate to see the same faces, especially if it does´t even fit your face structure… (the reason I avoid pouting by all means, really, I just get that terrible porn/blow-up doll face)

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Circus and dance

Learn to be glamorous. Yes! The unfitting costume bought from the fetish store 20 min before the gig just doesn’t quite make it… I mean maybe you don´t need to invest 5000€ in every G-string, but a couple hundred in a single costume that you will be using for years on end pays off. We are professionals in the end.

Make up, please use it.

Pole dance

The ART, the interpretation, please!!! We are getting too technical, too fitness, too competitive. I mean in pole dancing there is always some trends around, but honestly speaking it is only every now and then that I see acts that truly touch an artistic level of  interpretation I wanna see, or a conceptual act, the majority is a very technical display of the pole dance skills. I also blame this prudish approach of trying to dismiss all stripping from it, I mean you need to be in almost underwear, so if you wanna interpret Marie Antoinette you are in quite a trouble without taking off one thing or another…

Pushing towards how much SPORT it is… DUHHHHH!!! I mean we are at a point where we try to call circus ARTISTS athletes and all, and how in the old days these great athletes were not recognized properly… bullshit!

Don’t you dare calling me an athlete, I do ALL the training for my art, thank you very much.

If these great artists we athletes there would have gone to the Olympics and not the circus, end of story.

Fin

Burlesque scene or drama class?

Finally publishing a piece I wrote like a year ago…

Whatever happened with theee good old days when you only had to deal with your arch enemy getting all the shows by sleeping with whomever she needed to sleep with??

Yeah, I am starting to miss that time.

I broke up with Facebook, because I could not any more with allll the drama, lies and frauds of people going on in this “scene”…

The UK mod, khm I mean scene

Did you notice, that if you are not from or working (burlesquing, as I wonder to what extent we could call hardly payed gigging work) in the UK, you literally like as if you did not exist?

The bandwagonism

Like stoning in the middle east must be like. One starts and then comes the gang of the fans… So much for forward thinking and own opinions and ideas.

Self promotion like nothing else

The best, the most, the biggest, the brightest, the veteran (this term I love so much, that actually I use it my pole dance bio), the most glamorous, and so on… I mean sure, a press release is a very professional asset, but if I call myself the queen of England will that make me?

Lack of true criticism

2017. and still none can call shit by its name, and none can deal with even the shadow of criticism…

The “Fantasmas”

This is the way we (Spanish speakers) call people who seem to be it all online…

Festivals, Awards, etc.

Nothing to do with celebration of anything for years, I think it was as early as 2013, that I started to feel pretty hostile from application processes to dressing room behavior. (See awards in an older post of mine.)

Pornification

Lou on the Rocks mentioned this first in her blog, I just add, that when it gets too much tits and ass in that good old siliconed and porned up way, I hit the unfollow button fast.

Overcomplication

A femme representing cis-woman… In a discourse about gender issues it is a completely fine specification, but in general use, girl, why the need?

I could or even might go into further detail on another post, but here I just had to let the steam out.

The social media machine

Well, I broke up with humanity a couple of months back (maybe over a year ago)… Well, with facebook (as you already know), which nowadays feels quite the same…

I could not handle the amount of fake, people put out there, honestly…

Fantasmas, burlesque drama scene, idiots, politics, cronic disease maniacs, people who just can’t handle their drama offline, etc.

Soooo I switched to instagram

a.k.a

The vending machine

Seriously

(I find even straight ads more prominent on instagram, because of the sizes I guess)

Success is whatever “K” of followers, not an actual gig, noooo, but people drooling over their phones “buying” into your fake reality…

I got sick of it right after the major depression and forthcoming artistic crisis it caused me… (yeahhh, it is still little insecure me here)

I thought first, woow so many talented aerialists so many things to learn, soooo inspiring!!

Yeah, just fuck that positivity for a moment…

Same virtual reality, more virtual than reality.

10 videos of marvel a day…

Do you work? Do you have a life? But, most and foremost, when do you train for real?

My point…

I have a family, a life, a pole studio (Insent the ode to self employment here…), a household and when I train I have no time for the perfect 15-45 sec video or the perfect pose… or finding the perfect quote for my perfect picture…

When I train, I have a limited amount of time to make the most of it, no time to set up tripor find the angle and sadly noone to do the footage for me either, less time even to spend on editing all this shit together…

But enough about me.

Let’s talk some instatruth

Caption:

just here hanging out in some hashtag oversplits, wearing my hashtag whateverfitnessbrand clothes, oversplit inspired by hashtag oversplitlady and hashtag evenmoreovesplitterylady, sipping hashtag whichevermusclebrand…
hashtagamillionhashtag keepitreal Ohh and do not forget that from next month you can buy my tutorials from hashtagtutorialsdotcon and sureitissafetolearnacrobaticshathomealonedotwhywouldyoufalloffthatpoledotcom

Do you see how much marketing is smashing you right in the face, while you die of envy and simultaneusly click on evenmoreoversplitteryladys profile in hope of her giving private classes via skype making your zero flexibility into superoversplits in a month or even better in an hour? (let’s forget the perv drooling over another phone, becuase in 10K there are pervs)

Im pretty sure loads of people do it for the instant gratificacion kinda sake of it… (which is something I do not see or feel, not like a donut, sugar rush, happiness, you know)

lovely but tiring, Wearing… drinking… eating… enjoying… farting… and puking…

Everybody intends to sell you something… and if not, then it is just dumb…

Stalkers rewarded, big brother crying

image

George Orwell must be seriously turning in his grave these days… (if you don’t know please google)

Stalkers are scary, yet we put out everything and are more confused when people are not stalking us online!!!

Remember the word “INDUSTRY”

Well, when food turned into an industry we know what happened…
So in one way, it is great that fashion picked up something as healthy as fitness, pole dance and aerial, but there is a BUT.

We need to start to be a bit more cautious with everything and use our comon sense and brains before committing suicide out of the unhappyness the “success” of others create us. (such that sounded very jaded, but be honest…)

We are facing a whole isdustry of selling whatever can be sold, so be careful on the limitless space of fantasy called istagram.

Burlesque competitions

This post was meant to be part of my “Award winning and critically acclaimed”, but I decided it should be a separate entry to bash the burlesque scene and burn down my shakey bridges all the way… *sarcasm*

Burlesque competitions

At the beginning I was so keen on these. Finally a chance to become that award winning performer I always wanted to be and stop being that *jaded bitter joy crusher* I have been from the very beginning…

I did two World Burlesque Games, the Milan Burlesque Award, an Aerial Silk national competition and a pole dance competition and became very, but very disappointed with competing as a whole…

Why?

In some cases the results were just premeditated in others just unfair, but never fully fair by my scale… (you know Im very critical)

My side:

My skills, my sweat, my tears, my bruises, my hours, my imagination, my costume making were all beaten by, well…. burlesque…. just burlesque…. sometimes pretty mediocre burlesque…

Someone shaking her titties in a rather cliché classic burlesque act vs. all that much more.

At my last WBG, I closed the night, and brought the house down, but I was not worth of being among the actual 5 acts (for 3 spots) that were given prizes… (here I need to say, that  I had a wee tangle at the splits, but that could count on a professional aerial competition not on a burlesque one… and I also insert that among the awarded there were also mistakes or “malfunctions”)

A badly executed split overruled the aerial oversplit in 5 meters…

But hey, I can go home and cheer up by struggling on to find the next gig, the next contract, while the part time performer goes home to the cushy fact of having another income and polish her prize and get a new body harness to be a little bit more like the others…right?

Categorize me

There is no proper category for a circus act in a burlesque competition, you are the odd one out eternally. At WBG I was constantly put in the international category which by the way had the most performers, while the Twisted Crown went with around 5 performers, so draw your own conclusions from there.

Proper circus vs. Circus themed burlesque act

Do I have to explain HOW disrespectful it is towards circus? You actually value in this case the “expensive” copy more than the original. A girl prancing around in a clown suit more than a performer that has some tiny thing to do with circus, like spending here LIFE there.

Story time:

You see, even I had a story with this, back in 2010 I was preparing my black clown act, a caracter based aerial hoop act ,and you bet the caracter was a clown! I was working with Chris Bull and Loco Brusca, so who better than this two to ask for advice, right?
Well, I learned a lot there. Chris got a rant on the topic that he almost made me cry, literally. I expected some nice advice and I got this massive rant about how NOONE who is not a proper clown should even put on a clown nose! Then Loco was a lot milder and just told me to do whatever I wanted, so I went on preparing the act, but maaan that rant just opened my little ignorant eyes about loads of things.
We cannot just say pick something up without consideration,  this is what all the cultural appropiation debate goes around about in fact.

Should we all do whatever we want?

Absolutely!

Should people get more praise for an imitation than for the original or authentic?

Not quite sure.

(So here imagine in parallel a performer with whatever different than white racial background doing an act in her grandma´s  traditional costume, honoring the ancestors, etc. vs. a full blown stereotypical/childish/stupid imitation and then the imitation getting the praise and the prize)

At the Milan Burlesque Awards things did went so far, that at the end I could hardly look my friends in the face, because of how I felt by the results and various circumstances.

For the pole dancing competition, while disqualified for wardrobe malfunction, I failed to realize, that whatever I was to do on that stage it was organized by one school and that school always had its own ideas. So it was literally said out “she would have come out second, if that malfunction did not happened” I mean, really? because they only saw 1/3 of the act struggling with my top, jeopardizing the whole choreography.

My aerial competition was railroaded (by my teacher, who was the organizer, too) from the beginning, so I ended up unprepared. From constantly telling me how my music was not right, to all other details upcoming the competition. I also failed with my the preparation of my big drop…

At the end,the music I brought first for my act, ended up the music of many acts choreographed  by my teacher for other students, and the drop and other tricks ended up becoming the signature tricks of other students. (Note, those tricks were not mine, but at the time fairly unseen.)

 

Reckonings over flexibility

Flexibility! Oh flexibility!

Are you on instagram?

Yes?

So apart of the insanely talented aerialists, that flow lika awwww and make up new moves as you blink, you also shove the flexibility success stories in your own face daily?

I bet you do!

So forcibly maintaining all the positivity…

You are not alone! Dear unflexy friend!

So here is : chick with a before picture of outofthisworld flexibility and *insert waytooshort timespam* and after picture of pictureperfect contorsionism…

and you, working your shitty little oversplit for like, the last 5 years…

Then everybody telling how you should try new methods, or that you might not work hard enough blahblah…

Well…

You are not alone my friend in the club of the stiff as a steel bar.

I started stretching at age 18, I was stiffer than a stick…

Obviously I had no idea how to do it, but this way I got till age 24 with at least some crappy splits…

Then came circus in my life and massive amounts of stretching… proper professional, good training, assisted by professionals…

I spent years stretching almost daily, in fact my rountine was 6 days a week, until I found Dasha, with her I managed better results with only deep sretching twice a week…

Anyway, pregnancy break, baby break etc.

I am pretty sure I am not the only one enviously looking at these success stories, that even put ‘oh I worked so hard for this…’ well, yes nobody really just gets that flexible (except maybe for Miguel, he was just born with an insane talent – now you ask who is Miguel, right?)

Point is:

You are not alone!

Dear unflexy friend!

I have worked my ass off for the last ten years (more or less intensely) to be flexible, in fact, if I neglect flexibility training I lose it so fast it is miserable.

and yes I want to better, and so I am all over the place with the resistance bend stretching!

Goal:

I would so be happy with my toes steadily touching my head, not just once in a while and upside down…