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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Burlesque Instructional DVD: Hot Moves for Cool Chicks

learn bulresque dvdFirst and foremost: NOT AT ALL a workout DVD. It's more of a 1:1 introduction to performing burlesque. If you're looking for a workout, look elsewhere. If you're looking for a burlesque routine that you can memorize, look elsewhere. If you're looking for a slightly amateurish (but it works) workshop/demo on all things related to burlesque - how to make & alter costumes, how to pose, how to walk, how to bump & grind, how to develop a character/act, how to twirl pasties (several variations in the extras - worth the price right there!) - then you've found what you need.

I appreciate that Princess Farhana is not a petite, size 2, gym bunny. She's a real woman with real curves - who knows how to work her look, and a crowd, to her advantage! I happened to see her live, late in 2007 (Margaret Cho's show), and though smaller than in the video she was still a "real woman" (size 10/12?). The video also includes snippets of many other burlesque performers, showing the wide range of body types and performance styles... truly showing that, with practice, anyone can pull off this style of performing.

Princess Farhana demos various moves (starting poses, ending poses, walking off stage, posing for your body's best look, teasing the audience, how to hold & work a boa, accessory removal, clothing removal, moving during the routine), all with variations, but there is no CarmenElectra-esque "oneTWOthreeFOUR" routine and practice. She simply shows the moves - it's up the viewer to practice and combine them into a routine. But the instruction is thorough and real-world-practical (be careful when tossing clothing that is heavily beaded or the beads may break off; if you use velcro fasteners, make sure you never allow the clothing to come near your legs or you can be sure the velcro is going to snag your stockings; replace traditional bra hooks with coat/pant hooks - they're easier to locate and unhook; etc.).

At the end of the chapters, Princess Farhana combines a variety of moves into what must have been, at that time (2005), her standard/trademark routine - showing them both as a basic run through and then, again, as footage from a live performance.

While this isn't something I'm likely to watch more than a couple times, I thought it was a great "insider tips" reference guide - and appreciate that it includes lots of links to websites, books, and additional resources. I will definitely refer back to this DVD when I want to fry somebody's brain with a sexy, yet campy, performance.

As a workout vid: NO WAY
As a fun "insider's tips & tricks" guide to performing burlesque: A+

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