Subscribe to my full feed.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Striptease or Stripping? The Bare Facts

Burlesque or StrippingBurlesque died when all-nude clubs became the norm starting in the '60s. What was striptease - emphasis on the tease -- became just stripping.

But burlesque troupes have been popping up around the country to satiate appetites looking for bawdy and naughty, but not filthy, live entertainment.

There is a lot more to the striptease than people might think, said Corey Ruffin, of the Super Happy Funtime burlesque show.

"One of our most famous dancers, LaLa Vulvaria, she did an Oscar the Grouch striptease for the last show. Two garbage men brought out a garbage can, put it in the center of the stage, the song kicks in and she busts out looking like one of those Kewpie doll trolls, massive wig of green hair and a unibrow, and just throwing trash everywhere.

"And people love it. One guy said to me, 'I forgot it was even about striptease. I was just laughing ... at the theme and interpretation.'"

In the last five seconds of the act she's "almost naked," Ruffin said. Which means pasties -- two dots of fabric, sometimes with tassels -- and short-shorts or bikini bottoms.

The dancers have other talents. The Vivacious Miss Audacious is a "hooper" who works with special stage hula-hoops.

"I bring the hoop up and down, play with it off my body, and I also incorporate striptease within that act," she said. "It's not about taking it off. What it's about is the tease."

To those who would call it sexist or obscene, she answered: "It's about really celebrating that everybody is beautiful for whatever quirks or body types, as long as you're up there just workin' it and fully exuding your potential as a vibrant sexual being. That's what's so exciting about it.

"Women love the show, sometimes, almost more than the men," Miss Audacious said. "They can be more vocal about it, hootin' and hollerin'. Sometimes the men can be more timid, especially if they're coming with their significant other."

Hoot away -- the dancers love it when the audience reacts, Miss Audacious said. It's just good, clean fun.

"Yes we may be bawdy, but we're not lewd."
By Mark Wedel

No comments: