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"Burlesque" - it's not burlesque at all

"Burlesque" - it's not burlesque at all.

Perhaps a better title would be "Broadway"? Last Wednesday saw the much anticipated release of the film Burlesque starring Christina Aguilera and Cher in the USA. The film is due for release in New Zealand on 11 January but even before the film went into production, many in the burlesque world were questioning its integrity, including the figure head of today's burlesque scene, Dita Von Teese

Now it is on public release, the consensus from burlesque legends through to amateur performers is that the film is nothing like true burlesque Burlesque legend Tempest Storm, once Betty Paige's stage partner and girlfriend of Elvis Presley was about to sue the film's distributors, Sony Pictures, for making her life story into a film without her permission. Upon seeing the film, however, she has decided it bears no resemblance to her life.

So what is real burlesque and how is this film going to be perceived by the public? On 17 and 18 December, Angie Pontani, crowned Queen of Burlesque by the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, will be starring in MissChief Events Presents Naughty n Nice at the Auckland Town Hall This is the perfect opportunity for the public to see the true form of burlesque performed by one of the best performers on today's scene. The show will also feature New Zealand's most successful performers including: Busty La Belle, winner of Miss Burlesque New Zealand 2010, Rachel Rouge, a component of the UK burlesque scene's revival and myself, Miss La Vida, recently returned from performing at the New York Burlesque Festival.

Betsy Sharky from the Los Angeles Times suggests the public "Think of Burlesque as one ginormous music video theme party thrown by Christina Aguilera, with Cher in the house, plus boas, bustiers and dancing girls and about a thousand humongous Broadway-style showstoppers." As a performer and producer of burlesque I think people should see a live show performed by bona fide performers then see the film in January and judge for themselves.


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