Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pasties and a g-string

Burlesque covers a range of genres- troupes, duos, solo artists, cabaret. Political satire, classic bumps and grinds, veiled Salome's wafting across the stage and fringed dancers twirling their tassels.
But what connects us is the element of tease and the signature reveal to pasties and a g-string.
Some dancers I have performed with are reluctant to perform in pasties, others, have no problem with baring their breasts.

I fall into the latter option, although, for the first six months of performing in 2007, I remained remarkably clothed and demure. 
Remarkable to me now, but at the time, Hobart was experiencing its first taste of burlesque and I was frequently facing the task of explaining that we were not working at the local Mens Gallery but, we are strippers...
My first pair of pasties were feathered and bejewelled, the size of young blackbirds. The second pair were used in a neo act,  nude with large red pom poms for nipples. 
I then graduated to smaller pasties, sequined, rhinestoned, feathered and be- ribboned- tassels were neglected until 2011... due to concerns over helping gravity win over my bust line.

Pom Pom Pasties

sequined and be- ribboned

Along with the pasties came g-strings, my frilly knickers banished to a top drawer. 
I succumbed to the realisation that rather than feeling self conscious, wearing less  gave me confidence and a further element of tease. 
Miss Kitty's Meow, a Hobart burlesque troupe, produce many events in Hobart, they also perform at events that require them to tone down the flesh. On these occasions, they perform a Boston version, tease without the strip.
Although I have discussed this topic with fellow performers in the past, it was coming across this blog entry on the New Orleans Burlesque Festival blog that got me thinking about the importance of pasties and a G-string- although the G-String has since been reduced to a merkin, again, adding an extra layer of tease for an audience that anticipate the last reveal.
Excerpt of an interview with Jo Weldon. 
Link to full blog at the end.

I've come across women who want to perform in burlesque shows, but don't want to strip down to pasties or a g-string. Is there room for them in burlesque?

I have to teach on TV fairly often, and I'm able to convey some of the movement and style of burlesque without going that far. However I think pasties and g- strings are what ultimately make burlesque so remarkable. It's the only performing art in the world which striptease plays a part. Why leave out the thing that makes it unique? The other elements-- sexiness, satire, etc.-- are all available elsewhere

Jo Weldon talking to Rick Delaup

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