Anthropological look at Burlesque

In the article The Anthropologist in the Museum: What is Burlesque? by the author refereed to as Dustin(oneman) describes being an anthropologist  responsible for an exhibit at a museum about Burlesque.  He talks about the cultural content and history of Burlesque.  He “burlesque as an art form grades into and branches off from a lot of other theatrical traditions, and has been in a state of near-constant change for at least the last century-and-a-half.”  The author describes Burlesque style dancing as a ‘parody’.  The women who stared in shows in the 1920s to 1950s where mostly immigrants or poor.  They were dressed in high fashion for the time in fancy furs and pearls.  They preformed choreographed dances.  It was never about sex it was about entertainment.  Many famous Comedians such as Abbot and Costello preformed on Burlesque stages.  The author compares Burlesque to the adult entertainment today.  The major differences he mentions are “striptease — burlesque dwells on the act of undressing, not on the state of being undressed. The second is humor — the best burlesque should make you laugh like crazy,”  Its interesting to me that anthropology can be used to take apart an aspect of culture and bring it back to life through a museum exhibit.  The author is also able to go through the history and culture of Burlesque.  It impacted the women’s lives they were performers and dancers.  While erotic and scandalously clad for their day the goal of Burlesque was to put on an entertaining and comedic show for the audience.

Source: http://savageminds.org/2012/09/24/the-anthropologist-in-the-museum-what-is-burlesque/#more-8540

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