This excerpt from Dr. Lucky’s Boundless Burlesque Manifesto is my new motto:
I promise to boycott all burlesque that is predictable
that refuses to take chances.
While I appreciate classic burlesque, I believe we have reached a point in this art form where it’s time for us to take it further. I think the new generation of burlesque performers are creative, edgy, witty, and courageous, and it is our responsibility to use these qualities to take our art form to exciting new places.
Please don’t take these statements as a disregard for the beauty, humor, courageousness, and empowerment of our burlesque foremothers (and forefathers). When our predecessors were creating this art form, everything they did involved taking chances. The women of burlesque charmed audiences in ways that they had never been able to do before. They took control of their sexuality and the potential of its power in an era that “valued” women for little more than their ability to keep house and bear children. They were groundbreaking. They were revolutionaries! And I firmly believe that, without their contributions, burlesque performers today would not be the empowered, sexually liberated individuals you see gracing stages around the world.
But it’s time to take it further. We owe it to our predecessors to continue pushing the limits and turning expectations upside down. Let’s see more scripted shows and let audiences see that we have things to say that can’t be said in a 3-5 minute act. Let’s continue to examine how we can mix other performing arts with our own to create things the world has never seen before. Let’s continue to push people to think while we make them laugh and turn them on. And, most importantly, let’s empower future generations to think outside of their boxes and take society in new, unexplored directions they never dreamed possible.
Let’s make the new generation of burlesque just as powerful as the legends to which we owe so very, very much.