An Analysis Of Burlesque

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Over the course of instruction, I have gathered an understanding that Burlesque differs from other kinds of strip-tease in it’s humor and current commentary, sometimes specifically on social or political situations. The theoretical portion of the performance was the most entertaining part--the performance portion was a bit more difficult for me. As a sexual assault survivor, on-stage vulnerability (particularly involving the removal of clothing) will always been a challenge for me, but incorporating my feelings about those kinds of situations made the exercise more plausible. While any commentary on physical sexual assault is a long way off for me, other components (specifically verbal) are still a source of tension among society at large.…show more content…
Despite quite literally being a cat-calling song, bating a woman to to “slow down” so he can “get to know” her, the piece of music itself utilizes rolled harp arpeggios, strings with damp reverberation and ethereal vibrato, and a lovingly layered vocal harmony (Wilson). On the surface, it doesn’t seem to be more than a sweet, wooing piece of music. However, immediately after telling the female target to slow down, Valentino proceeds to say “don’t turn around, ‘cause that pretty round thing looks good to me,” misogynistically valuing her rear end even more than her face (Wilson). However, Valentino, believing his behavior is complimentary (as the cat-calling persona does) proceeds to walk back his buttocks comment by admitting she’s the loveliest woman he’s ever seen, later asking the target to face him. “Turn around,” Valentino coos, “and bless me with your beauty,” (Wilson). While asking to be blessed with beauty is much more kind than some other phrases with similar meaning, it doesn’t dig the piece out of it’s anti-feminist hole--the line itself, in context with the rest of the objectification, is almost pandering. In a personal context, I have loved this song since I was a little girl, firmly believing that the trifecta of Bobby Valentino’s Slow Down, Mario’s Let Me Love You, and Baby Bash’s Suga Suga (How’d You Get So Fly?) were necessary components for any courtship ritual my future husband would…show more content…
However, for the last few weeks of the course I came down with a nasty head cold that prevented me from continuing to develop that performative aspect. When realizing I couldn’t speak out loud, I began to turn to ASL. Generally as a performer, my goal is to become a musician that caters specifically to the deaf community using vibrations, visual aspects, and ASL to create entertainment that is accessible to everyone. To start this endeavor, I completed an ASL minor at NYU and have begun to incorporate it into my artistic work. Realizing the parallels between the association of silence between the two communities--women, who often stay silent when being pursued/who are ignored when they try to speak out, and the deaf community who, because they do not speak out loud as we do, is often overlooked--I decided to incorporate American Sign Language into my performance. As a verbally silent, but visually engaging communication form, ASL is concept centric rather than vocabulary centric. In short, it is more grammatically correct in a lot of circumstances to show what you mean rather than piecing together a sentence that has more grammatical resemblance to English than ASL. Visual intent and facial expressions command a lot of power and guide the meaning in ASL, so I used those things to show the grotesqueness of the cat-caller over the
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