• Manila’s budding burlesque scene

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    Karen Kunawicz

    Karen Kunawicz

    Burlesque: 1 an absurd or comically exaggerated imitation of something, especially in a literary or dramatic work; a parody 2 A variety show, typically including striptease.

    Finally, the seeds for a burlesque scene in Manila have been planted and an outfit called Dopeloco has been able to produce a trio of shows titled Eyes Wide Shut Burlesque. The event description says it is the “first masquerade themed burlesque show that invites you to journey into a world of beauty, art and mystery inspired by the Stanley Kubrick film.”

    I was able to catch the finale aka the last of the three shows for this series earlier this month. They had a short Q and A at the end of the performance where the producer revealed they were expecting an audience of about 30 people for the first show. What happened was they filled the big room at A Space and went on to add two more shows.

    The Eyes Wide Shut Burlesque starts off with all guests being asked to show up in semi formal wear and to don a mask. Once you are masked and stamped, they give you a password allowing you entry into the performance space.

    The first act consisted of a rope / shibari / kinbaku artist in a suit knotting and tying up three women and attaching them on a suspension rig. One girl on one rig and two together on another. As the music played on, the rope artist changed the permutations and poses on the suspension rigs.

    After that, a series of various strip tease performances on a basic but somewhat gothic set followed. The women’s outfits (corsets, fishnet stockings, lacey see through skirts) were mostly black save for perhaps the odd pink skirt and the black and white menswear; the lighting was either red, blue or green the furniture was dark colored. The soundtrack for the entire show was great and I should get in touch with them about the playlist tracks.

    Two of the dancers and were male and when it came to the female performers—you saw the producers were there to celebrate the variety of sizes, shapes and heights the female form comes in.

    Some may have considered the show a bit rough still—but I had a great time and consider this a great start for the Manila burlesque scene. The day after this show, Manila started a six session burlesque course and due to such a positive response to the Eyes Wide Shut shows, pop up burlesque performances have been held at Finders Keepers. In June, a new show with a new theme is expected to roll out.

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    Oh and just some of the movies opening today: The Hunstman with Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth—for this franchise it’s goodbye Kristen Stewart and hello Jessica Chastain and Emily Blunt, and for those who haven’t had enough of Gal Gadot, there’s Criminal. See “Popcorn Match” below for the synopses.

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