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sabato 20 novembre 2010

Burlesque. Intervista a Dirty Martini

Intervista a Dirty Martini

1) Come è iniziata la tua carriera –
How did your career in Burlesque styart? Did you perform in theatre before?
I came to NY after completing a college degree in Dance performance and choreography. I devoted my life to dance at
a very young age and when I graduated from college and moved to NY I worked very hard and auditioned for
companies such as Mark Morris, Bill T. Jones, Micheal Clark etc. etc. I couldn't make it past the first cut because of the
shape of my body. I was at the same time looking for some sort of performance that I could make by myself, because I
was working collaboratively in modern dance with a few choreographers and was touring with a multi discipline
theater company. I had to think what my body type was suited for so that my over all look put my dancing into some
sort of context. I had seen some old burlesque reels from Something Weird Video and started studying the movement
vocabulary. Burlesque was kitschy and and glamourous and most importantly could make a very pertinent statement
in the modern day about women's changing sexual identity in our world. I decided that burlesque was the showcase I
was looking for. At that time there was no burlesque scene and most people didn't know what the word meant. I
started performing a fan dance that I developed in a show with the touring company I was working with, Pink Inc. I
added a classic striptease, a tassel twirling finale, called myself Dirty Martini and that was that, I've been a peeler ever
2) Il primo spettacolo importante –
Which was your very important first performance?
My first burlesque performance under the name Dirty Martini was in a small female owned and run theater in NYC.
The audience was very excited to see a variety show and were boisterous. This was the days before the underground
burlesque boom, before there were weekly shows and- to date myself- before the internet was widely used. I had the
privilege to try things and fail - although burlesque felt like a natural progression for me, something that I was trained
to do in a way, so failure never happened. Quite the opposite, people seemed to respond to my performance in an
amazing way. It seemed to be timely and very important in this time of fashion magazines and mass media.
3) I compromessi che non hai accettato –
Did you ever accept compromises ? Is there anything you did refuse to accept in order to get your goals?
The only refusal or recourse I continue to have is control over my image. Now that I have some notoriety I have the
honor of colaborating with some amazing artists both in the burlesque world and in fashion television and theater. I'm
happy to let go of certain things to collaborate, but in the end, I know best what will make sense with my image. It's
the beauty of the burlesque "Do it yourself" motto. The great thing is that when you work with great people, they
understand all of that and make you look better than you ever could all by yourself. It is sometimes a fight though,
especially with television. They think they know what their watchers want to see, but they don't give enough credit to
the intelligence of their audience
4) Il salto al cinema –
What about your last leap into the movie world?
I love to perform in film and theater. I worked in street theater for a number of years and have always done theater
projects and film and television when the opportunity arose. The short improvisational format in film suits me. I love
the challenge of coming up with my own text in a situation. I've always been scared of reading from a script. I have a
documentary out called Dirty Martini and the New Burlesque and I love to watch it so I can listen to my friend's
brilliant interviews. Nothing to date is as big as the opportunity of playing myself in Tournee. It was very exciting to
become friends with Mathieu Amalric and work with that mad genious. That little film made more of a splash at
Cannes then I anticipated. We won some major awards and got alot of attention from the press. It was interesting to
see just how hard it is to get a film seen.
5) Il new burlesque come il punk –
Could the New Burlesque be described as a sort of new Punk movement?
I describe burlesque in those terms only because of how ground breaking it is for women to be seen on their own
terms. Of course, this has and will change with the popularity of burlesque just as it has for the punk rock movement.
But remember back to what a hard pill punk was to swallow for the mass culture and you get an idea of what
performers like me who have been performing in this genre for over 10 years have come up against over the years.
The most pervasive is the influx of male producers. This will bring burlesque away from its roots and it's importance as
a form of self expression for those who have no voice in the world of mass media. However, as a retro fashion show,
burlesque still has power and can still melt the heart. A good performer can bring importance to anything they do as
long as it's thoughful on their part.

Miss Dirty Martini

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