Hi ya'll. I'm performing my first burlesque routine in about 3 weeks. Problem is, I have no idea where to start with the choreography. I've got my music (Abney Park's Airship Pirates) and costume design (sort of a neo-Victorian steampunk thing going on) but nothing but a nebulous idea of what to do up on stage. Does anyone have any suggestions for me? I think I'm a little intimidated having to do this on my own!
First off, congratulations! Nothing beats your first performance.
When I'm staging a number, I think about what I'm trying to say from start to finish. I get a character in mind, and then I follow the motivation that ultimately leads to taking off my clothes (a totally drunk chair dance, Big Bad Wolf de-evolving to Little Red, a clown desperately trying to please the crowd, etc..). The general programmatic scheme is gloves/boa/bottoms/tops, with your breasts being the piece de resistance.
Now, this is all guidelines. Don't take anything as gospel. But for your first performance, I would suggest keeping it as easy as possible (and practice taking off your clothes as smoothly as possible), and keep in mind that burlesque audiences are the most enthusiastic and supportive crowds around. Even if you have a "wardrobe malfunction", just smile, play it off like it was meant to happen, and they'll love you even more!
Check out Burlesque Handbook by Jo Weldon. It's available on Amazon and at major and indy bookstores. It has tons of info. It even has a step by step breakdown of a basic routine she teaches at New York School of Burlesque.
I'm so happy and inspired when I hear about other people being brave enough to try out burlesque. Someday I will be brave enough.
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