unicornconspiracy

Asexualitiy and Burlesque Dancing

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unicornconspiracy

I'm not sure where to put this, but here seems like a good place. If there's a better place for it, let me know.

 

So I'm in grad school right now getting writing my proposal for my final thesis. I've been doing various projects on burlesque and neo-burlesque, as I'm a big fan of it. I'm also asexual. The whole idea of neo-burlesque is a celebration of who you are and your body - so it's not necessarily a sexual performance art. For a while I've felt like I'm betraying my asexuality by liking burlesque, but that's because burlesque is seen as such a hyper-sexualized performance art, even though it doesn't necessarily have to be. Burlesque accepts all orientations and gender, it just tends to focus on the celebration of being a woman, so it's automatically seen as sexual (because women are sexual objects, yada yada, I could go on about that).

 

Long story short, my professor has charged me with choreographing an asexual burlesque.

 

My research question right now is: "How can asexuality be celebrated in a hyper-sexualized performance art (burlesque)?"

 

I'm asking for view points and thoughts from other aces (or anyone, tbh). None of this will be included in my thesis, so it's not a formal interview and don't worry about being quoted or anything. I'm just curious about opinions from other aces!

 

Thanks guys!

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Xenobot

First thing that comes to my mind is incorporating a full length mirror or mirrors that the dancer uses to admire themselves and to convey that their sexuality needs no one else in order to be real, and beautiful, and valid. The audience is acting as a voyeur to a sexuality which doesn’t truly involve them.

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roland.o

Asexuality is not the absence of sexuality, but the absence of sexual attraction. I like Xenobot's suggestion to point that out.

 

16 hours ago, Xenobot said:

incorporating a full length mirror or mirrors that the dancer uses to admire themselves

An experienced dancer would not need mirrors to feel or reflect on their body. But having them as a way to express the idea to the audience is fine.

 

16 hours ago, Xenobot said:

The audience is acting as a voyeur to a sexuality which doesn’t truly involve them.

While a performance is always directed at the audience, this point could be emphasized in some ways. Let the dancer look straight at the audience, or directly at individuals, during explicitly non-sexual movements or poses. But avoid eye contact, or maybe even facing the audience, during sexual movements or poses?

 

Then again, eye contact does not imply attraction. Facial expressions could be used to communicate "I'm performing for you, but I'm not in the least attracted to you." I guess an important point is to avoid anything that would be interpreted as "seducing".

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GLRDT

I don't know. It's interesting because if you don't want to be seen as sexy by others or have the burlesque dance come across as sexy I'm not sure what you should do but I like the idea listed above about the mirrors. I think if you enjoy being sexy and confident and strong for yourself in that way, then that is every bit celebrating you as an asexual person than denying that part of you. Asexual people can feel sexy and like to look really good or attractive, but they don't  necessarily want to sexually attract anyone or perhaps they DO want to attract them for flattery reasons, but still don't actually want sex. And that's ok! If you like being sexy for whatever reason, you can do that without betraying your asexual side. There are many ways to be a person and have an orientation. If your confidence is then viewed as something other than a confident performer enjoying themselves then that's on the audience. Nothing you can do about someone thinking you're sexy or not.  Also perhaps you don't like feeling sexy even for yourself or really don't want the dance to be portrayed in that way. In that case keep brainstorming and getting ideas. The mirror one sounds like it could make a really cool  and original burlesque dance.

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QueenOfTheRats

I was an exotic dancer for years and I don't feel it in any way negates my asexuality.  Actually it was probably an asset because I never felt the need to go home with any of the customers.

 

Nothing wrong with appreciating dance.  It can be a real art form. One of my favorite modern burlesque dancers is "Miss Mosh." Look her up!

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AmeliaMichelle

I have actually heard things like 'there's no touching in a burlesque', which I think of as an asexual way to express sensuality.

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