Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society had been cranking out female burlesque performers through our signature program Becoming Burlesque for some time. But now... at long last.. it was finally time to see if there were enough man types out there daring enough to learn how to make it and shake it.
Lo and Behold the first graduating class of Becoming Boylesque! I ran this class with Boylesque champion, Evil Bastard in May of 2009. In just 6 classes we had turned the boys next door into a whole lot more! This was especially impressive considering the girls usually have an extra 2 classes to master their final group dance. They did an amazing job and have gone on to perform this number at a Taboo Revue and at the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival where they received a standing ovation!! Dang boys! Look at you now!!
Choreographing for boys is a whole nother ball game. Especially for untrained (mostly) hetero doods. I had to find a way for them to be able to dance but still look and feel cool and confident and possibly not too silly (at least until the end har har). Because I choreograph mostly for the female of the species, I had to make sure I was utilizing moves that didn’t come across too “girly.” I had to think about famous man dances and dancers and try to find a style that would be appropriate.
Now it was obvious to me at least that we wouldn’t be doing any Baryshnikov inspired pieces (at least not right away har har) and even Gene Kelly style soft shoe seemed abit ambitious for a first attempt at a group number... But then it occurred to me that I had desperately been wanting to do a Motown inspired piece for some time. The boy group dancing of that era would be the perfect fit in terms of simplicity and cool.
My inspiration for the first part of this number came from actual footage of the Temptations. You can see where I blatantly stole some of their moves for the boys. Evil Bastard suggested the second song of “Too Many Dicks” from Flight of the Concords and it proved a perfect contrast to the first song. I often use the ole switcharoo in choreography. First setting up the audience with a slower song establishing character-which in this case were super slick and suave manly men dancers. The switch occurs after they all start to compete for the attention of “My Girl,” and leads to some funny man dancing. As we teach in the class, comedy in Boylesque, is the fastest way to get the audience on your side. It can be really hard for a man to come across as “sexy” when dancing. It can be done, but its alot more challenging. Comedy is in my opinion a very major and necessary ingredient for most Boylesque routines. When you make your audience laugh, they will automatically like you because of it, and your job gets a whole lot easier. Besides, nothing is sexier than a good sense of humor, a dash of self deprecation and lets not forget about confidence!!! I was really happy with the end result and am proud to say that many, if not most of the boys from the class have gone on to enjoy successful performing careers within Vancouver’s Bur(boy)lesque community.
If you are manly or know someone manly who would be great at or interested in becoming Vancouver’s next Brolesque sensation, I will be co-teaching another session of Becoming Boylesque this October. I will be joined by the infamously dashing Boylesque ingenue Teddy Smooth and together.. we will guide... and teach you the electric slide!!! For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The second video is the one I used for blatant move stealing
Here is a link to their performance at the VIBF; they managed to replace dancer AND practice it up to tip top standards all by their lonesomes!! My doves have wings!! *sniff sniff
My adventures in Burlesque Choreography!