The ADA (Australian Dental Association) has decided that their choice to use footage of burlesque entertainment from last year’s biennial congress in Melbourne to promote the upcoming Brisbane conference was a “PR disaster”, despite seemingly no complaints from the men or women in attendance and only after amateur, footage of the show was released online.
It is not irregular practice for a burlesque artist to perform at a corporate event – what is irregular is for uninformed coverage of the event to follow it. Opinions being expressed across various media platforms have the vast majority labelling the choice of entertainment as sexist, misogynistic and not in good taste.
What most of these commentators fail to realise is that burlesque is nothing but a celebration of art, gender and sexuality – the essence of today’s contemporary popular culture.
The video in question features burlesque performances by Scarlett, Miss Skopalova and Cassandra Jane.
Familiar with the work of the women in question, I reached out for comment – Cassandra Jane was happy to be interviewed.
As an industry leader and highly-accomplished burlesque artist, Miss Jane’s opinion on such matters are always noteworthy but when the sensationalism created directly concerns her, Miss Jane’s opinion become paramount.
“There were no complaints on the night, just now after someone used the backstage footage of the most raunchy part of two hours worth of acts…it has nothing to do with us as performers as we were amazing on that night, it has to do with the B-grade editor using footage, that of course would upset people…backstage view is simply that. Not meant for anyone’s eyes.”
Confirming the footage being circulated was shot without consent or intent for the public’s eye, Miss Jane also takes issue with the misogynistic references being thrown around.
“Burlesque is women celebrating women, being comfortable in their own skin, feeling alive, feeling powerful, feeling glamorous and feeling sexy. Is it now sexist to feel sexy?”
My issue is not with opinion but a misguided and uninformed opinion that seeks to shame and dishonour without scope or credibility. The views and opinions expressed in the press regarding the burlesque performances at the ADA event are ridiculous, redundant and reductive to the industry and do not warrant cause for concern.
In a nutshell, for me this comes down to a simple case of Misogyny v Philogyny.
Burlesque is a sexualised form of entertainment, often misunderstood, but before you are quick to carve your opinion with your keys, I strongly suggest you take in a show.