Monday, April 06, 2015

Robert Sheppard: EUOIA: Sophie Poppmeier: Minnie Minerva's Four Acts

You can read about the fictional poet Sophie Poppmeier as a poet of the EUOIA here, and about her fictional alter ego the burlesque dancer Minnie Minerva, and there is a post on her burlesque acts here, with links and videos pertinent to this post. Since she has yet to publish her account of the art, Minnie Minerva’s Book of Marvels, we have only the barest of descriptions to go on, largely relating to the music used for each piece we know of (that I have bothered to invent, perhaps I should say; she might well write some poems based on them).
Là, là, jet e ferai la honte!
Et jet e demanderai compte
De ce corset cambrant tes reins,
De ta tournure et des frisures
Achalandant contre-nature
Ton front et ton arrière-train.


ACT ONE Her best early work includes the ‘Ute Lemper Trilogy’, using the music from her Punishing Kiss album, a 15 minute piece combining the swirling silk sea waves and bejewelled seashell bodice of ‘Little Water Song’; ‘Streets of Berlin’, a mimed drag-king boylesque; and ‘You Were Meant for Me’, in which she confronted the audience with ‘unbridled displays of female desire’ to quote a programme of the time. Here's a video on Lemper's project, her first excursion into art pop music:

 Here's 'Little Water Song' (by Nick Cave):

'Streets of Berlin' is a Philip Glass piece (live): 

'You Were Meant for Me':

ACT TWO ‘Narcotango’ used the hypnotic grooves of Carlos Libedinsky’s new tango (‘Luz y Subi’, ‘Otra Luna’ and ‘Doble o nada’) for her neo-burlesque exploration of intoxication and trance.

 ‘Otra Luna’:

‘Luz y Subi’:


ACT THREE ‘Neveen’s Levee’, which featured the music of Salah Ragab and the Cairo Jazz Band, involved a reverse dressing routine and Oriental dance (and Oulipean play on the letter ‘e’ as a reverse lipogram). Hear this incredible music that so inspired Sun Ra ('cos this was the real thing, recorded in - how could he resist it? - Heliopolis!).

Mimi Amore’s Egyptian Act probably influenced this piece, but it was good to find out the little more there is to know about Salah Ragab. Here's the Egyptian burlesque by Miss Mimi Amore:

ACT FOUR ‘Madame Mallarmé’s Fan Dance’, featuring Debussy’s ‘Poisson d’or’ from Images (Set Two), was the most literary (and least appreciated) of her acts. Here's the sounds; imagine the dance. After all, if Sophie Poppmeier is a Euopean Imaginary Author she is also an Imaginary Burlesque Performance Artist.

Poppmeier's other translator, Jason Argleton, is featured here. An early poem of Sophie's may be read here. See the actual EUOIA poet-translators performing here, with only their language as music.

If you think I'm bonkers with the EUOIA, try Jennifer Walshe's invention of an Irish musical avant-garde with Aisteach (here).