Sunday, April 05, 2015

Robert Sheppard: EUOIA: Sophie Poppmeier/Minnie Minerva and Burlesque

Burlesque is big in Vienna, where SophiePoppmeier, the EUOIA poet was based, as may be seen here, here, here and here. Her early 'Book One, Poem Three' may be read here.

This is background information for Sophie Poppmeier’s involvement in neo-Burlesque (2000-05, if not later) which was in Vienna and in Berlin (see here), where she reportedly lives.

Neo-burlesque picks up on fin-de-siecle and Weimer Republic vibes. (Probably why I had recourse to Ute Lemper when looking for music for a fictional act for Sophie as Minnie.) Watch Monica di Montebello performing an absinthe-green fairy inspired piece in Vienna.

The nearer burlesque gets to Las Vagas the closer it becomes a mode of strip tease. (See Blaze: here)

The nearer it gets to Britain the closer it gets to the ubiquitous hen parties that clog the pathways and thoroughfares of Liverpool (or Riga) on a Saturday night. But there are exceptions, in both instances, such as the School of Burlesque in New York (see here) which – for example – works with people with disabilities (and ran workshops at the Liverpool DadaFest a few years ago, apparently). 

Here’s the Flamenco piece, Spanish Rose:


Her Egyptian Dance probably influenced my invention of ‘Neveen’s Levee’ for Poppmeier. (See here for videos of this music.)

Lady Lou has a good website with many of her acts on it (here). The ‘Parisian Parasol’ is rather ornate and splendid, seen here and here twice, the first time in Vienna, as it happens,

but her piece, ‘Broken Mirror’ about Body Dysmorphic Disorder, a type of mental illness, a somatoform disorder, wherein the affected person is concerned with body image, manifested as excessive concern about and preoccupation with a perceived defect of their physical features, is of another order of work, though the audience don't seem to be getting it here (which is probably why Sophie renounces this art for poetry):

Pepper Sparkles (here) breaks one of Lady Lou’s published golden rules of performance (about exiting in style and with attitude) when she has to endure a round of ‘Happy Birthday’, but her performance as Matti Hari is rather bizarre (in a good way) and probably influenced my made up ‘Mrs Mallarm√©’s Fan’ for Sophie Poppmeier, who I see more in this mode of operation.  

Here are some tips on how to become a dancer, if you are interested.

See here for the music for Minnie Minerva’s four acts. And here for less exposing EUOIA performances.