What is style? Is it the level of how you entertain others? The flowing of your body from one move to another? Or perhaps your intention and energy shared between you and the audience. Style is one of many aspects often discussed among various performers. Even before you actually meet some producers or performers, in applications they’ll ask for you to describe your style or give a short bio (which often includes performance strengths).
I, for one, am very lost when it comes to describing my performances and persona as a whole. I perform pieces that resonate with me at that time and often it changes from being very political and serious, while other times I go for funny, sexy, or mystically beautiful. My energy goes into every limb as I move, giving my performances a high energy, even during the slow and tranquil moments. For the most part my movement stays similar throughout my routines, but is that enough to “define” my style?
Perhaps style comes from the truth you seek to share with the world. Often at times I have no deep meaning to my routines, even though I almost always describe my performances as such. Sometimes the truth is as simple as “I just want to feel sexy” or “I just want to know how it feels to be an all powerful yet mystical jellyfish queen.” Maybe that’s my “style.” I do what I want to express, and I don’t let any boundaries define how I enact that. I am a chameleon with many colours and I want the audience to truly feel my story, whatever it may be.
Categorizing your burlesque is as unique as the music you choose to perform to. Some people can decide to use their costumes to inspire their biographies, others may pick how they choose music. What I suggest is taking the time to yourself to reflect on each of your routines and how they make you and the audience feel each time you perform. What is the main focus of those routines? Do they share any similarities? Do they change each time you perform them? If you ever record yourself practicing – whether you’re playing with movement and music or rehearsing routines – how does your body move? How does your energy come across? It is the slightest intention behind stroking your arm or taking off your costume piece that will make you unique.
Like anything in life, there are so many ways to tackle defining yourself and your style. Keep an open mind, and don’t be afraid to take time and play with your words and biographies. Myself and many others are still working on ourselves and our writeups whenever we get the chance. So know, you’re not alone. If you need some help, get together with some other burly babes or friends who have seen you perform and have an open discussion. And remember, your style will come one day if not right away. Just like real life, burlesque is about growth and change. Be prepared for your growth and change: and always embrace it.