Netflix Recommendation: “Burlesque: Heart Of The Glitter Tribe”



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Posted June 16, 2017 by

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Of the many things that make Portland one of the most unique cities in the U.S., one is certainly the amount of adult entertainment. The strip club scene in Portland is an undeniable calling card, in a city full of them. There is something for everyone, from a strip joint that showcases its steaks as much as its dancers, to one that boasts stripper/customer interaction with Sunday night “Stripparaoke”. But, there is also another, less “In your face sex”, form of erotic dance thriving in Portland. A group of burlesque performers from the Portland area are highlighted in Jon Manning’s new Documentary “Burlesque: Heart Of The Glitter Tribe”.

Choreography, costumes, and comedy are all a part of the performance art, that is as much liberating as it is glamorous, for these performers. Manning splices together footage of various acts and dance numbers, with intimate interviews with each performer. The interviews vary in tone. Performers like Zora von Pavonine and Sandria Dore’ talk about how they got their start in burlesque and the emotional aspect of the liberation that came with it, while boasting beautiful costumes and physically demanding dance routines. On the flip side there is Babs Jamboree who, while somewhat stealing the show, explains how she came to focus more on a comedy sketch style of burlesque and how the stage is the only place where she has the time and opportunity to feel so feminine (her day job involves hard, outdoor work). Each persona is intriguing and unique, and their honesty in opening up about their art is what held my interest.

It’s not just ladies though. There are also men dedicated to the art, who find their own freedom of expression through burlesque. In one particularly moving interview, Isaiah Esquire describes his troubled youth and how burlesque allowed him to become the most real version of himself. Manning gets a great variety of stories and emotion on screen, and as a result “Heart Of The Glitter Tribe” is another great documentary about a largely underappreciated subculture. Sure there are a lot of tassels and sequins, but the heart of Manning’s film is the people behind the costumes and the wonderful family they have created. “Burlesque: Heart Of The Glitter Tribe” is now on Netflix streaming so, if you are looking for a good documentary this weekend, I suggest checking it out!




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