A Review of The Rouge Revue – By Jamieson
A Review of the Rouge Revue – By Jamieson
In hindsight, the show of resistance I displayed to starting Burlesque was just that, a show. I felt obliged to at least pretend it hasn’t always been a secret fantasy of mine to be Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge (minus the TB and tragic ending of course). But how do I reconcile such a fantasy with the crippling belief that my body, femininity, and sexuality, are all dangerous parts of myself, best kept hidden to avoid trouble. A belief justified over and over again not only by personal experience/the experiences of countless others, but by a culture that would rather victim blame than face a horrifying, shameful reality. For the better part of 2017, following the incredibly traumatic experience of a man physically overpowering me, I’ve felt it necessary to my survival to be invisible. Invisible through absence at first, existing in almost complete isolation. And when physical isolation was no longer viable, I’d try to be invisible with my appearance and my personality I stopped engaging with the world entirely. I watched myself become small and unrecognizable as a big part of me checked out.
There is a meme doing the rounds at the moment, it says ‘May the last 3 months of 2017 be the plot twist you’ve been waiting for!’ (It seems 2017 hasn’t been a great year for lots of people.) Starting Burlesque with the Rouge Revue was exactly that for me, the plot twist that brought me back to life. Head boss lady at the Rouge Revue is Lady Magnolia (Tenille). Her beauty, femininity, sensuality, matched only by her strength, power, and fierce determination. Seeing Tenille fully own her femininity, shamelessly, and seeing how it only makes her more formidable, has inspired me (and so many others) to start doing the same.
Lady Magnolia is Queen to roughly 40 Burlesque students, of all ages, all shapes and sizes, who instantly welcomed me into the coven with open arms. The vibe is pure love, acceptance, and celebration of women coming together in love and support of each other. These women have become my inspiration, my courage, and my home. With their unwavering support I have slowly started to become more comfortable in my own skin, and unapologetically me. Going to class is like therapy, no matter the day I’ve had or mood I’m in, I always leave with a huge smile on face feeling great. Starting Burlesque with the Rouge Revue was the best decision I ever made, if not a life saving one.
Writing this article, and sharing it with all of you is not something I take lightly, or feel particularly comfortable doing. A quote by Anais Nin (I learnt from Tenille) describes my dilemma: ‘And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.’ So as scary as it is for me to share my experience with you all, it’s even more scary for me to live in a world where the circle of inclusion, acceptance and empowerment doesn’t expand. So this is me extending the invitation to come to the next show, support the incredibly brave women of the Rouge Revue (/become one of these women!), support Rape Crisis (a portion of the proceeds go to Rape Crisis), and come see first hand what I’m talking about- I promise you won’t be disappointed!