Burlesque Dancer Twerks To Beethoven, Which Is As Amazing As It Sounds
October 20, 2013 4:53 PM   Subscribe

Michelle L'amour performs "BUTTHOVEN'S 5TH SYMPHONY" [NSFW: WIGGLING B'THONGED BUTTS - LOL]

The artist's website can be found here
posted by Blasdelb (54 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
That's some muscle control right there.

Also, the bow tie right on that part of the butt would annoy the crap out of me. Then again, nobody wants to see my butt attempt something like that.
posted by xingcat at 4:55 PM on October 20, 2013


If only this guy was still alive to perform the music.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 4:57 PM on October 20, 2013 [7 favorites]


I don't know why this makes me laugh so hard butt it does
posted by airing nerdy laundry at 4:58 PM on October 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I expected Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:58 PM on October 20, 2013


I expected Leck mich im Arsch.
posted by hydrophonic at 5:07 PM on October 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


That would be an odd future for Wolfgang
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:09 PM on October 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


Bum bum bum buuummmm...
posted by suprenant at 5:15 PM on October 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Gosh, it would be nifty if it loaded for me.
posted by Samizdata at 5:18 PM on October 20, 2013


Worked in Chrome though, so I could see what a complete ass she made of herself.
posted by Samizdata at 5:22 PM on October 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


You know what happens when you twerk too hard?
posted by pxe2000 at 5:25 PM on October 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


The bow tie makes it classy.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 5:28 PM on October 20, 2013 [10 favorites]


Impressive muscle control, but I find that, in the end, it added nothing to the undergirding musical experience. In the genre of interpretive butt dancing, one could contrast this earnest but unsatisfying effort to the sublimity of the "Surfin' Bird" performance from Divine's birthday party in Pink Flamingos, which literally alters the understanding and relationship of the audience to the music in a way that cannot be forgotten and actually immortalized a forgettable piece of music; here, the Butthoven performance is fundamentally flawed, as the end only follows the means, the performer takes a back seat to the music, and the dance can be seen only as hindering rather than rounding out the experience.

(On preview, the bow tie does make it classy.)
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 5:30 PM on October 20, 2013 [18 favorites]


This was funny, but I still don't 'get' burlesque.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 5:45 PM on October 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


The bow tie in back makes it classy; the cummerbund in front makes it art.

I was initially skeptical about what was obviously a one-joke act, but as we watched here I realized I was perfectly fine with Michelle L'amour taking the joke as far as she wanted to take it.
posted by Spatch at 5:47 PM on October 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Something something Classical Gas
posted by Awakened at 5:50 PM on October 20, 2013 [9 favorites]


Something something Air on the G String?
posted by mean square error at 5:56 PM on October 20, 2013 [7 favorites]


Okay, pretty much anything I say in this thread will be eponysterical so I'll just say hi.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:06 PM on October 20, 2013 [21 favorites]


Well, how cheeky!

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

She's got amazing butt control. I am impressed!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:10 PM on October 20, 2013


She's got amazing butt control. I am impressed!

One could expect no less from "The Ass That Goes POW!" Proud to call her a fellow Chicagoan, my critical comment above notwithstanding.
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 6:19 PM on October 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


The longer I watched the video the more it looked like a dancing disembodied butt that no longer needed the rest of a human attached to it and the only creatures in the world are jiggling dancing butts and I got a bit disoriented.
posted by medusa at 6:24 PM on October 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


am i the only one who thinks that technically this isn't twerking?
posted by cristinacristinacristina at 6:32 PM on October 20, 2013 [16 favorites]


Nope, you're not.

I'm starting to think I don't know what twerking actually is.
posted by Salamander at 6:45 PM on October 20, 2013


Does anything involving even moving an ass at all get called twerking by white people now? Because this, while tier 1 entertainment, is not even loosely related to twerking.

Compare to this until no longer confused.
posted by emptythought at 6:46 PM on October 20, 2013


Can she do this song?
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:03 PM on October 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


In the genre of interpretive butt dancing...


I love this place.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:09 PM on October 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, though this is certainly an impressive display of...uh, assmanship, it is definitely not twerking.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:11 PM on October 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I thought this added great deal of emphassis to a timeless classic
posted by oceanjesse at 7:13 PM on October 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh that's why they call it clASSical music!
posted by oceanjesse at 7:14 PM on October 20, 2013


Fantasstic!
posted by oceanjesse at 7:14 PM on October 20, 2013


Lady's no hip third-wave-feminism-approved sex-positive tumblr hero, but there's way better ass control here by my reckoning (along with actual twerking in a video about twerking).
posted by schroedinger at 7:18 PM on October 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ms. L'amour's performance is to twerking as Giselle is to the Chicken Dance.
posted by islander at 7:20 PM on October 20, 2013


It is worth noting that the artist herself did not characterize her own asswomanship as "twerking." Just to avoid a derail over nomenclature. Bottom Line: Please think before you come in at the tail end of this discussion to crack wise.
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 7:23 PM on October 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


Uther Bentrazor: "This was funny, but I still don't 'get' burlesque."

Sometimes it is fun to watch people take off most of their clothing in a theatrical way.
posted by Gin and Comics at 7:28 PM on October 20, 2013


This was funny, but I still don't 'get' burlesque.

Strippers who think of themselves as above stripping.
posted by xmutex at 7:31 PM on October 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Strippers who think of themselves as above stripping.

I get what your are saying, xmutex, but I question whether it is really fair to the burlesque show experience. I've only seen a few burlesque acts, and I've been to more strip clubs than I probably should admit to in writing, and they are not the same experience, by intention or result. Burlesque shows tell stories, include real humor, have knee plays consisting of silly men, and generally are not just about sex (but most certainly are about sex). Burlesque also is about allowing the women performers to control and express as little or as much "raw" sex as they want. The goal of these performers is to be liked by the audience as human beings who - yes - are sexual (that's the point of the nudity), but are also somebody you would like to talk to. Strippers are just about the sex; the content of their 1st Amendment speech is "I am sexy, look at this sexiness." Also, strippers do lap dances and provide a personal service to their clients that makes them fall within the orbit of "sex worker" in a way that burlesque performers do not. Much "legitimate theater" includes acts that are far more sexual - and sincerely so, without a wink and a nod - than the typical burlesque performance (I've seen my own Mrs. JiLS and many acquaintances do some highly sexual stuff as "legitimate" actors.) I am not saying that there is anything wrong with a performance being just about the sex (I actually think there can be a lot very much right about that), but the work done by strippers working in 21st Century "gentlemen's clubs" with Champagne Rooms and lap dancing is qualitatively different from what burlesque performers are doing, which is a stage show offering a witty engagement with the sexuality of the audience without directly skewereing it.
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 7:45 PM on October 20, 2013 [14 favorites]


Ms. L'amour's performance is to twerking as Giselle is to the Chicken Dance.

Her performance is amusing, but I would argue decent twerking is a good deal more difficult.
posted by schroedinger at 7:48 PM on October 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


There is no sitting on a chair in twerking.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 7:54 PM on October 20, 2013 [7 favorites]


"Decent twerking" (a phrase that you may well have been the first person in human history to have used) is apparently athletically demanding but I would argue that it lacks the fine motor skills demonstrated by Ms. L'amour.
posted by islander at 8:23 PM on October 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


The audience was so rudely loud I couldn't enjoy the music. Now I understand what frustration it must have been trying to see The Beatles at Shea Stadium.
posted by sourwookie at 8:26 PM on October 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Decent twerking" (a phrase that you may well have been the first person in human history to have used) is apparently athletically demanding but I would argue that it lacks the fine motor skills demonstrated by Ms. L'amour.

You really think so? Have you seen twerking outside of whatever the hell Miley Cyrus does? Because people who twerk very well do not only display those motor control skills, but they do them way faster, standing up, while the rest of their body is also moving in time to music. No, they don't have a bow-tie attached to their ass and it isn't done to Beethoven in front of a bunch of people drinking craft beer and dressed in steampunk outfits, but that doesn't change the fact it's pretty damn impressive.
posted by schroedinger at 8:38 PM on October 20, 2013 [11 favorites]


I'll admit to not being quite up to date with the twerk scene but must reiterate that I find, at bottom, that Ms. L'amour's performance has a certain subtlety and sense of humour that escapes me when I see a twerking performance.
posted by islander at 8:50 PM on October 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thank you, schroedinger. That video moved me. And you are absolutely right.
posted by Trinity-Gehenna at 9:29 PM on October 20, 2013


Next up: Bolero.
posted by Pudhoho at 9:58 PM on October 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was told there would be twerking. And there was no twerking.
posted by MillMan at 11:45 PM on October 20, 2013


Now do G-Spot Tornado.
posted by steganographia at 11:47 PM on October 20, 2013


That is indeed some awe-inspiring cheekwork.

But someone needs to come out and say it: her timing isn't so great. If she was better locked with the music this would be really impressive!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:30 AM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


"But someone needs to come out and say it: her timing isn't so great. If she was better locked with the music this would be really impressive!"

I thought the same thing, for the same reason as you, and wrote something but decided not to post it. Because, the thing is, as a drummer/percussionist from an early age and an arguably OCD-related almost constant tapping and rhythm-making, coupled with irritated teachers who forced me to find numerous ways of doing so silently ... I can do what she does, but a lot better.

But far less attractively. I mean no one would ever want to see me flex my ass-cheeks that way. Seriously.

For this sort of rhythmic isometric muscle flexing, I mostly use my quadriceps (front thighs), but I also do it with my calves or the back of my thighs and occasionally those glutes. Testing it now, I can only manage sixteenth notes at about 100bpm with my quads, much faster with my hamstrings (back thighs, sextuplets at about 100bpm), and with my gluteus maximus muscles I'm about as fast as I am with my quads, but that's more than fast enough to do what she's doing and with much better timing and with much less aesthetic appeal.

The main (nearly) silent thing I do is with my teeth. I can pretty much do anything with my teeth I can do on a snare, except rolls, which I simulate with a circular gliding teeth-against-teeth motion that sounds "white noisy" in my head. But the largest, slowest motion I do — which is clacking all my teeth together as lower-jaw against upper-jaw — I can manage sixteenth notes at about 120bpm pretty much continued indefinitely. And sextuplets at that tempo with side-to-side, lower-incisor against upper-incisor motions. I do the teeth thing a lot because it's complex, sonically dynamic beats that I can hear very well but other people can't. And you really can't see that I'm doing it unless you observe me closely.

Don't even ask what I do with my fingers. That's much more obvious — there are four of us who were high school best friends and we're all drummers. One of them worked professionally for a long time. And they have always been kind of amazed at my finger tapping. I also tap with my fingers on my chest (breastbone) because of the great resonance, and on my skull, because it's silent to others but I can hear it very well.

Please don't make fun of me. There's been a couple of times in the past with related posts (like the pencil beats one) where I've written a comment like this and erased it. I feel sort of ridiculous talking about it. But I've never come across anyone else who does anything like what I do with my teeth and, more generally, makes rhythms almost continually, and definitely more than a little compulsively, with his body like I do. But what makes it notable also makes it sort of embarrassing and ridiculous.

I'm outing myself because, honestly, what she does in this video sort of amazed and frustrated me because it's pretty much what I do, which I've never seen before, except that I wish she did it better. But, you know, her act is as much about her burlesque showmanship as it is anything else, that her musical chops aren't that great is really not that important.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:00 AM on October 21, 2013 [11 favorites]


This video made me think of Mike Judge's dystopian fantasy. And here we are...
posted by charlemangy at 4:07 AM on October 21, 2013


Thanks, Ivan.
posted by Hobgoblin at 5:39 AM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Now do G-Spot Tornado.

In a thread of butt jokes, I am about to lower the tone.
Your comment made my mind think of this dance.

Because I have a dirty mind.
posted by Mezentian at 6:01 AM on October 21, 2013


Ms. L'amour's performance has a certain subtlety and sense of humour that escapes me when I see a twerking performance.

It's funny how the notions of "highbrow" refinement being burlesqued can be immediately reproduced in their reception.
posted by umbú at 7:33 AM on October 21, 2013


Also, not to take away anything from this young lady's performance, but they did something like this on Monday Night Raw about 3 years ago.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:40 AM on October 21, 2013


The women are all laughing and jeering, the men ... utter silence.
posted by danmartin at 8:41 AM on October 21, 2013


This was funny, but I still don't 'get' burlesque.

I think it strongly depends what burlesque you're watching. About 5 years ago, I used to go to a burlesque night pretty regularly in London; it was a fantastic mix of circus (modern and traditional), live music, vicious satire, filthy jokes, innuendo, and all-round good clean fun. Campy sexiness was a frequent theme, but almost never the sole focus. Over the following two or three years, burlesque was mentioned more and more in Time Out and similar city guides / lifestyle magazines as a risqué night out. Presumably for this new audience, the club started including more and more burlesque-style striptease, until there were no other acts. The women (and it was only women, the last couple of times I went before giving up hope) never went past their thongs and patsies, but now it really is just a strip club for people who want to think they're watching ironically. From what I hear, the same story can be told about many burlesque/cabaret nights around the UK: lots of people suddenly wanted stripping with a veneer of cultured irony, and the clubs adapted for the new audience.
posted by metaBugs at 9:40 AM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


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