In the world of burlesque, three women discover what it means to express themselves without shame, but in the process they collide with persistent (pre)judgements. There is a taboo on sexual self-expression, both within ourselves and in society. And when you cross this invisible boundary, there are consequences.
For the performers, burlesque is a ritual in which they free themselves from shame. They express a side that is pushed away in everyday life. Dance, theatre and striptease form a provocative act that often tells a personal story. Through an alter ego, they push their own boundaries and thus those of the audience.
Waves of Burlesque discovers what drives or holds them back. We follow Sofia La Notte, who takes her first steps in the world of burlesque while still having to convince her surroundings; Bustie La Tish, who hides burlesque from her work despite her activism; and Mechteld Geesing, who was summarily fired because of a lingerie photo in Panorama magazine.
Unfiltered, they show themselves; freed from shame. The performers are strong on stage, but in society they feel the opposite.
After the film, the audience will be able to enjoy a real burlesque performance, brought to you in collaboration with Amstelfilm, Labyrint film, and produced by Fae Fortune.
About the speakers & performers
Since its very beginning, Lady Marmalade (a.k.a. Margo van de Linde) has been at the forefront of the Dutch burlesque scene. She has been MC of many burlesque shows, guiding performers and audiences on a process of sharing and connection. Grabbing everyone’s attention with her use of words, Lady Marmalade is a talented spoken word artist. In the documentary, we not only see her on stage, but also hear her spoken word as we journey through the film.
Fae Fortune is an Amsterdam based burlesque performer, dance teacher and event producer. Burlesque was an important part in her own personal journey of self liberation, and now she helps and witnesses other people transform as they take their first steps. She loves experimenting with moves, props, dynamics and events, this is why she is always starting new acts and projects.
Hannah (she/they) is a creative on a journey of sensual freedom through self and community empowerment. She finds importance in looking at these topics through the lens of anti-racism and decolonization. This is why she loves to create queer and BIPOC centered spaces to help support others on a similar journey.
Colina van Bemmel
Colina is an independent filmmaker and artist. To her, film is a way to shine a light on subjects that have been hidden in the dark. Burlesque and sexual expression seems to bring out strong reactions in people, which she wanted to explore in her film ‘Waves of Burlesque’. We all have inner and outer judgements, but where do they come from and how can we move from there? The documentary has been a journey which Colina wants to share with others. Not just with the film, but also by creating space for conversation and connection.
MC Creamy Roger seduces the woo out of an audience, with a combination of spoken word and tease. Together with Fae Fortune he produces burlesque events, experimenting with live music, pole dancing, theatre and club nights. From his anthropological background, Creamy tries to capture the essence of burlesque in the fairytales they produce. If a show is the cake, Roger is the cream on top!
Exploring the extremes of femininity in her acts, My All is walking her own path through the world of neo burlesque. Known for her layered acts and costumes, she is not afraid to tell a personal story to the audience. My All fell in love with Mathilde Willink years ago and felt this iconic woman deserves a stage. Mathilde Willink was wife and muse of painter Carel Willink and known for her out of this world couture outfits, colorful make-up and big hair. Her personality was even bigger. Incredibly smart, emotional and fearless. When her big love Willink decided to cheat on her, her fairytale ended.
Only 39 years old, Mathilde was found dead in her bed, shot in her head. Was it murder or suïcide? Mathilde’s death remains a mystery.
Bustie La Tish
Amsterdam’s larger-than-life burlesque star, Bustie La Tish has taken her powerful acts all across Europe in the past 10 years. Bustie is part of the Amsterdam drag house of Hopelezz, and produces the feminist shows PUSSY GRABS BACK! and GOSH! (a Good Old Sexy Happening), bringing together showgirls, drag artists and other performance artists in a joyful and political adventure. She also produces the monthly Smut Slam Amsterdam, Amsterdam’s only community dirty storytelling open mic.
Known originally as the first woman and not to forget, the first femme fatale, Eve will use her charm, looks and performance to seduce you like a siren does to the poor wicked fishermen at sea. Get ready for the alluring fantasy of burlesque and to be surprised when she gets on stage, you’ll never know how much you’ll see. 😉