Our resident news doll has done it again, and there's a great article over on the student blog SLC Speaks about our little preview event this Thursday! Check out the article here, and find us tonight from 9.30-12.30 in Curtis B. Our doorman will be holding the stairs.
We're hard at work here in circus land preparing for our first event this Thursday, in order to help introduce the Sarah Lawrence community to the world of the Wild Westlands show. The Van Duzer Sisters and their team have certainly got their work cut out for them-it's finals season and everyone's a wreck.
How can we lighten the mood? How about some 20s fun and a charleston? Here's an clip from a vintage documentary about the life of the flapper. Do you know what "Cash or check" meant at a speakeasy? How about the "black bottom"? Take a peak at the fringe and the fast feet!
But it wasn't all black and white...we're mixing tumbling with our charleston, and flights of fancy with our front man's work. Check out this lovely recording of a circus in the same period!
Karen Abbot is a biographer and historical novelist who has most recently written a book on Gypsy Rose Lee. Probably one of the most well-known burlesque dancers, Gypsy was known for her educated and eloquent demeanor as well as her striptease. I've posted about Gypsy before, and mentioned American Rose (Abbot's biography), but I haven't yet read it. If it's anything like the writing Abbot posts on her website, though, I'm sure it's really interesting.
In preparation of our upcoming event (hint hint nudge nudge), I've been revisiting a piece Abbot wrote about Gypsy's relationship with gangster Waxey Gordon. I've always found speakeasies to be fascinating and completely compelling, so I was especially drawn to this story.
I tried watching Boardwalk Empire, HBO's show that takes place during prohibition in Atlantic City, but unfortunately wasn't a fan of Scorsese's directing and only made it through the first few episodes.
a screen-shot from the casino on HBO's set
It's beautifully done though, so I may need to give it another shot. In the meantime I suppose I'll just stick to the history...
...or I could just have a speakeasy of my own.
I highly recommend reading Abbot's article. It's short, exciting, and a great temptation. You can find it on her website here.