Monday, 6 July 2015

It Ain't Ballet? Photographic comparison of Pro-Wrestling and Cabaret

Well then readers, my little artistic dream is apparently going to come true!

I thought I'd write a little blog for those of you who haven't heard me babble at great length about this project I've been nursing for years. BTW this is the very short version of events...

For the longest time I have wanted to produce a photographic study comparing the worlds of pro-wrestling and cabaret/burlesque. As a life-long wrestling fan, and cabaret performer of more than 10 years, I have always been struck by how similar the performance skills involved are - despite the subjects appearing so disparate at first glance.

Both wrestling and cabaret utilise many of the same skills. Physical theatre, visual story telling, crowd psychology, all character driven. Use of music, costumes and other visual semiotics to build characters. Not to mention the overall genre similarities of spectacle, fantasy and escapism. The very obvious difference of choreographed fighting versus choreographed dance leads to an interesting gender politics question. Wrestling could be considered a performance of hyper-masculinity while burlesque/cabaret often deals in hyper-femininity. These concepts are incredibly interesting to me.

With this project I would like to show these two performance genres as valid forms of performance art expression, not just 'low art entertainment'. Both performance genre are open to anyone who has the skills to perform them. No matter your background, body type or performance style, providing you have the ability to entertain you will find the opportunity to perform.I believe this level of inclusion to be one of the reasons fans and performers alike gravitate towards these two genre.

Ultimately, my goal is to present a coffee table book of my photostories along with collected essays and interviews about both genres and the comparison of the two. I would like to launch this book with an exhibition of the images combined with both wrestling performances and cabaret performances. While performances of wrestling and cabaret at the same event are not unheard of (although rare), I believe setting this within a gallery/fine art environment will show both crafts in a new light to a new audience.

I intend to shoot intensively around this subject for the next year or so. If your wrestling promotion or cabaret event would like to be featured you can contact me via twitter @thecherryfox or leave a comment below.

Now while I don't intend for this project to be entirely hilarious, I started pairing images for fun and they amused me so much I thought I'd share them!

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