Hot Docs 2016 Review: League of Exotique Dancers
Rama Rau’s League of Exotique Dancers attempts to get to the heart behind the fascination with the burlesque industry, while also interviewing some of the most legendary figures of its enterprise.
Tracing a path from the burlesque boom of the 1950s all the way to the contemporary age, and the way its progression would become interwoven with the highs of Hollywood and the smut of strip club culture.
What Rau’s film is preoccupied with, is how many performers deal with life after their time on stage in the spotlight, through which a bevy of past-their-prime icons who give insight and anecdotes about their glory days. There is no contempt to be found here, as these women are brave, feminist figures in their own right, mixing pleasure with morals.
Climaxing at the annual Burlesque Hall of Fame event in Las Vegas, featuring some of the most notorious burlesque figures across several decades of showbiz. This final act is a sight to be seen for itself, and is sure to illuminate and surprise audiences through a combination of impressive set pieces and showing that these women – many of which have not been on a stage in years – are still able to work their magic and demonstrate their integrity.
In short, League of Exotique Dancers is fairly entertaining look at the world of burlesque, and more importantly, shows it in a light that does away with the negative connotations it is often inundated with.