Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ursula Martinez' Striptease Olé!



A couple of months ago I came across this video entitled Hanky Panky by Anglo- Spanish artist, Ursula Martinez while surfing the web. I did not give much thought of it until today when I got a copy of the video in my mailbox this morning sent by a friend who in turn got it from another friend.

And last time I checked, ABS- CBNNews has now jumped into the bandwagon.

Give it to the Filipinos; whenever there are gossips, scandals and what have you in the world, we are always right there on top with the rest.

You see, I have watched Naked News before and I found it funny in a way and can’t understand the fuzz it generated when it first started several years ago--the hype as well as brouhaha coming from some sectors.

Anyway, the novelty of doing a striptease while reading the news on TV is gone and with only a few exceptions, people still prefer watching the traditional way of delivering the news on TV (that is with clothes on) rather than watching attractive anchors stripping down to their birthday suit while awkwardly reading news of bombings in some far away country. And so the Naked News did not take off quite as expected by its proponents.

Who is Ursula Martinez and what is this Hanky Panky thing that I‘m talking about?

She's not only an award- winning artist/performer but an author as well who is not afraid to show off her 40- year old body as part of her show and thereby created in the process "a new theatrical genre" according to some of her admirers.

Some people will find the show offensive while others will laud it for its creativity. Some will despise her onstage exhibitionism while others will just laugh at her antics and at the same time marvel at her well- toned body.

But stripping onstage in the name of art is nothing new, remember that the avante- garde revue Oh Calcutta which started Off Broadway and then eventually found its way to the Great White Way years later had a very successful run and at one time, became the longest running play in Broadway history.



Some people will ask where is the boundary between art and nudity, of being tasteful and obscene or the difference between downright trash and a gem?

Surely, a lot of people will have different answers and opinions. It will be a never- ending debate between people with different views, beliefs and convictions.

But to me, it all boils down to the individual and the distinction of what we see as beautiful and ugly will always come from the eye of the beholder.

Here’s what I got from Ursula Martinez’ website---

She sets fire to her tits, interrogates her parents, re-defines class, blurs fiction with reality, cures homosexuals, gives birth to penises, tells autobiographical stories, deconstructs performance and sings South London suburban flamenco - from high brow to low brow, from spectacle to confessional, from live art to light entertainment, Ursula Martinez produces solo and collaborative performance for theatre, site-specific, installation, cabaret, night club, film, television…… birthdays, weddings and Bar mitzvahs!


And here’s a brief synopsis of the Hanky -Panky “Striptease” from her website--

Hanky Panky is a five minute choreographed magic strip-tease. The act uses a simple disappearing handkerchief conjuring trick at its core.


Martinez enters stage fully clothed. She performs the trick and the hanky disappears. It reappears from her jacket pocket. The jacket is removed. The hanky disappears again and reappears from her skirt. The skirt is removed. During the course of the act, Martinez continues to make the handkerchief disappear and re-appear from her various items of clothing, which she then removes.

Finally Martinez is completely naked. Once again she performs the trick and the handkerchief disappears. With a grand finale flourish, Martinez retrieves the handkerchief from a truly magical place?


So, Watch the Video at your own risk!

video

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