Home / A&E / Classical Music / Bra Burner

Bra Burner

Dance Preview

Jan. 21, 2009
Google plus Linkedin Pinterest

"I'm actually sitting on my couch researching bra burning right now," says Kelly Anderson, choreographer for Danceworks' upcoming The Bra Project. "In 1968, underground radical women needed a target. The Miss America pageant was live on TV, so they showed up in Atlantic City with a 'freedom' trash can for lipstick, girdles, bras and other 'items of torture.'

"They even had a goat dressed up," she adds. "I can't include a goat! I wish I could. Point is, no bras were burned. A New York Post writer compared (the idea) to burning draft cards. He called them 'bra-burners,' even though no bras were ever actually burned.

"But we're going to use lots of bras in the show," she continues. "We collected 591 so far-all donated. So one exciting point: You could come to the performance and see your bra. Some old men bring them in, too. It's so cute. I've got a shell bra, a coconut bra. One set is pink and furry with matching hat. We'll be using them as props, and costumes. The remaining bras will be quilted and raffled off [for breast cancer survivors and education]."

Danceworks calls the production a "revealing history," where dancers "bust" out new moves. What should attendees expect to see? Other than, well…bras?

"Men, for one," Anderson says. "Ironically, Danceworks now has three men. It's a record. And it just so happens we're doing a show about bras. But they're really physically strong, well-trained, multifaceted dancers. It's an honor to work with them, and nice to have a man's viewpoint sometimes."

In describing the dozen pieces of the show, Anderson says: "It's going to be…very varied. Some are more campy. There's kitsch. It's a colorful show, and very pop-oriented. There are short interludes; gathered stories, dealing with a specific aspect or small tidbit of history. It's very human; touching issues every person can attach to or identify with-like men taking off a woman's bra for the first time, and how vulnerable that is.

"It's hard to stray from props," she concludes. "Turning the physical into something abstract is difficult. And 'the bra' is a broad topic. You're talking about the history of an item… It's so, so vast. But it's exciting to develop and experiment with-fun, too. It's amazing the movement you can get with a simple bra."

The Bra Project runs Jan. 23-Feb. 1 at Danceworks Studio Theatre, 1661 N. Water St.


Are you upset by the way the NFL and the team owners have treated Colin Kaepernick?

Getting poll results. Please wait...