Bloor Cinema Release: League of Exotique Dancers
By John Corrado
★★½ (out of 4)
Following a group of aging burlesque performers, who still retain their sex-positive attitudes even as seniors, League of Exotique Dancers, the recent opening night film at Hot Docs, provides a fun alternative history of the women’s rights movement.
Although using their bodies and mostly performing for men, these dancers all consider themselves feminists, having found self-empowerment in being able to provide for themselves and make a living, at a time when there weren’t many other jobs for women.
They share engaging stories about what was happening in their lives during their careers, and where they are now as they prepare for a hall of fame performance in Las Vegas, viewing burlesque as a forgotten type of performance art that essentially disappeared with the rise of pole dancers and adult movies.
The talking heads and archival footage approach of the film is pretty standard, and it can grow a little repetitive and overlong, even at a scant 90 minutes. But the subjects often make it all come alive, and League of Exotique Dancers is a fairly entertaining celebration of the golden age of burlesque, that is worth seeing just to hear these delightful and empowering women tell their stories.
League of Exotique Dancers is now playing in limited release at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. Tickets and showtimes can be found right here.