Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Lili St. Cyr

Born as Willis Marie Van Schaack (I can't imagine why she changed her name) in 1918, Lili St. Cyr is a burlesque performer I especially admire because of her sheer determination. Unlike a lot of girls, she didn't magically become a legend overnight, neither was she born with a wealth of opportunities. She had to beg her club manager to let her do a solo act after years of ballet training. She self-choreographed all her routines and eventually decided that the big money was in nude performances, so, being the entrepreneur that she was, she set about becoming one of the most recognised star in striptease at the time.
At the end of her trademark dance, a stagehand would pull a fishing rod attached to St. Cyr's G-string. It would fly into the balcony and the lights would go dim. This famous act was known as "The Flying G".

As far as causing controversy goes, she was dubbed the most famous woman in Montreal but the Catholic clergy stated that whenever she danced "the theater is made to stink with the foul odor of sexual frenzy."She was arrested and charged with behaviour that was "immoral, obscene and indecent". She also wrote a book, appeared in films, and after retiring, opened a lingerie business.
Lili clearly followed the rule, "If you're going to do something, do it properly", which is a rule I live by & consequently why I admire her so much.

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