Tokyo Damage Report

gekiteki 8 : burlesque and cabaret

Burlesque is definitely a part of gekiteki – especially when there is rock music and instruments involved! Unfortunately I have no idea of most of the burlesque / cabaret crews in Japan, and no idea of the "lines of influence" between them. So anyone who can help, please leave a comment!


情念 (jounen)

MEANING : : passion
CITY . . : tokyo
ERA . . . :  from 2000???
SOUND . . :  motown / karaoke / cha-cha
CLIQUE . . . :
STYLE . . . : cabaret / comedy
ALBUM TO GET . . . :
THEATRICAL POINTS . . . : choreography, props, audience interaction

WEB . . . :
TDR REPORT . . .: here , here, and here.


The singer is some kind of fetish writer? She always wears her mummy costume, but usually  with some other costume over it. The backup singers do motown or doo-wop dance moves as they harmonize. The music is all taped, not live. It's kind of uh . . . .synthesyzers. But quiet, not dance-y. The lyrics are all comedy things about sex. Not sure if they are parodies of popular songs or what. They play live a lot.

A lot of the "appeal" seems to come from the main singer being clumsy or not being able to really sing. But perhaps that's true of Japanese pop generally?




花巻組 (hanamaki gumi)

MEANING : :  Hanamaki City Gang
CITY . . :
ERA . . . :  2004 ish???
SOUND . . : cabaret
CLIQUE . . . :
STYLE . . . : cabaret
ALBUM TO GET . . . :
THEATRICAL POINTS . . . : props, dancing, audience participation (willing or not!)

WEB . . . : here
TDR REPORT . . .: herrrrrrrrrrre


video (not embeddable) here.

Hanamaki-gumi is more of a traditional, french-style cabaret. They tease the audience and so on . . .hell, I'll just reprint what I said about them when I saw them:


with no warning, A BUNCH OF WOMEN came running in. they had identical silver wigs and granny-glasses, with matching white t-shirts and skirts. . . and were covered in white balloons. They danced around with a big red monster and lip-synched LAWDY MISS CLAWDY (little Richard) while popping the balloons. The grand finale: bowing with their backs to the audience, showing their underwears. Each bloomer had a big letter on it so when they all lined up it spelled 'B-I-T-C-H-(skull and crossbones). '

Then they ran away, only to come back with cheerleader costumes and do basically the same thing. Some amazing queen dragged a 5 foot wide white balloon into the middle of the crowd and popped it, sending goose-down everywhere: the balloon had been stuffed with feathers.

Their third number was some show-tune called 'money money money.' The leader came out with this absurd and nasty red lace outfit with a charming glitter-covered dildo. A two inch long glitter covered dildo!! Everyone else was wearing sequined-up cabaret style costumes. I think the gist of it was, the lady with the 2-incher was trying to pimp them out to the audience: pulling them up one at a time and gesturing for us to look at their sequin-encrusted boobies. . . but at the end they got even with her: they all dogpiled on her and ripped her clothes off. then, out of nowhere a mink coat appeared, and a bowler hat, and the disgraced drag-king ex-pimp turned into LIZA MANELLI. She sang some kind of Liza song, running into the crowd and harassing people. Then the monster came back and they all took a bow.






 デリシャスウィートス (derishasuuiitosu)

MEANING : : : delicious sweets
CITY . . : Tokyo
ERA . . . : 1998~???
SOUND . . :
CLIQUE . . . :
STYLE . . . : cabaret
ALBUM TO GET . . . :
それゆけ!ハレンチ!スットンキョ!』1st Album


WEB . . . :  here

I  don't know what their songs are about or anything else . . . just that they're a swinging-'60s-London-themed burlesque crew.




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1 Comment so far

  1. sephim August 19th, 2011 4:24 am

    This is the sort of thing I think of when I hear "burlesque" and I am glad that it exists in this form because it's far closer to the original style than what is happening in most goth clubs around Sydney which is basically ugly girls in ugly clothes getting naked without any form of class or story or performance and it's just base titillation for fuckwits.

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