The Oberlin Review

A Look Behind the Scenes: Choreographing Physical Intimacy

A Look Behind the Scenes: Choreographing Physical Intimacy

September 13, 2019

 As a younger actor, I remember times when I sat across from the actor playing my romantic interest, each of us stumped by the next line in the script: “The two share a passionate kiss.”  “Let’s skip that part,” I’d suggest, timidly. While it’s possible to side-step around this stage direction for the first few weeks of rehearsal, the moment inevitably comes when the intimate scene must get staged. In my experience, what follows has ranged from giggling teenage awkwardness t...

On the Record with Dizzy Fae, R&B Artist

On the Record with Dizzy Fae, R&B Artist

September 6, 2019

Dizzy Fae is a rising R&B artist from Minneapolis. At just 21 years old, she has shared the stage with an impressive list of musicians. Shortly after graduating from her performing arts high school in 2017, she went on tour with pop icon Lizzo. Since then, she has also performed alongside artists like Kehlani, Toro Y Moi, and Jorja Smith, and at 2019 World Pride in NY. Last Friday, students packed the Cat in the Cream to watch her perform as part of the New Student Orientation Week series.  Th...

Indie Singer-Songwriter Anna Burch Gives Poignant, Intimate Performance

Indie Singer-Songwriter Anna Burch Gives Poignant, Intimate Performance

May 10, 2019

Detroit-based singer-songwriter Anna Burch gave an intimate performance at the Cat in the Cream Tuesday night as a stop before her show at the TREEVERB Music Festival in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on June 1.  Burch has been a part of a few folk-rock bands in the past, one of which is Frontier Ruckus. Her stab at the indie-rock genre is a stark contrast from Frontier Ruckus’ banjo-twanging songs, more personal and ambitious territory for Burch. Her song demos — which she wrote after finishing gradua...

Seniors Strip for Final Time in OBurlesque Performance

Aly Fogel, Staff Writer

May 10, 2019

Last Wednesday, the Cat in the Cream was packed with students chatting under the venue’s familiar twinkling lights, nibbling on cookies, drinking tea, and anxiously waiting for their peers to come on stage and take off their clothes.  It might seem unconventional, but shows like these have become a celebrated tradition at Oberlin over the past four years since Oberlin’s own burlesque troupe, OBurlesque, was founded.  Burlesque is a style of performance that is broadly satirical, parodic, and theatrical in nature. The term usually refers to strip routines in which the dancer plays at sexuality through exaggerated character routines or comedic bits.  “So basically, the classic burlesque is kind of old-...

Ariana Grande Should Not Be Your White Queer Icon

Aly Fogel, Contributing Writer

May 3, 2019

 A couple of months ago, I wrote an article for the Review about queer tropes in the music video for Ariana Grande’s song, “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored” (“Ariana Grande’s Music Video Perpetuates Queer Stereotypes, Tropes,” March 8, 2018). Writing under the assumption that Grande was straight, I criticized the video for utilizing Grande’s kiss with a girl as a “plot twist.” This portrayal, I argued, fed into a common trope that delegitimizes and fetishizes queer women. The article was written a month after the video was released, prior to any sign of Grande coming out. Then, at the beginning of April, Ariana released a song titled “Monopoly” with her friend Victoria Monét, who is bisexual....

“Ana La Habibi” Explores Arab Identity in America

“Ana La Habibi” Explores Arab Identity in America

April 19, 2019

Two men stand around a record player, listening to the dreamy voice of Lebanese icon Fairuz. One man leans back on the couch, struck by nostalgia. He reminisces about when his mom played the song every day before school. He used to hate it, but now he smiles when it comes on.  “Ana la Habibi,” Fairuz sings, “I belong to my love.” This scene from Ana la Habibi, which premiered last Tuesday, reveals the inspiration behind its title. College senior Jad Kaiss, who wrote and directed this pla...

“Songs From My Mother’s Seashore” Celebrates Black Trans Woman Love

“Songs From My Mother’s Seashore” Celebrates Black Trans Woman Love

April 5, 2019

A woman in white and gold walks on stage, caressing a framed portrait of a Black woman shrouded in white cloth who stares defiantly at the viewer with one breast exposed. Over the sound of gentle waves in the distance, she wonders aloud, “If God were to stand before us, would we recognize her magnificence?” Songs from My Mother’s Seashore is an original work written and directed by College senior Nani Borges, who also plays the lead in the show: a character with Borges’ name who repres...

Ariana Grande’s Music Video Perpetuates Queer Stereotypes, Tropes

Aly Fogel, Contributing Writer

March 8, 2019

I am tired of watching gross misrepresentations of queer women in entertainment. I find myself mentally reminding the artists involved in these works, “My queerness is not a publicity stunt. My queerness is not for your straight self-promotion. And my queerness is definitely not your personal fetish.” So when I first watched Ariana Grande’s music video, “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored,” which has been criticized for its staged girl-on-girl kiss, I was not surprised to encounter the queer tropes I have become all too familiar with. However, I was surprised to find a strange new form of appropriation of the queer experience by a straight artist: using female queerness as straight girl empowerment...

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