Pole dancing to the music of a 20-piece live orchestra, including violins? Yes, says one Philippine pole dance troupe that seeks respect for its art and athleticism. Against the background of women around the world turning to pole dancing as a form of exercise, the Manila-based group Polecats proved at a recent week-end show that the performances are no longer only for strip clubs and sleazy bars - or just for women, either.
As the orchestra played classical-style arrangements of modern songs, dancers of both genders swung and climbed gracefully up 4m poles, combining flexibility, strength, and moves bordering on acrobatics, with sensuality. "You don't go to Cirque du Soleil to get turned on, although maybe you will, but I just want people to see that we're really good at what we do, and not just hot," said Christina Dy, the Polecat's director.
"Routines involving swings and twirls require balance, concentration and a high level of technical skills, and that is what audiences should appreciate," she added. "The group has gathered male performers, as well as male viewers, by focusing on the athletic aspects of performing," said Job Bautista, the first man to become a regular Polecats member. "Now here in the Philippines we're trying to promote the more acrobatic type of pole dancing, which we Polecats think is more suited to men," he said. (Reuters)