Well, Barack Obama made history last month by becoming the front-runner in the Democratic race for the presidential nomination. Hey, it was Black History Month.
But March is Women’s History Month. (For real.) Does that mean it’ll be Hillary Clinton’s time to shine?
Regardless, I will be acknowledging the impact of women on world culture throughout this month. Starting with this here:
Now... how hot was that?
You might think I’m being silly – and I partly am – but burlesque has a huge place in the history of American entertainment.
Cuban-born Amalia Aguilar, in the clips above, became a legitimate film star in Mexico in the 1950s. (Lately she has turned up in documentary shows like “Historias Engarzadas” and “Celebremos México: Hecho en México.”)
But in the ’40s, Aguilar did some performing in U.S. burlesque theaters. Evidently these two short films were made in America. (Read more.)
Amalia Aguilar wasn’t the only Cuban dancer to cross over into Mexican movies. Others were Ninón Sevilla (pictured) and Lina Salomé (“The Dancing Sphinx”).
“Mexican cinema definitely internationalized for the Latin American market the image of the Cuban woman as vedette [sex symbol] and rumba dancer,” writes Coco Fusco in her 1999 book “Corpus Delecti: Performance Art of the Americas.”
“Whether white, mulatta or black,” Ms. Fusco continues, “what was being exported was the Caribbean exoticism and the sensuality of the Cuban woman.”
Amalia Aguilar has a story to tell. And I want to know what it is.