Our take on what’s going on in the world of burlesque and showgirls around the world…
Ah, that perennial question – what is burlesque?
Burlesque is an art form, which has become synonymous with striptease though previously referred to performances in a variety or cabaret-style format.
If you’re going to be literal about it, burlesque is a medium intended to satirise or take the mickey, deriving from the Italian word burla – a joke, ridicule or mockery.
Burlexe is inspired by the fashion, the beauty and most importantly, the amazing women and showgirls who chose and choose to use burlesque as a platform to express themselves on their own terms.
Burlesque is as varied and open to interpretation as the notion of ‘art’.
But who better to explore and explain the controversy around this art form than British Burlesque Legend, Jo King.
Burlesque, or should we say the Burlesque Movement, has become one of the most potent and subversive sub-cultures in Western society.
Championing and reinterpreting the art form, emphasizing the tease not the strip, the first neo-Burlesque (or Burlesque revivalist) show appeared in NYC in 1994 as the Blue Angel Cabaret. This ‘new’ Burlesque saw women taking control of the stage, how they looked and how they portrayed themselves – a punk finger up to what was expected by ‘society’ but encased in something glittery and feathery. Pow!
The influence of Burlesque, neo and otherwise, has touched all areas of popular culture – most notably Madonna, Beyoncé, Kylie Minogue, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, but its beating heart remains in the live scene where burlesque meets cabaret, circus and arthouse.
London alone has over 100 plus clubs regularly staging Burlesque and the Burlesque Map of London list a vast array of businesses servicing this art form.
Burlesque schools like Jo King’s London Academy of Burlesque, Lady Cheek’s Cheek of It or Burlesque Baby regularly teach women not only the techniques of striptease and burlesque but the art of feeling fucking great about yourself and your body.
It’s a pattern that is repeated predominantly across the UK, Europe, America and Australasia but with new Burlesque clubs also opening in Japan and mainland China…
Come and join us, it’s time to #findyourfabulous.
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Burlesque performer, Miss Glory Pearl, has long been a friend of Burlexe. She has both contributed her story to our theatrical burlesque show and performed her Ethel routine in the first run of Burlexe. Now she’s pushing her own and burlesque boundaries forward with a brand new show, The Naked Stand Up.