Guest Blog

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So here it is.. The Guest Blog!


Performance Matters – More than just a bit of sex

When you hear the word burlesque you think of corsets and lingerie, stripping and all those naughty things, and you would be right. However there is more than meets the eye with this cheeky form of entertainment. Yes, it’s a bit sexy and there is a copious amount of stripping but it is an up and coming form of entertainment.

Burlesque has been around since the 17th century and was started as a comical outlet for working class women. It was based around mocking the upper classes and for this reason (and the naked women!) was extremely popular with working class men.  Its popularity boomed in the 1940s and, as it grew, more and more women attended burlesque shows.

This tongue in cheek act is still popular today and is a constant reprieve for women who want to explore their femininity and sexuality in a safe environment.  Classes are available for women who want to learn how to perfect the art form and most towns and cities have venues for amateur enthusiasts.

Some people would suggest that burlesque is nothing more than a strip show; this couldn’t be further from the truth. Burlesque still leans heavily on the strip side of the act but it also involves music, acting and humour. The acts can be as complex or simply as any other play and usually always require props. Over the years women like Gypsie Rose Lee, Betty page and our modern day beauty Dita Von Teese have changed the way people see burlesque.

Dita von Teese has been called “the queen of burlesque” and has fostered the revival of the performance after a relative period of quiet.  Her shows include giant cocktail glasses, bath tubs, feathers and stripping.  Compared to its initial start the art form is now more widely accepted and even common place among theatres.

The burlesque look appears in our everyday fashion as well as on stage. Betty Page’s classic bangs can be seen on the faces of women across the UK and red lipstick is common place in high-street stores. Modern film has boosted its popularity even more, with Moulin rouge and Burlesque staring Christina Aguilera having inspired women everywhere to put on their best pants and get their burlesque on.

Burlesque has opened doors for women since the 17th century. It’s empowering and versatile; it gives a freedom of expression that can’t be found in other forms of entertainment. No other art form uses sex and comedy in such a way that is empowering and fun all at the same time. If you haven’t been to see a burlesque show before then you are missing out. So book some tickets to your nearest show, pop on the Moulin Rouge sound track, grab a glass of wine and get yourself ready for an experience you won’t forget!


Author Bio: Leslie Harding, Burlesque fan on behalf of