If I were to ask you to a burlesque show, what would you expect to see? Would images of slim ladies in corsets and frilly knickers bumping and grinding to the ‘vintage’ jazz tunes spring to mind? Perhaps ladies splashing about in giant martini glasses or dancing with feather fans near nude? Would images however of a Prince dance number or a Jack The Ripper striptease come to into your head? Well this is where the general public’s knowledge of burlesque fails. Burlesque is NOT simply a bump and grind number with a girl in pretties, it is an umbrella term that can cover a multitude acts, performances and both sexes. After all burlesque means to make fun of or to parody so the world is quite literally your rhinestoned oyster of ideas.
Performers who spring to mind that you may not have heard of but are pushing the burlesque envelope are the likes of Fancy Chance (http://fancychance.wordpress.com/), Julie Muz Atlas (http://www.julieatlasmuz.com/), Honey Wilde (http://www.honeywilde.co.uk/) and Audacity Chutzpah (http://www.audacitychutzpah.com/). It is not just the girls though, Cherry Loco is cooking up a storm of gender challenging performances as is Mister Mistress, men such as Joe Black (http://www.misterjoeblack.com/) and Duke Milo also performing various burlesque acts that require applause for challenging preconceived ideas of what burlesque is or should be.
Burlesque can sometimes use comedic elements so look out for those too. I have forgotten the amount of times I have laughed out loud to some truly inspired performers. Gosh I damn near pee’d my pants watching Matt Frazer (http://www.matfraser.co.uk/) performing. GENIUS! The key in any performance and not just burlesque is to be unique. Something that makes you stand out from the saturated market that surrounds the community. With films like ‘Burlesque’ and ‘Moulin Rouge’ out there people appear to have been fed a slightly biased sense of what the art of burlesque is. Yes there are stunning showgirls like Dita von Teese and Immodesty Blaize but they go beyond simply being pretty baubles on stage. Be it their costume ideas or how they execute their performances.
Next time you head to that burlesque show, watch and realise just how far reaching and all-encompassing burlesque really can be. But most of all applaud those artistes who are working hard to entertain you. You lot are a tough crowd to please….just the way we like it.
‘Queen of Burlesque’ – Editor of BleedingCool.com
‘A veritable tour de force; vivacious, sassy and a tassel twirling whirlwind of a performer – Kinky and Quirky Burlesque n Boogie
‘With boundless energy and her unforgettable performances, Khandie Khisses is internationally recognized as a premium Burlesque artist. Explosive cocktail of fearless antics, humor and generosity, her numbers dynamic triggering a thunderous applause in a whirlwind of sequins and glamour’ – Paris Burlesque Festival