When you hear the word Burlesque, what images usually spring to mind?
Dita Von Teese giving her famous hip swirl in a life-sized cosmopolitan glass? The hypnotic flick of a bedazzling nipple tassel? A corseted waist cinched for the gods complimented by a killer heel strut?
If you answered yes to any of the above statements, you are correct. All can be considered a type of expression within this empowering, female-centric art form.
But burlesque isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of cabaret, just like female sexuality, it has the power to titillate while transcending both performer and audience to new, erotic heights.
As part of our celebration of Galentine's, we’ve partnered with the House Of Burlesque for a very special beginners burlesque class. Here are the 5 reasons why we believe you should try burlesque with FIENA this February.
1. Be a part of female history
Burlesque’s origins can be traced back to the 1800’s. That’s right, we’ve been claiming the stage of seduction through performance since the 19th century. Who wouldn’t want to celebrate the greats that paved the way for the feather bower?
2. It’s an art form, an expression of satire and comedy
The world burlesque is actually derived from the Italian word ‘burlesco’, or ‘burla’ which translates to mockery or joke. The first burlesque women were in fact extravagant comedy-Queens who were celebrated for their satirical, slapstick humour (all while looking absolutely fabulous, of course). It wasn’t until 1868 that Americanised burlesque began to adapt its more risqué performance style with Lydia Thompson’s touring dance troupe, the British Blondes.
3. Reclaim the striptease
Neo-burlesque, which is the burlesque we’ve all come to know and love, is the regeneration of the Americanised art form, first fashioned in the mid-90s. This modern revival of burlesque fused glamour with comedy, sensuality with humour, and has since allowed women to reclaim the striptease, while adding their own embellishments and style.
4. Burlesque is a safe, inclusive space
Modern burlesque is also a place for inclusivity. Contemporary burlesque performers such as Little Peaches and Po’Chop are inspirational reminders that burlesque, like feminism, is a space for challenging the constraints of traditional female sexuality and desire. Burlesque has provided a playful platform for queer, disabled, neurodivergent, and diversified body-shaped women to own their sexuality.
5. Burlesque was created in the female gaze
Women have been finding burlesque to create a space for the liberation and exploration of feminine expression. The ability to integrate several modes of theatrical interpretation while creating room for visual play is the foundation of modern burlesque.
So, we would like to thank the burlesque women of past, present and future for normalising our bodies, and celebrating our quirks and kinks, all while providing us with a theatrical space where we can continue to explore what it is to be a woman.
Would you like to burlesque with us? FIENA will be hosting an exclusive beginners friendly burlesque class with Tempest Rose of the House of Burlesque at the renowned Pineapple Dance Studios on February the 1st at 8pm. Members can book here. Fancy bringing a Galentine's? You can book a guest pass for a friend here.