“It’s a life, it’s a style, it’s a need, it’s Burlesque”
Thus goes the song, and we here at Vili Flik can’t help but agree. Burlesque is stylish, and we certainly feel a need for it (although we must admit we haven’t quite adopted the life..).
Now, I feel the need to specify that we are dealing with the so-called neo-burlesque here: this is derived from the American burlesque popular from around the 1860s, and features song, dance and striptease – though not always taken to extremes.
Most burlesque-acts today are based on the relatively simple concept of women in sexy clothes (and I use the word “clothes” in the loosest sense) who dance and sing – usually jazz-inspired numbers.
Corsets, feathers, diamonds, pearls, high heals, long gloves and tassles are common ingredients, and the women look smashing indeed!
One of the most famous burlesque-dancers of all times was the wonderful Lili St. Cyr (1918-99) who, during the 1940s and ’50s did such acts as “The Wolf Woman”, “Afternoon of a Faun”, “The Ballet Dancer”, “In a Persian Harem”, “The Chinese Virgin” and “Suicide”.
Famous contemporary acts include the Pussycat Dolls. Yes, they started as a burlesque group before they decided to go all pop on us, which almost makes them OK. But just almost… Now, if only they’d do some good music…
Their burlesque roots are still evident in their style.
The most famous contemporary burlesque performer must still be the very stylish and sensual Dita von Teese.
Not only does she have fabulous costumes onstage, her off-stage style is also inspired by burlesque. Do a google images-search and you’ll see what I mean.
Now, I will leave you with a last photo of the wonderful Ms Teese and some strategically placed feathers. Enjoy!