What is Burlesque?

Burlesque is a form of variety entertainment, which throughout its unique history housed a diverse array of entertainers.  Burlesque is most notably famous for the phrase “the art of tease” but it has a greater often-unrecognized history of parody or satirical entertainment.  Beginning in the 1840’s and continuing thru the 1960’s, Burlesque hosted a variety of performers on its stage, from chorus girls, comedians, actors, singers, dancers, musicians, specialty acts, and even strip tease.

Today’s performers and producers revive different aspects of Burlesque.  Dita Von Teese presents the bump and grind entertainer, a “Gypsy Rose Lee” type of performance, while the movie “Burlesque” taps into an earlier version with emphasis on the scantily clad chorus girl dancers.  Shows today range from a showcase of individual performers to extensive variety shows incorporating comedy, dance, and vocals.

Burlesque has a rich history as a theatrical genre of variety entertainment, from comedy to dancing girls, to the late era burlesque strip tease, the word “Burlesque” umbrellas an extensive nostalgic history with continue evolution in this modern-day tribute.

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