What Is Burlesque?


Dear Rockstar and Hollywood Girls,

I've been seeing ads for burlesque shows lately and it looks kind of hot, but I'm not really sure if it's something I'd like or not. Can you help me? What is burlesque?

--Jason

What Is Burlesque?

Is Burlesque the same thing as stripping?

Hi Jason. Great questions. Burlesque is growing in popularity and I've actually had several people ask me about burlesque. So here's a little history of burlesque to give you an idea of what it was, and some examples of how it's done today.

Originally, the term "burlesque" meant an exaggeration or parody. People would dress up like really silly characters and perform comedy shows and variety shows back in the late 1800s through the mid 1900s.

Neo-Burlesque

Back in the day, burlesque didn't have the same sexy connotations as it does today, though you'd definitely see women in clothes that were considered skimpy for the time.

Today, neo-burlesque is more focused on the slutty aspects of earlier burlesque. Women will often dress up in retro costumes (think Bettie Paige and old-school pin-up girls, corsets, stockings, etc.) and perform for crowds, though not necessarily for cash the way most strippers do.

Also, while strippers usually take off most of their clothes, burlesque dancers and performers usually keep more clothes on, though the clothes are often very revealing and tantalizing.