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What is burlesque?


More than one book can be written about burlesque, describing the history of its creation or telling how the great variety of artistic performances is hidden under this one slogan. If we look for a definition of burlesque, we will quickly come across definitions from the popular Wikipedia.

“Burlesque - a theatrical form that uses music to a limited extent - mainly recitatives and songs, now also modern music. It was created in the 18th century as a parody of serious themes, often operas or operettas. The word burlesque is derived from the Italian burlesco, which in turn is derived from the Italian burle - joke, mockery or slapstick. In its form, burlesque refers to the art of the so-called plebeian, calculated to be popular among viewers recruited from the working class. Burlesque appeared as a separate art form in the second half of the 19th century in the United States, and its female artists were called British girls. Depictions of this form of burlesque had a strongly erotic basis. It was based on group dances, singing and skits [1], of young actresses, scantily dressed [2]. In the twentieth century, burlesque was enriched with striptease due to increasingly tolerant laws on the so-called public morality [3], which meant that these two concepts are now confused or juxtaposed not as related categories, but as substitutes [2]. "- wikipedia.org

In this definition there is a lot of truth and the history of burlesque in a nutshell, but the viewer, after reading it, does not know what to expect after coming to a burlesque show. So we will try to expand it to some extent and show what burlesque is about

Nowadays, burlesque is a form of spectacle and stage performance, which can take all kinds of artistic forms, such as dancing, singing, acrobatics or shows of magic or illusion. It is a performance that often breaks the conventional forms known to viewers from theaters or operas, often taking on light and funny. Nevertheless, all burlesque performances nowadays share a common element which is striptease. However, it should be clearly emphasized here that streaptiese in burlesque is not an end in itself, but it is an element of building tension during the performance or it becomes a means of artistic expression. Additionally, the characteristic thing about Burleska is that the performer never strips naked, stays in the so-called "pasties" or "tassles" and in panties or in more bold shows in the so-called One of the most essential elements of Burlesque is interaction with the audience. This is an element that can only be experienced live.

Therefore, if someone wants to see if they like burlesque, they should not watch online performances, but go to the show. This interaction is definitely something unique. The more energy flows from the audience, the more energy the performer from the stage gives off, therefore the audience can clap, whistle, stamp, shout to express approval for the performer. During the performance you can vent your emotions and you should get carried away by the moment and the atmosphere of the show. And what can you expect during Burelski's performances on stage. Absolutely everything because during the preparation of the show "Sky is the limit". However, we can divide the performances into several categories.

Classical burel performances, in which we will see very decorated with crystals costumes, beautiful corsets, fans of ostrich, peacock or pheasant feathers. The classic form of burlesque is very often associated with retro styling which shows viewers how burlesque looked in the 20-30s. The next group is Neo Burleska, which usually takes the form of grotesque, pastiche and comedy. In this type, the viewer can see performers dressed up as either a huge candy, R2D2 or super Mario. A special place in this group have Nerdleska shows, which refers to the Marvel or DC universe, where you can expect well-known super heroes in the adult installment. If, after reading this article, you feel encouraged to learn more about the burlesque show, we invite you to one of the cyclical the events we organize. Underground Burlesque in Łódź at the KIJ club which takes place every second Friday of the month, Burlesque Department in Gdańsk, which takes place once a month at the Remencement Department (right next to the gate to the Gdańsk Shipyard)