Fun fact: Burlesque didn’t always involve striptease. In its early years, bubbly chorus girls satirized popular culture, fusing sexuality and comedy in live vaudevillian routines. Male comedians shared the stage or the street, wherever the performance was taking place, and both genders poked fun at society’s taboos. Once the first garter dropped, the sexual element overtook the medium, and it was eventually replaced by erotic dancing and the modern strip club.
During the last fifteen years, grassroots burlesque troupes have cropped up in bohemian hubs around the world. There’s even a burlesque show in Dallas, not normally known for its progressive youth culture. It would appear tattooed women in their twenties and thirties have found a new favorite hobby: performing in variety shows that are equal parts dance, striptease, vintage lingerie, and provocative winks. While the revival started with Gen-Xers, it’s spread to the Millenials and is now more mainstream than ever.
One possible reason for the resurgence in feather boa-based entertainment could be how women perceive themselves. These days, women feel freer than ever to flaunt and enjoy their own sexuality. This area of oppression within American society has nearly evaporated, and with it, the shame in utilizing the feminine form’s natural power to enthrall. For this new crop of performers, burlesque is an outlet, not a job.
With the dancers having so much fun taunting and tantalizing, it’s almost impossible for the audience not to have fun with them. Plus, who doesn’t love a variety show with a cast of lovely ladies in garters? Check out the glitter and lace for yourself any Tuesday and the first two Saturdays of every month at the RISE Comedy Playhouse, voted 2013’s Best Burlesque Night by Westword’s Best of Denver Awards.
Details and show times:
- Tuesdays: Frenchie Renard’s Follies Voudou
- Saturdays: Bella Diva Dance Showcase, Merry Widow’s Artisan Operetta
Contact us with any questions or comments, and enjoy the show!