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Burlesque FAQs

Posted 19th November, 2013 by

I have just been having a look back through the Sugar Blue Burlesque site and re-read the FAQ’s that Miss Bonnie Fox wrote for us when we launched our first website in 2007! Definately worth another read a lot of people still dont know what Burlesque is! Photo below is of Miss Bonnie Fox, by David Woolley


What is the difference between burlesque and stripping?

The main difference between burlesque and stripping is the idea of the tease. Stripping is simply about revealing nudity, whereas burlesque is an entertainment art, based around dance, comedy, costume, musicality and the art of the tease. For instance, in the time that it would take your average strip-act to have removed the entirety of their clothing, a Sugar Blue Burlesque artist may have only just finished peeling off her satin glove. Despite the fact that every audience member has their bare hands on display for all to see, the tension built up by the tease, the anticipation of catching a glimpse of her naked wrist, her palm, her fingers, mean every audience member is spellbound!

Burlesque also evolved alongside vaudeville and cabaret, so it has an entertainment focus that is missing in stripping. Burlesque is often light-hearted, involving comedy, parody or theatrical elements. And of course, modern burlesque celebrates real women with real bodies. If you’re looking for fake tan and plastic perfection, go to a strip club. If you’re looking for vintage glamour, sophistication, spectacular entertainment and a little bit of fantasy, see a burlesque show!

Is there nudity in your performances?

There is no full nudity in our shows. Sugar Blue Burlesque’s particular brand of burlesque is based in authentic vintage dance and costume, and does not actually involve any full nudity, winding burlesque back to its earlier days before nudity was commonplace. The ladies of Sugar Blue Burlesque are tease-artistes extraordinaire, dazzling with their dance steps and smiles, with plenty of tease but no sleaze.

In many ways, burlesque is a lost art. We’ve been desensitised by explicit sex and nudity in the media, on film, television and the Internet, we’ve been desexitised! Want to see full nudity? You can get it at any local strip club, every second website, or, just flip on the television after midnight and watch the ads. Want to see scantily clad girls bumping and grinding? Just watch MTV. For us, burlesque isn’t about nudity, it’s about the tease! It’s about allure, about mystery and glamour, everything we’re missing in today’s society. Though it may have been scandalously saucy in the early 20th century, against the backdrop of the 21st century, burlesque is an innocent and playful approach to women’s sexuality. Today, it is most definitely more tantalizing to conceal than to reveal!

The Sugar Blue Burlesque repertoire also includes many spectacular dance acts without any striptease at all, just breathtaking dancing and glamorous vintage costumes, perfect for any occasion!

What exactly is burlesque?

Burlesque is the hottest trend in town, a type of performance bringing together a sizzling dance style with elaborate vintage costumes, cool retro tunes and a lot of sassy fun!

Burlesque as an entertainment art form evolved from the late 19th century through to the “bump and grind” era of the 1940s and 50s. In burlesque’s heyday (those golden days before television, when people had to go out to be entertained) burlesque was a grand affair! A burlesque show combined live music, comedians, variety acts, a chorus line and of course, glamorous burlesque headliners, in an elegant theatre with a full orchestra, grand sets and elaborate costumes! A burlesque queen in this golden era would enchant with her beauty, delight with her dance, and captivate her audience with the art of the tease!

Burlesque died out in the 1960s, as the sexual revolution transformed gender norms and sexual taboos, and full nudity and explicit pornography flooded the market, but it was revived in the 1990s as a postmodern movement by women for women. The neo-burlesque movement champions the natural beauty, glamour and sex appeal of women of all ages, shapes and sizes. In particular, neo-burlesque performers around the world have adopted the aesthetics of the 1940s and 50s, embracing the womanly curves denied by modern popular culture. Today’s burlesque is a sugar-coated approach to sexuality, bringing mystery, allure, fantasy and glamour back to the stage!

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