London Burlesque Festival 2016

10th Annual London Burlesque Festival 2016

Since the movies such as Burlesque (2010) starring Cher and Cristina Aguilera


and Moulin Rouge (2001) with Nicole Kidman


Burlesque Shows have become mainstream and attracts not only male but also female visitors and mixed couples. The word ‘Burlesque‘ derives from the Italian ‘BURLESCO’, which has its origin from the Italian word “BURLA’, meaning a joke, ridicule or mockery.

In its theatrical sense used during the Victorian era since the late 17th century as an extravaganza overlapping in the meaning with caricature, parody and travesty.

Later, especially in the United States it refers to performances in a variety show. This was popular from the 1860s to the 1940s and performed often in clubs, cabarets and theatres, featuring bawdy comedy and female striptease.


The burlesque shows have been often combined with classical music and jazz. Composers such as Johann Strauss II wrote BURLESQUE Operettas (Die lustigen Weiber von Wien, 1868), Bruno Granichstaedten (Casmiris Himmelfahrt, 1911), Stravinsky (Renard, 1916 – one-act chamber burlesque opera-ballet), Grétry (Matroco, 1777 – a drame burlesque) and Ziehrer (Mahomed’s Paradies,1866; Das Orakel zu Delfi, 1872; Cleopatra, oder Durch drei Jahrtausende, 1875; In fünfzig Jahren, 1911). A later showcase is the burlesque operatta composed by Ernst Krenek (Schwergewicht, 19927).

There are as well famous Classical instrumental musical compositions by heavyweights such as Bach (Burlesca, in Partita No. 3 for keyboard (BWV 827)) and Mahler (“Rondo-Burleske” third movement of Symphony No. 9).

Well-known Jazz burlesque examples are ragtime travesties such as ‘The Russian Rag’ by George L. Cobb and ‘Lucy’s Sextette’ by Harry Alford.


Burlesque travesty or extravaganza was popular in London theatres between 1830s and 1890s. Well-known operas, plays or ballets were adopted into a broad comic play and often in a risky style with historical dresses and settings. Victorian Burlesque was successfully exported from London to the United States. The visitant British Burlesque Troupe, Lydia Thompson and the British Blondes” debuted in 1868 in New York and was an instant success.

The burlesque shows went out of fashion in old England towards the end of the 19th century. In the States it gradually transformed into a classy striptease show combined with singing and dancing and still flourished. Star strippers emerged from the Burlesque scene such as Sally Rand, Ann Corio, Gypsy Rose Lee, Tempest Storm, Margie Har and Lili St. Cyr. However, the prohibition had a big impact for the whole entertainment industry in the States including for the numerous burlesque establishments. New Yor Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia clamped down on the burlesque clubs and put them out of business by the early 1940s.

In recent decades there has been a global revival of burlesque, often called ‘Neo-Burlesque’. Movies followed including ‘Lady of Burlesque’ (1943), ‘Striporama’ (1953) and ‘The Night They Raided Minsky’s’ (1968).


New stars as Burlesque performers were born: Dita Von Teese and Julie Altas Muz.

Burlesque Festivals such as Annual London Burlesque and Vancouver International Burlesque Festival are profiting from the revived Burlesque trend.



Date: 6th May – 22nd May 2016

Organisers: Chaz Royal


Price: GBP 27

Details: 18+

Venue: Dingwalls, Camden, London, United Kingdom




One Comment Add yours

  1. Burlesque Shows are very erotic and sensual. There are great shows in London and recommended to have a good night out with a lot of fun. X Victoria Berkeley Girls

    Liked by 1 person

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