The ABC Guide to Burlesque: Part 3

Welcome back to part 3 in the ABC’s Guide to Burlesque. So far we’ve looked at various sub-genres of burlesque, from cheesecake to boylesque, and more. This week we’re looking at another three different types of burlesque which can be seen on the circuit today.

Sing  & Fling Burlesque
Sing & fling  is another fusion genre within burlesque, where performers sing whilst doing a striptease. The number of sing & fling performers in the UK has increased quite considerably over the last decade, with artistes incorporating very different styles into their work. London-based Lili La Scala has achieved considerable success with her uniquely captivating blend of operatic songs and classic, beautiful striptease. In a completely different style, Edinburgh based performer Cherryfox has carved a niche for herself with her unique performances, blending a love of kitsch 80s/90s tunes with stunningly detailed costumery.

Cherryfox - Sing & Fling Burlesque
Cherryfox – Sing & Fling Burlesque

Alternative  Burlesque
Another one that ‘does what it says on the tin’. Alternative or ‘alt’ burlesque, refers to the neo burlesque style of performances set to alternative music: rock / metal. The theme of these acts can vary widely from those based around the traditional storytelling style of classic British burlesque or they might gravitate more towards the visual spectacle, often incorporating gore / blood etc. Los Angeles based burlesque performer Courtney Cruz and founder of The Devil’s Playground Burlesque is one of the leaders of alternative burlesque on the other side of the pond. Here in Scotland, Daiquiri Dusk (one of our teachers here at the ABC) incorporates a number of alternative burlesque acts into her repertoire, including her ‘Sinderella’ routine, which puts an alternative twist on the traditional fairytale, set to a classic rock tune by AC/DC.

Daiquiri Dusk in 'Sinderella'
Daiquiri Dusk in ‘Sinderella’ alternative act

Across the UK over the last few years, the alternative burlesque scene has created their own club nights specialising in acts set to alternative music, aimed at a slightly different audience than the usual burlesque crowd. Alternative burlesque artists have also proven popular at rock and metal festivals, as well as at tattoo conventions across the country, where their visual style and audio choices appeal to a wider audience.

We’re rounding off today with one final fusion sub-genre of burlesque: Polesque. As the name suggests, it merges burlesque style striptease with pole-dancing, to create gravity-defying ecdysiastical performances. The early 2000s saw both burlesque and pole dancing growing in popularity as fitness and confidence boosting classes for women, but as separate entities. However, as is often the case with burlesque, performers with skills in pole-dancing began incorporating these into their performances, creating another intriguing crossover between burlesque and another style of dance.
American-based duo Gravity Plays Favorites have been delivering their brand of pole-dancing burlesque since 2005. Their acts feature the duo working together on a single pole to create diverse, innovative and downright jaw-dropping routines, expertly merging burlesque and pole work.

In Europe, Russian burlesque dancer and aerial / pole performer Miss Diana has been making a name for herself across the international festivals of the continent, with her solo pole performances.

That brings us to the end of this week’s Guide to Burlesque.

Part 4 is now live though, so have a peek at the final installment in our Guide to Burlesque series: Part 4.