Burlesque is a genre mixing elements from Cabaret, Strip, Comedy, New Circus and Veaudevill. It has a long tradition, but within the last 10 years we have experienced an international revival – expecially in USA and England – where festivals, TV-shows and different types of venues have persented many forms of Burlesque Shows.
The genre has developed its own mainstram with artists like Dita Von Teese and international Festivals such as Ministry of Burlesque which have been touring many American and European Cities.
Unfortunately this mainstraming has also take the focus away from the pioneers of burlesque who for a century have contributed to the substance, the techniques and the content of the genre. Many of the Burlesque Shows known to the general public are one dimensional, gender normative and overproduced and have moved away from the playful, gender bending and body positive view it emerged from.
Luckily we now see a lot of artists who challenge this tendency with shows that are a body positive, humoristic staging of the gender, identity and sexuality witin a friendly cabaret asmosphere. These original and inventive artists emerge from different subcultures within theatre, performance art, the Queer scene and the erotic entertainment business and define new genres such as NEW burlesque, NO burlesque and NEO burlesqe.
These are the the artists I have focussed on in the New Burlesque Program 2010.
Christian Van Schijndel
Performer & Curator