Burlesque festivals are massive gatherings that celebrate an unappreciated art form. There’s a stigma around the nature of such performances. However, burlesque is not stripping. It’s quite the opposite.
Films, such as Moulin Rouge (2001) and Burlesque (2010) have showcased what such performances entail. Going a long way in reducing the stigma. As more suburban moms line up for pole dancing classes, let’s a bit deeper into the meaning of burlesque festivals.
A Celebration of Art
There’s no nudity or stripping at burlesque festivals. Granted, the performers wear risqué costumes, but this is a form of self-expression. Such festivals are centred on celebrating body positivity and self-confidence. Performers of every body type, race, gender or sexual identity are free to take the stage.
Burlesque dancers look sexy and confident in their lace and sequins for another reason. They have costume designers and makeup artists that earn their pay from such events.
A Gathering of Intellectuals
Burlesque performances are musical or dramatic performances with a satirical twist. The poke holes at the issues we face through parody, humour and caricature. Such festivals provide a safe ground to confront such problems head-on and laugh at the same time.
Audiences in such festivals are treated to brilliant theatric works. The performers may be a bit distracting, but that’s the point of the show. You shouldn’t take life so seriously that you can’t see beyond the messenger to find the subtext of the message.
They Have a Mission
Burlesque festivals’ main aim is to eliminate the stigma around such performances. What better way to achieve this than to rent out a theatre and fill the line up with international acts. These festivals also gather a lot of positive publicity, which can be good for the struggling theatre industry.
Local stagehands, designers and other behind-the-scenes crew get the chance to earn a living as well.