Burlesque: The State of Things

Burlesque: The State of Things

When I was asked by the editor of this illustrious publication to write a piece about the state of burlesque, I hesitated. My twelve years in the industry have witnessed huge changes and they are not all ones I feel positive about. I wondered if I was alone in feeling some things had gone awry, […]

Cultural Appropriation in Burlesque: What is Harmful, and Why?

Hello readers. My name is La Viola Vixen, an Australian burlesque performer based in Berlin. I am writing this from the perspective of an individual who represents the majority of the burlesque community because I am white, privileged, young, female and able-bodied. Those words and their truths reflect that we have a lot of work […]

Josephine Baker Still Gives Life to Burlesque and Pinup Women of Colour

What things her gaze conceals, yet gives acknowledgement to. What horrors, yet what joys. “Josephine Baker” I whisper to myself before shows, willfully propelling myself forward, no matter the obstacles. Others say Josephine is why they began their careers. What exactly did Josephine Baker give us, give this world, for which we pay homage to her […]

Burlesque Festival Cast Quit Over Blackface Dispute

The Toulouse Burlesque Festival, produced by Florence Boué, and Stephane Lafage of Le Kalinka, has a cast crisis on its hands after a dispute over a blackface burlesque act. Eight performers have walked out in protest at the inclusion of the act.     According to information given to 21st Century Burlesque Magazine, local performer Fafa […]

Sukki Singapora by Coco Haus Photography

Sukki Singapora: The Dark Side of Burlesque

Burlesque has a dark side, and it isn’t all about empowering our peers, but it could be. On the surface, the enticing lights illuminate Burlesque as if it were the perfect industry. Women supporting other women. Men supporting other men. Body positivity, and the joy of knowing that you can be anyone you want to […]

7 Ways to Compliment Burlesque Performers

If you’re a burlesque dancer, Lort knows you’ve encountered all sorts of feedback on your acts/self as a performer. From the gushing super fans, the ‘but-what-do-your-parents-thinkers’, to the compli-sulters (my word for when someone tries to compliment you but ends up insulting you – ‘You’re so brave to be that big of a slut onstage!’). […]

Kitten 'N' Lou with Perle Noire and Mr Gorgeous at the Vienna Boylesque Festival 2016. C. Imperial Madness

Kitten ‘N’ Lou’s End of Year Address

Kitten LaRue and Lou Henry Hoover, adored collectively as Kitten ‘N’ Lou, were voted No. 1 in the Burlesque TOP 50 2015. With the 2016 poll results soon to be published, the terrific twosome penned an Ode to 2016 for your reading pleasure.     Holy guacamole. What. A. Year. Let us set the scene: […]

Burlesque dancer Grace Gotham, star of the new Dove campaign. (WTL Photos)

Burlesque Dancer Grace Gotham Star of Dove Campaign

Some happy burlesque news this week! New York burlesque dancer Grace Gotham has been chosen to star in the new Dove campaign: #mybeautymysay . She is captioned as a burlesque performer and discusses her personal identity in a feature clip as well as the full advert, directed by London-based filmmaker Siri Bunford. Go Grace!  Here’s […]

Janet Fischietto (not part of the act in question) posing with German performer Mele Kapunkt, who performed a duet with fellow performer Stormy Heather. (Blackface in Burlesque. Again. 21st Century Burlesque Magazine)

Blackface in Burlesque. Again.

Sadie Sinner and Coco Deville report on a disturbing burlesque act involving blackface which came to light on social media today. Not the first. We hope it’s the last. Ed. Sadie Sinner At approximately 2pm today, a burlesquer dropped a little box, similar to Pandora’s, in a Facebook group. “Am I weird to think ‘blacking up’ […]


A Note on Professional Conduct in Burlesque and Cabaret (or, why attacks on critics are an embarrassment to our art form)

I realise we’ve already had quite a tempestuous weekend in the burlesque universe, but I arrived home today to yet another attack on a burlesque and cabaret critic because the performer and their friends didn’t like what they said. One word in particular, as it turns out. A professionally written expression of one person’s informed […]

Tweets, presumably by What Katie Did founder Katie Thomas, now deleted.

What Katie Did Questions Need For International Women’s Day. Keeps Digging.

The founder of retro lingerie brand What Katie Did decided to celebrate International Women’s Day by blowing off both of her feet with a shotgun on social media. “#inspiringwomen – yes!” she began. “But do we really need #InternationalWomensDay? At What Katie Did we’re to (sic) busy #WomenJustGettingOnWithItDay” The tweet received a flurry of reactions, […]