Burlesque Art form

What is it

Burlesque  art form that has been around for centuries. It has even stayed popular today. Described as a  type of performance that combines humor, dance, and often provocative clothing.  This can include garter belts and scant dresses  . Burlesque shows have a long and interesting history. They have been used to challenge social norms, celebrate femininity, and create a sense of community among performers and audiences alike.


The origins of burlesque art form can be traced back to ancient Greece. There, theatrical performances often included bawdy humor and sexual innuendo. These shows were known as “satyr plays,”. They often featured men dressed in animal skins and other weird costumes. They would  make crude jokes and engage in physical comedy.

In the 19th century, burlesque shows were popular in both London and New York. These shows often featured women dressed in revealing clothing showing off all their curves. All of society would be able to enjoy this form of entertainment no matter of the social class. It also challenged social norms by celebrating female sexuality and challenging traditional gender roles.


One of the most famous burlesque performers of the 19th century was Lydia Thompson.  She led a troupe of performers known as the “British Blondes.” Thompson’s shows were known for their elaborate costumes and provocative movement on stage . She was a trailblazer in the world of burlesque. Her influence can still be seen in modern burlesque shows today.

In the early 20th century, burlesque shows started to loose its popularity . New forms of entertainment were also available to see. The rise of cinema and radio meant that people had new ways to experience entertainment.  Burlesque shows had to adapt to stay relevant. Many burlesque shows began to focus more on striptease and serve the underbelly  of society

Burlesque Art Form
Burlesque Art Form

Despite these changes, burlesque battled to remain relevant in the 2oth century. In the 1950s and 1960s, burlesque experienced a resurgence, thanks in part to performers like Tempest Storm and Lili St. Cyr. These performers brought a new level of glamour and sophistication to burlesque. They helped to elevate the art form in the eyes of the public.

Today, burlesque art form is more popular than ever and has pivoted to offer more forms of the art . Modern burlesque shows often feature performers of all genders. They can range from traditional burlesque acts to more avant-garde performances that incorporate elements of theater, circus, and dance.

Burlesque is very unique as  it emphasis on self-expression. Performers can create their own acts and create a niche of their own. This can be especially empowering for women. For example Woman can create an act based on their own comfort level instead of trying to please the masses.

Burlesque is also a form of entertainment that celebrates diversity and inclusivity. Performers come in all shapes sizes and colors. All diversities are celebrated . Burlesque shows can create a sense of community among performers and audiences alike. They often provide a safe and welcoming space for people to explore their own identities and desires.


Burlesque is primarily a performance art that includes various art forms. Listed below are some  different types of art that are  included in burlesque performances:

  1. Dance – Dance is a central part of burlesque and most performers have a dance background. Burlesque dance often incorporates elements of jazz, ballet, and other forms of dance. These dances are often sexual yet comical in nature
  2. Costume Design – Burlesque costumes are often elaborate and eye-catching AND goes hand in hand with the art form . Costumes can range from vintage-inspired lingerie to more avant-garde designs. These can incorporate elements of fantasy and science fiction.
  3. Makeup and Hair Design – Burlesque performers often spend hours getting ready for a performance. Makeup and hair design are important parts of their preparation. Many performers use bold makeup and hairstyles to create a distinct look for their act. They may incorporate element of fantasy as wee.
  4. Set Design –  Burlesque shows are often performed in small venues or bars. Creative set design can still play an important role in creating a memorable performance. Sets can range from simple backdrops to more elaborate designs. This incorporates props and special effects.

In conclusion

Overall, burlesque is an art form that encourages performers to explore their creativity and express themselves in a unique and playful way. Whether through dance, costume design, music, or other artistic elements, burlesque offers a platform for artists to showcase their talents and create a memorable experience for audiences.

We have produced a number of Burlesque images at Big Acrylic. Surprisingly at least 2-3 a month.  Most often Acrylic seems to be the medium they choose to really show off colors. Recently we did a backlit fabric that transformed into a real piece of art