My troupe has been asked to do a paid gig. The event wants to advertise a “Burlesque Show” but they asked us not to take off any clothing. What should we do?
- Nude and Confused”
Burgundy Brixx hard at work answering your questions
Dear Nude -
This is a situation that’s been coming up a lot. I’ve had to deal with it myself, and it’s one of the main reasons why I’ve coined the term “Burlethics”, pertaining to our responsibility as artists to this very particular art form.
While early burlesque (prior to the 1920′s or so) certainly was not about the nudity, one of the main components of our art as a part of the Burlesque Revival is the art of striptease. Period. To present any show calling itself ”Burlesque” as a part of our movement without incorporating the art of peeling is disrespecting the art form and the entire community. The more the public sees “Burlesque” that is watered down and sanitized for mass consumption, the more we lose our hard-fought ability to perform neo-burlesque striptease acts in clubs and theatres across the world.
That being said, if your troupe or company is not just a burlesque company, but are also trained performers in other formats such as vaudevillians, musicians or a dance company and you’re able to provide a great show under a different company or performer name while NOT using the term “Burlesque”, then by all means take the gig, take the money and entertain the people! It’s just that when we mis-represent ourselves as Burlesque Artists, we lose power and it’s even more difficult to regain that power once we’ve given it up for a few measly dollars. We all have a responsibility as part of this community to do our best to keep the art-form alive and moving forward.
We’re here! We’re nude! Get used to it!