Victorian era burlesque dancers

Victorian era burlesque dancers

Categories: History

Victorian era burlesque dancers

Burlesque is not only Dita Von Teese in a huge martini glass. Burlesque dancers already existed in the mid-19th century, although they looked a little different then. And the tasks they initially faced were not so erotic - then burlesque was primarily a comedy show designed to entertain the “middle class” of Great Britain and the USA.

The photographs below are part of the collection of Dr. Charles H. McCaghy, a professor in the Department of Sociology at Bowling Green State University. Most of them were made in the second half of the 19th century on Broadway.

Victorian era burlesque dancers 1.

Burlesque originally emerged in Italian theater in the 17th century as an ironic division of acts in theatrical and musical performances. The term comes from the Italian "burla" - a joke. This form of ironic parody was popular in various European countries, as well as in America, where burlesque productions were staged for the longest time, until the 30s of the last century.

Victorian era burlesque dancers 2.

The main elements of a burlesque show or extravaganza are dance, circus, comedy and conversation numbers. The performances demonstrate a way of conveying the sublime with the low and the low with the sublime, giving greater importance to the visual side. As an erotic show, burlesque is a vintage prototype of modern striptease.

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The dance era of burlesque developed more actively in American musical theater, which popularized this genre and gave it the glamorous look we are familiar with.

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To compensate for their inability to dance, girls created elaborate stage costumes, props and scenery for their performances, which over time became the most important characteristic of the burlesque genre.

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