Even the Ancient Greeks did it too!
Published 19/05/2010 | 05:00
You will most likely associate it with the modern day burlesque queen Dita Von Teese, but there's nothing new about this form of entertainment.
The word 'Burlesque' literally means 'to send up' or 'make fun of' and can in fact be traced back to 5th century BC in the plays of the Greek playwright Aristophanes.
Later, burlesque was used to describe a form of musical and theatrical parody in which serious or romantic opera or a piece of classical theatre was adapted in a broad, often risqué, style that ridiculed stage conventions.
In late 19th century England, such dramatic productions became popular, especially with the middle class. Gradually it started to appear in music halls, too, in sketches with political and social satire for the working class.
In the early 20th century, burlesque gained a following in the United States where it was performed at variety shows in which striptease was the main attraction.
Today it takes many forms, but all have the common trait of honouring its previous incarnations, with acts including striptease, expensive costumes, bawdy humour, cabaret and more.