Burlesque is absolutely still going strong. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that it’s the strongest it’s been in a long time, certainly since the 90’s revival.
I definitely believe that in part, love it or loathe it, this has been down to social media, and artists being able to express themselves and their ideas in different ways, and faster. After all, a lot of our success as burlesque artists is down to our fanbases, who keep incredible independent niche art-forms thriving.
Photo by Nick Delaney, Swarovski bikini by Kiku Boutique, diamond ring prop © Sukki Singapora
Social media has allowed us to spread the word of our work like nothing else. I also feel that the face of burlesque is changing and adapting. Of course, it has always been evolving, but now more than ever I feel as if it’s becoming more modern. And by that I don’t mean in a neo-burlesque way, I mean in a mainstream way. Many people will argue that by going mainstream, burlesque will lose the essence of what it’s all about: a way to challenge and poke fun at society, by walking the line of a sexy, edgy and niche metier.
Photo by Karolina Skorek Photography, Corsetry: Kiku Corset Boutique
But I disagree. I think as long as we never forget our burlesque roots, and embody our rich history as per the Burlesque Hall of Fame, we will never lose the essence of burlesque. Besides, even though burlesque is now legal in Singapore, whilst laws still exist in other countries banning our Art, no one can say that embracing the modern is any less controversial than it always was.