As mentioned before, satire is an ancient practice considered to be the oldest and most trenchant way to observe society. People naturally want to poke fun. The Ancient Greeks and Romans took this fireside ribbing and formalized the delivery to make satire an art form. Today I’m examining burlesque. When I began this exposé I had no idea burlesque was a form of satire!
Burlesque has been around a while. It’s more than just a striptease too. In the 16oo-1700s it was divided into two classes: High Burlesque where inappropriate subject matter was dolled up and treated like it was literary gold. Sort of like Morgan Freeman and other actors reading 50 Shades of Gray aloud as though it were Shakespeare. (Yes you can find it on youtube. I won’t put it here.) Then we have Low Burlesque where a serious subject is treated to an irreverent, mocking style. Think of Monte Python and the Holy Grail. http://youtu.be/qyIZK7GWSPI
The Victorians here and abroad played with this type of satire in everything from carnival and circus shows to Can-Can. I suppose that’s how burlesque eventually became synonymous with striptease. In the last century coming out of Vaudeville, most strip shows were anchored by comedians such as Mae West, Abbott and Costello, W. C. Fields, Jackie Gleason, Danny Thomas, Al Jolson, Sid Caesar, Danny Kaye, and Red Skelton. These are just a few well-known names in comedy who started their careers in Burlesque. We also had famous dancers come out of those acts such as Gypsy Rose Lee, Blaze Starr, and Sally Rand.
When my dad was a young man of 20, he saw the incomparable burlesque show of Sally Rand the fan dancer when he went to the 1933 Century of Progress World’s Fair in Chicago.
Burlesque, who knew? It’s funny how things begin one way and turn into something else entirely.
No satire here tomorrow. Just weekend stuff.
Hot Halloween Heroes Giveaway Hop and Day1 of the month-long Romance Reviews Year-End Splash Party.
“He who wants to do good knocks at the gate: he who loves finds the door open.”
Author Nicole Morgan’s blog day
We have new author pages up at…
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