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Sunday, 1 September 2013


In the 17th and 18th centuries, Burlesque was a form of satirical comedy parodying a particular play or dramatic genre. For example, John Gay's The Beggar's Opera (1728) was a burlesque of 18th-century opera, and Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The Critic (1777) satirized the sentimentality in contemporary drama.

American burlesque's origins are complex and confusing, though it owes most to American farces, minstrel show sketches, and saloon or honky-tonk entertainment. Historians most frequently date its beginnings to the 1860s and the performance in 1866 of a musical extravaganza called The Black Crook in New York City

During the 1920s striptease was introduced in order to counteract the growing popularity of the movies; Gypsy Rose Lee was the most famous stripper. Burlesque was frequently banned in the USA.

Lady Gaga started performing as a burlesque dancer after dropping out of college. She originally made a name for herself playing gigs at downtown Manhattan club venues with a performance art show billed as Lady Gaga and the Starlight Revue (co-featuring performance artist Lady Starlight), which was when music industry insiders initially  to take note.

Source Hutchinson Encyclopedia

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