Tallahassee Likes Their Burlesque Shaken, Not Stirred

By Sydne Kilberg on November 22, 2015

The Shaken Not Stirred Burlesque is a local showcase here that has been dancing around the city for a little over a year now in Tallahassee, a “classy cabaret that keeps cheeky stripping fun and humorous, melding old and new”. The group performed at Side Bar the other night, November 20th, 2015, paying tribute to inspirations from the Follies and the British Blondes, scandalous flappers, and more modern-day muses such as Dita Von Teese. There was also an opening set from local hard/pop rock band Storm The Gates, and ended with garage punk-blues rock band, Invented Truths.

Their performers, led by the group’s Head Mistress Rachel Moselely, or better known as “Diamond Dahl” emphasize not just getting “naked” but the sensual process of *getting* naked in a myriad of venues around Tallahassee.

The History of Burlesuque

When you hear the term burlesque you think scandalous Victorian-era styled get-ups, dancing, and a slight association with strip teases, yes? But where did this all begin?

The word “burlesque” originated from the Spanish or Italian term “burla”; to mock, fool, or joke. This all began being thrown around in the 16th and 17th centuries when parodies of often famous authors and/or artists of the time became a spectacle the public enjoyed viewing.

Burlesque acts started out like satirical musical theater drawing from Shakespearean-like plays, only made up of beautiful women, sometimes even dressed as men (in opposition of men playing women’s roles in Shakespeare’s plays), just a tad bit more risqué, but also much less than what it is now today.

As time passed, along with the 19th century came more of the “striptease” aspect in America and Paris with the rise in popularity of vaudeville and places with more of a circus-like feel such as the Moulin Rouge.

With the prohibition came a crackdown on all of this since for the most part – this was an after-hours activity for adults and drinking. However just like anything, not being “allowed” to do something, only made people want it more.

This is where the “Neo-burlesque” movement surfaced which modernized the act to what it truly is today, attracting performers of all kinds, ”… anything from classic striptease to modern dance to theatrical mini-dramas to comedic mayhem.”

The stripteases place more emphasis on the tease aspect of it all though, and performers only tend to bare everything but a G-string and pasties, leaving a little to the imagination. The style of old-Hollywood glamour and vintage looks are treasured combined with what gets people going in today’s ever-evolving liberal culture.

To learn more and get updates on upcoming performances by the local Shaken Not Stirred group, check out their Facebook page!

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