26 September 2016 | 17 °C

In Pictures: World Burlesque Games

In Pictures: World Burlesque Games
The World Burlesque Games took place 7-13 May
The World Burlesque Games took place 7-13 May
Many performers used circus skills including fire-eating, circus hoops and acrobatics.
Many performers used circus skills including fire-eating, circus hoops and acrobatics.
Eliza De Lite walked away with the prestigious UK Female Crown 2012
Eliza De Lite walked away with the prestigious UK Female Crown 2012
Miss Behave compered  the Triple Crown event at Floridita.
Miss Behave compered the Triple Crown event at Floridita.
Ireland's Big Chief Random Chaos won the Twisted Crown 2012.
Ireland's Big Chief Random Chaos won the Twisted Crown 2012.
It was not unusual to see performers (and their pets) mingling with the punters.
It was not unusual to see performers (and their pets) mingling with the punters.
The audience came dressed for the night, often in vintage garb or corsets.
The audience came dressed for the night, often in vintage garb or corsets.
Kiki Lovechild, furlesque pioneer and runner up in the Triple Crown 2012.
Kiki Lovechild, furlesque pioneer and runner up in the Triple Crown 2012.
Burlesque dancer and blogger Rubyyy Jones holding court.
Burlesque dancer and blogger Rubyyy Jones holding court.
Performer and judge Lady Cheek runs her own burlesque school, The Cheek Of It.
Performer and judge Lady Cheek runs her own burlesque school, The Cheek Of It.
UK Male Crown 2012 winner and PhD student British Heart with his literally balls-out performance.
UK Male Crown 2012 winner and PhD student British Heart with his literally balls-out performance.
The week ended as it started with a dazzling show at Madame Jojo's.
The week ended as it started with a dazzling show at Madame Jojo's.

It might have been re-badged in honour of the Olympics but the sixth London Burlesque Week was no less of a spectacle.

Partly due to the success of local performer Beatrix Von Bourbon on Britain's Got Talent, the artform lovingly described by the Guardian as "stripping for posh people" has rarely been in greater demand.

This year's festival comprised of seven individual UK and international contests plus opening and closing ceremonies spread over seven days.

Amidst the tornado of tassels (or pasties to the initiated) and Swarovski-encrusted corsets, there was a huge variety of performers and performances. While there is still a strong predominance of classic (or "cheesecake") burlesque, occasionally backed by perenial favourites "Feelin' Good" or "I'm Too Sexy", three nights were dedicated to alternative performers.

The Triple Crown saw Anna The Hulagan undress while shimmying within a blazing hula hoop and Kiki Lovechild show off his unique brand of furlesque. The next night, Ireland's Big Chief Random Chaos walked away with the Twisted Crown for an act which saw him running around in a tutu, sitting on tacks and setting his mohican on fire. Last but not least, an evening dedicated to boylesque saw circus tricks, showtunes and a strange collection of props including a banana skirt, a gramophone and a strategically placed sock.

Every event we attended was packed with roughly equal numbers of men and women with the audience often dressing up for the occasion in corsets and other vintage garb. Organiser Chaz Royal has taken note of the growing popularity of the scene and announced that next year's London Burlesque Festival will be over ten days. Roll on 2013...

All pictures (c) Jose Farinha

Last Updated 16 July 2015

Franco Milazzo

Article by Franco Milazzo | 477 articles | View Profile