Entertainment & Events

Classic Burlesque Gets an Update

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“See how the girl next door undresses!”

A burlesque show is a thing of beauty. With music throbbing throughout the audience and a beautiful woman onstage, slowly removing her glittering costume layer by layer, burlesque commands attention. However, the attention burlesque receives is not always positive and is often very controversial. Some see it as an incredibly powerful representation of female empowerment and sexuality, while others view it in much the same way they view strip clubs. The latter view is incredibly misguided and San Diego’s very own Hell on Heels Burlesque Revue is here to prove it.

Blending comedic skits with strip teases, burlesque shows are full of variety and became incredibly popular in America in the 1860s. Within the past ten years we have seen a resurgence of classic burlesque, with troupes emerging to put on shows filled with glamour and the suggestion of complete nudity. One can find a form of burlesque in so many places and with famous burlesque figures, like the gorgeous Dita Von Teese, burlesque is quickly rooting itself within present-day American culture. While burlesque is appearing in Hollywood films, television, and online videos, the best way to experience it is to seek out an actual troupe and attend a live show.

“See how the girl next door undresses” is the tagline for the Hell on Heels Burlesque Revue and it does not disappoint. The group is filled with gorgeous women who are incredibly powerful and comfortable with themselves in a way that is rarely seen in the media. Here is a group of real women, with real bodies, and each one with the power to hypnotize an entire audience. It is impossible to merely watch a Hell on Heels show because each person finds themselves so wrapped up in the performances that they can’t help feeling connected to the women on stage. There’s something almost spiritual in the way these girls celebrate their bodies, allowing all women to see themselves in a new light, something that is a rarity in today’s body-conscious society. Claudia Garcia, the manager of Hell on Heels, can’t talk about the group without her swelling pride showing in her smile:

“Many times women and men approach us after shows and say how thankful they are to see women with figures onstage. I’m sure it helps empower women in the audience. Maybe they think, ‘If they have confidence to do that, so can I!’ We may not be model perfect, but that’s what makes us the girl next door – fun, glamorous, empowered, beautiful!”

Burlesque allows women to command their own sexuality and in turn, is a very female-driven landscape. Women perform for themselves and oftentimes the performances, while always creative and playful, pay homage to powerful women of the past. These homages allow women to take control of male-written feminine history and present their own image on top of that history. Unlike dances at strip clubs, burlesque performances are not created out of male desire, but are instead an organic display of feminine beauty and power. A burlesque performer demands attention and forces the audience to see her in any way she wants to be seen. It allows women to take complete control of their sexuality, empowering themselves and in turn, empowering the women in the audience. Burlesque troupes like Hell on Heels hold up feminine beauty, strip the stereotypes away, and demand that women of all shapes and color be revered for who they are.

Join the Hell on Heels Burlesque Revue in celebrating feminine beauty at their next show, entitled “Dying on a Saturday Night: A Misfits Promenade.” Happening on October 22 at Brick by Brick, the Hell on Heels girls, with special guests Miss Joy Ryder and Mama Bodessa, will perform alongside live music performed by The Strikers. Dress in your 50s best and get ready for a night filled with Misfits music, classic Halloween tunes, and thrilling performances.

Keep track of Hell on Heels Burlesque Review by visiting their website or Facebook page.

4 Comments

  1. Dru Young

    October 11, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed this article. Not only did I learn about burlesque, I found that it is something I think I would love to see. The knowledge that the women feel empowered and love to do this for themselves is something I did not think of. I had no idea there were shows like this to be seen in San Diego. I definitely intend to catch the next show this month. Thanks very much for the article. I very much enjoyed the discriptive and colorful writing, it was a joy to read!

  2. Amy

    October 14, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Wow! Fabulous, descriptive writing. Thanks for the VIVID imagery, Ms. Pantovich 😉

  3. Ivan Hillangard

    October 14, 2011 at 9:20 am

    This article was intuitive and artfully put together. I have never been interested in burlesque but I may branch out from my norm and see a show now that I know what to expect! Bravo!

  4. Emily

    October 26, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    What an intriguing look into the world of burlesque. I am definitely inclined to see these ladies perform and see how the girls next door undress. Thanks for the interesting information.

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