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Sun, Jun 09



History of Burlesque

This course dives into the dazzling world of burlesque, tracing its journey from cheeky 19th-century European theater to its glamorous modern revival, spotlighting iconic performers, cultural shifts, and today's vibrant burlesque scene.

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History of Burlesque
History of Burlesque

Time & Location

Jun 09, 2024, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Denver, 1800 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80210, USA


About the event

"The History of Burlesque" is a captivating course that delves into the rich and colorful evolution of burlesque as a unique form of entertainment and social commentary. The course begins with an exploration of burlesque's origins in 19th-century Europe, tracing its development from theatrical parodies that mocked the upper class and classical art forms. Students will learn about the early influences of Victorian burlesque in England and how it spread to America, transforming into a distinct genre that combined satire, music, dance, and comedy. This historical foundation sets the stage for understanding how burlesque has continually reinvented itself in response to cultural and social changes.

As the course progresses, students will examine the golden age of American burlesque, from the late 19th century through the early 20th century, focusing on its rise in popularity in vaudeville theaters and its transformation into a more risqué and provocative form of entertainment. Key figures such as Gypsy Rose Lee, Mae West, and Tempest Storm will be studied for their contributions to the art form and their impact on popular culture. The course also addresses the decline of burlesque in the mid-20th century due to increasing censorship and competition from other entertainment forms, and how it adapted to survive these challenges.

In the final section of the course, students will explore the modern revival of burlesque, examining how contemporary performers and troupes have revitalized and redefined the genre. This includes an analysis of neo-burlesque and its emphasis on diversity, body positivity, and empowerment, as well as its intersection with other performance arts. Students will engage with current trends and movements within the burlesque community, understanding how this art form continues to challenge societal norms and celebrate individuality. By the end of the course, students will have a comprehensive understanding of burlesque's historical significance, cultural impact, and ongoing evolution.

About the Instructor:  Fawn O’Breitzman has been a college professor for over 20 years. She specializes in issues of Sex and Gender and presents at Transgender conferences all around the country. She does inclusion training for businesses and has worked with everyone from hospitals to construction yards to help companies make sure they are providing the best and most respectful care to their clients. She has been a social worker and therapist, as well as a wife and a mother. Although she has a background in Psychology, she has a passion for history and loves to dive into musty books. 


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