1. Home
  2. /
  3. Burlesque cabaret

The burlesque cabaret

From the origins of burlesque in Paris to neo-burlesque shows

The burlesque cabaret has revived and updated since the 1990s. Its origins are in the French capital where the genre developed over 100 years ago. At the present, some establishments still offer burlesque cabaret shows in Paris, or pay tribute to them.

cabaret burlesque paris

The burlesque cabaret, definition and origins

Although its origins and inspirations remain obscure, it is considered that the burlesque cabaret began to develop and had its first moment of glory in Paris, at the end of the 19th century. At that time, some Parisian cabarets presented lighthearted comedy shows tinged with a provocative dimension. They featured female artists, generally more or less naked, who did sensual performances: for example, the bewitching choreographies with veils of Loïe Fuller and the famous French Cancan.

From the 1880s, the kind of erotic-comic show played in Parisian cabarets enjoyed a popular success. It was exported internationally, particularly to the United States under the name of “burlesque”, where the genre experienced a second golden age in the 1940s and 1950s. In North America, the burlesque shows evolved to focus on the effeuillage (i.e. stripping – the art of undressing), and the burlesque art became popular through the glamorous, enticing figure of the pin-up girl.

Because of the emergence of television and conservative concerns, the burlesque cabaret disappeared gradually in the 1970s… Until its renewal in the 1990s.

Discover L’Oiseau Paradis, the Paradis Latin show that pays tribute to the beginnings of burlesque cabaret in Paris.

Today's burlesque cabaret

Nowadays, there is a neo-burlesque or new burlesque trend that goes hand in hand with a revival of interest in stripping and “racy” performances, and with the emergence of artists who reappropriate the aesthetic codes of the pin-up, such as Dita von Teese.

Between dancing, comedy, eroticism, glamour, derision and exuberance, the burlesque shows can take place in an intimate and poetic atmosphere, in an elegant and skilfully dosed display of frills and sequins, or in a more suggestive and eccentric spirit, bordering on striptease.

However, there is one constant: the burlesque cabaret artists are real performers who have varied and complementary talents, at the same time dancers, actors, circus artists, stylists and choreographers. Sensual and sexy, the burlesque performances praise the diversity of bodies and curves, self-acceptance and women’s empowerment.

burlesque cabaret show paris
paris burlesque show paradis latin

The show of the Paradis Latin pays tribute to the beginnings of burlesque cabaret in Paris

If you are looking for an authentic cabaret experience, go to the Paradis Latin. Founded by Napoleon in 1803 and rebuilt by Gustave Eiffel in 1889, the place has a rich history and takes pride of place in the renowned cabarets of Paris.

The latest show of the Paradis Latin, “L’Oiseau Paradis, is a modern version of the burlesque shows performed in the Parisian cabarets during the Belle Époque. Kamel Ouali, the stage director of this show, notably decided to revisit the traditional French Cancan.

In the tradition of the Parisian burlesque cabarets of the end of the 19th century, “L’Oiseau Paradis is alternately sensual, poetic, audacious and comic. You will be amazed by its international cast, spectacular sets and more than 500 costumes designed by a pretigious Parisian fashion house.