Bringing Burlesque Back! at the Sugarhut, 25.05.12

Boring Cape Town Chick BlogThis last Saturday night I was invited to watch a Burlesque performance at the Sugar Hut. I’ve seen a few burlesque performances in Cape Town but I didn’t know that one could ‘officially’ learn how to dance in Cape Town. The new students of Lady Magnolia gave the club a shimmy-glittering performance on Friday night. The bar was beautifully decorated along with the gorgeous pin-up style girls, all creating an inviting and exciting night out.

Burlesque performances have been creeping up in Cape Town over the past few years from bars to clubs. The first burlesque performance I saw was at Mersy Bar just off Long street. The ladies were very good and I felt that they had successfully suggested a strip tease without using full nudity. I also saw a few ladies at the Jolly Roger a few months back. Again, we’d just popped in for a few drinks and enjoyed a performance.

I must comment that I’m impressed and confused slightly by the art of burlesque. One positive is that it empowers women through performance. Secondly, the performers do not need to have the body of a super model, curvy ’50’s’ styled bodies are more than welcome! On the other hand, do women have to strip to feel beautiful and empowered as a woman? Or is the purpose – to help women ‘own’ their sexual power? If so, then burlesque is perfect because there isn’t any full nudity (to my knowledge) but it is rather provocative.

At Bringing Burlesque Back!, all the student women (young and old) entertained the bar. Naturally, some girls were better than others but that’s just the nature of learning – it was entertaining none the less. All the women dressed beautifully with lots of make up, glitter, costumes and all performed to their best. The bar looked amazing too, beautifully decorated along with the gorgeous pin-up style girls. The dress code for the audience was ‘To the Nines!’ and everyone joined in on the fun. From facinators, dramatic lipstick, false eye lashes and fish net stockings, everyone was very excited to support and enjoy the night’s performances.

There are numerous events happening in Cape Town, Like Lady Magnolia’s Bevy of Beauties Page to keep up to date! I see there’s more information about the next event on the Facebook event.



  • Charlie says:

    As one of the novice performers on Sat, I’d like to respond by saying that I view burlesque as a (very sexy) theatrical art form. So for me, the empowerment definitely comes through performance and not through stripping. I’m sure you’ll agree that if you tell a woman who doesn’t have a supermodel body (like me) that she has to strip on stage, you probably won’t be met with enthusiasm. But the burlesque classes have allowed women who are all shapes and ages to realise that their sexiness comes from within and is something they can learn to exude and control. This is an extremely empowering realisation (and one that can be learned). If a performer truly feels beautiful, the removal of some of her costume – whether only a single glove or her entire corset – can become completely overshadowed by her confidence, so that at the end, what is remembered, is not how much she took off, but the woman.

  • Thanks for the great post! For me, burlesque offers an avenue to explore one’s sexuality that is safe and tasteful. It also allows women to feel comfortable in their bodies, as you mentioned, performers at this event raged in age from 25 to 55 and each one of them was able to bask in her unique beauty, whether on the lean or curvy side. I think that giving women an arena to express their sexuality in an environment like this is definitely empowering. However, I don’t’ make any claims that it’s the only way to empower women. Each of the girls who performed did so because it made them feel amazing and I think the audience could feel it too and everyone walked away feeling uplifted and like they’d had a taste of something special. xx Lady Magnolia

    • Thank you 🙂 I have to say that all the women looked really good and I asked myself WHY skinny and tanned is so popular these days when actually most nude women look beautiful when confident. Let’s hope burlesque increases to feature in Cape Town, more power to you ladies!

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