Learn to sparkle at striptease workshop
Tassels, glitter and glamour – the theatrical art of burlesque is back and an Ashford performer plans to bring it to the area. KIRSTY PARKIN reports.
BY day Charlotte Figg is a dance student but by night she becomes glamourpuss Liberty Sweet.
The former Highworth pupil is making a name for herself in the burlesque scene.
A mixture of cabaret and striptease which has been popular for centuries, burlesque is enjoying a revival, with clubs and shows opening all over the country.
Charlotte, 19, who studies dance at Roehampton University in London, is hoping to bring her skills to her home town in an introductory workshop.
“It is essentially striptease,” said Charlotte, who lives in Repton Park, Ashford.
“But it is much more glamorous and classy. It is about what you keep on rather than what you take off.
“It is an art and a performance.”
Charlotte has been performing burlesque for more than a year after becoming engrossed in its history. “It is so fascinating,” she said. “There are legendary performers who have their own acts which have become famous.
“I have a couple of signature acts. I like bringing my dancing to my performance so sometimes it might be influenced by
the tango, tap or ballet.”
Creating glamorous costumes is another part of the fun.
“My costumes vary greatly,” Charlotte said.
“Dressing up is fun and really makes you feel like the person.”
And not having much money does not mean you have to scrimp on glamour.
“As I am a student I don’t spend ridiculous amounts – I buy really cheap clothes and go to fabric shops and sew bits on,” Charlotte explained. “The more sparkle the better. “Most performers strip down to nipple tassels and knickers but you can take off as much or as little as you want to.”
Charlotte is planning to offer a one-day beginners’ introduction to burlesque course in Ashford this summer.
It will cover areas such as creating your own stage and screen persona, the tease of the striptease, choosing the right music and tassel-twirling.
“Burlesque is not only a huge upcoming trend in dance and entertainment,” said Charlotte,
“It is also a fantastic opportunity for women of any age and size to gain confidence and have fun.
“There are hundreds of workshops and burlesque events around the country but I think it’s about time a bit of 1950s showgirl glamour was brought to women here.”
If you are interested in taking part in workshop, or for more information, e-mail libertysweet @hotmail.co.uk
Burlesque performer and dance student Charlotte Figg, who is also known as Liberty Sweet
Blues guitarist Gary Moore will play at the Leas Cliff Hall