• Sweden's news in English

Feathers and flesh at Stockholm Burlesque

The Local · 5 Oct 2013, 15:51

Published: 05 Oct 2013 15:51 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"This is risqué entertainment for an adult audience," performer and organizer Fräulein Frauke warns The Local. "If you only sit at home watching cartoons, don't come to burlesque."

The show, which kicked off with a two-hour spectacle of seduction and striptease at the Södra Teatern on Friday night and runs until Sunday, sees artists from eleven different countries hitting the stage to strut their stuff.

The performers come in all shapes and sizes - and names, from Champagne Sparkles to Trixi Tassels. Another, Aurora Galore, bamboozled the audience with fiery red flames and feathers, her tongue twisting around the grotesque make up on her face, dancing in a near-shoulder-dislocatingly wild frenzy.

IN PICTURES: Scenes from Friday night's show

Another man, Sir Willy Waterlilly, stripped almost naked while parading around on a hobby horse. A lot of Willy and not much waterlilly in that one.

But there's a lot more to it than just a bit of cheeky fun.

"Our show, and burlesque in general, is not made with the intention of satisfying a male audience and getting them to put money in our pants. This is entertainment through costume, the body, music, sound, and stage lights," Frauke explains.

The cabaret entertainment also raises questions about sexuality and gender, and Frauke believes the "feminist twist" is extremely important.

"Female sexuality is nothing bad, why should sexiness be a problem? We all have a right to be here and take up space," she says.

The show itself is a strong supporter of breast cancer awareness, with the organizers selling raffle tickets to raise money for pink ribbon cancer funds.

On Saturday night at Octbooberfest, the women will even hold a tassle twirling championship to see who can "tassle" the longest.

"It's a bit silly and a bit fun, but it's part of the pink ribbon campaign and this is our way of helping. We love out boobs and we use our boobs a lot," she explains.

"But tassle twirling isn't easy, I'm not kidding. You need proper technique. I wouldn't last so long myself, but we'll be introducing challenges along the way to make it harder, changing the music, getting the girls on one knee, with their hands in the air. But this is all just a bit of fun."

The show, and burlesque in general, tries to push the concept that sexiness isn't just a thin woman in a magazine, according to Fräulein Frauke.

"For me, sexiness is all about energy and how you carry yourself. Seeing someone perform well, seeing that they love it, this is classic beauty," she explains.

"Take someone like Aurora Galore, the freak, she really doesn't want normal beauty, she likes ugly. But she was fucking sexy, doing her thing and loving every minute of it. It wasn't about the moves or her boobs, it was all about her her energy and confidence."

DON'T MISS: Provocative pics of Stockholm Burlesque Festival performers

And sexiness shouldn't be limited, either, she explains.

"Sexiness has nothing to do with size, shape or age, I've seen wonderful women performing who are in their seventies and eighties. Sexuality doesn't go away when you hit 30, sexiness is having passion and going for it."

Story continues below…

As for Frauke, she will be heading off to perform around the world from London to Rome in the coming weeks, as well as focusing on her own club Fräulein Frauke Presents at Nalen, which she touts as a welcome relief from the typical Stockholm night out where people "dress badly, get drunk, flirt, then go home with someone at 3 in the morning"

"There's nothing wrong with all that," she tells The Local with a laugh. "But I find it all a bit uptight and extremely boring."

"At our shows you've got corsets, tails, tuxedoes, flowers, women with fantastic dresses - and that's just the audience... it's not a freak show, it's wonderful," she says.

"There's just so much more in the burlesque world."

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available