An Exotic History: The Geisha

In the Far East, the geisha training system was founded in Japan in the 11th Century to promote the economic self-sufficiency of women. The geisha held high social status, and it was for that stated purpose that the geisha training system was established quite admirably in Japanese society, where there were very few pathways for... Continue Reading →

An Exotic History: American Showgirls

The first American showgirls emerged in the United States in 1907, created by producers such as Florenz Zigfried and Margaret Kelly Leibovici, otherwise known as Miss Bluebell. Striptease was one of the many sideshows featured in travelling carnivals, and female performers incorporated the tent pole into their routines by climbing to the top and... Continue Reading →

An Exotic History: The Windmill Theatre

Named after a windmill that had once stood at the same site, The Windmill Theatre first opened in London as a small playhouse, replacing Britain’s first art house cinema, the Palais de Luxe. Laura Henderson, the widowed wife of a wealthy merchant, bought the Palais de Luxe in 1930. Mrs. Henderson and her theatre manager, Vivian Van Damm, decided to... Continue Reading →

A Exotic History: The Moulin Rouge

The second industrial revolution saw a time of frivolity unfolding in Paris. With electricity being rolled out across the city, cabarets like ‘Le Chat Noir’, ‘Le Miriton’ and ‘Les Folies Bergères’ were established and offered a place for aristocrats and workers alike to relax and enjoy themselves. These venues generally settled in Montmartre, at... Continue Reading →

An Exotic History: The Golden Age of Burlesque

In the Victorian Age, although separated by wealth and privilege, both society’s elite and working class indulged in exotic entertainment. Women went to great lengths to hide their physical forms beneath bustles, hoops and frills, and so the idea of young ladies appearing on stage in their silk stockings and bustiers was a controversial temptation.... Continue Reading →

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