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Neo Burlesque London
2010

Story done in collaboration with Wang Wei

It's almost midnight in Dalston - an up n'coming area of East London - and we're headed to the 'Die Freche Muse', the location for which, he 'private' Boys Club, was kept top-secret until the day of the party. A young female clown greets us with a wink and a flower as we duck under the arches of what seemingly looks to be a slightly run down Victorian building.

Stepping into the main lounge, an intimate space with possibly no more than a hundred guests, it feels as though we've pulled back a velvet curtain to reveal a scene of swinging skirt hems and wizzard-puffs of smoke from suited, shiny-shoed characters, smells of old-school cigarettes and softening Dixieland Jazz filling our hair

Pre-war, post-war and even Mardi Gras seem to colour the cool-cat characters in dress and attire. A young woman moves to front the crowd, dedicates her next performance to 'Baron Von Sanderson', the organiser of the party with the fun and fanciful 'character' name and softly croons her version of a Billy Holiday number.

Another woman sashays her way towards the singer, seemingly a lose friend of both her and the piano player but not necessarily a choreographed part of the act and begins a sensual striptease. And so commences an evenings entertainment of romantic, softly sensuous and sometimes rather amusing Burlesque shows.

Lost in this intimate world of nostalgia and decadence, I realise how thrilling it is that this too is London. London in all it's Neo- Burlesque glory. From alternative and underground to more mainstream endeavors, London appears to be in the midst of a Burlesque revival.

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