Putting the ‘BRA’ in Bratislava

The bold burlesque troupe taking Slovakia by storm! 

You can’t open a magazine or turn on the TV these days without seeing a flash of stocking or the sparkle of a nipple tassel. Its clear that burlesque is quickly becoming an integral part of modern day pop culture, whether its Rihanna seductively straddling a chair in fishnets and a bowler hat in her latest video, or the Kardashians sporting their faux-corset waist trainers on instagram, burlesque is no longer the taboo topic that it once was.

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Bratislava Burlesque

This isn’t quite the case for everyone. Slovakia would be considered by many to be one of the most conservative countries in modern Europe but thanks to a passionate group of enthusiasts, burlesque is taking off in a real way. Bratislava Burlesque is the countries first burlesque troupe, they regularly host sold out burlesque events and have established a school in the countries capital which is creating a burgeoning community of like minded devotees.

“We are on a mission to create a new discrimination-free galaxy and we are doing it in heels and fishnets.”

While enjoying their new found success the troupe are not oblivious to the fact that they have challenges ahead of them. The founder of Bratislava Burlesque, Lotta Love, told us that they are not afraid to go against the grain of their traditionally conservative Slovakian culture, “We do not shy from criticizing our society, politics or using humor to overcome everyday stereotypes. Our main purpose is to touch people’s hearts and open their minds. We are on a mission to create a new discrimination-free galaxy and we are doing it in heels and fishnets.“

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Image by Brano Vartovnik

There was a huge demand for Loves burlesque classes from the moment she opened her academy. Burlesque has ignited a fire of interest in many Slovakian women but the transition hasn’t been so easy for everyone. Student and troupe member Lend Del Vanilla recounts, “The first year for me was kind of hell. My mind didn’t want to accept the fact that I was going to dance in front of other people and strip off! But once I stood on the stage, all of my anxiety melted away and it was though time didnt even exist, it just happened. I lost myself in the glittering world of seduction.“

Many women find burlesque to be a therapeutic experience which helps them gain self confidence and access their true beauty and potential. The Austria born glitter-bomb, Diamond Fairy confesses, “Burlesque for me isn´t about breasts, it’s about the tease, the entertainment, the feeling of self-confidence and the journey of self-expression. I love spreading positive energy.  I’m so thankful that burlesque came into my life. When I imagine the younger me watching myself, I know I’m making that little girl very proud!”

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Image by Brano Vartovnik

All of the women in the troupe commented that the most important thing burlesque had given them was the freedom of self expression. Black haired vixen Magie Noire used to devote her time to lots of different activities  before she discovered burlesque. She bounced from pilates to flamenco but never really felt that she had found her true passion until she discovered the power of burlesque. “It’s fun and creative hobby but first and foremost its a belief that any shape, weight or height can do the job!” Fellow performer, the curvaceous Lady Vivian agrees, ‘This world is full of colours, diversity and freedom. Burlesque for me means female empowerment, being on that stage allows me to be anyone I choose to be.”

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Image by Brano Vartovnik

Former model and shyest member of the group Catrice Cat has blossomed into an international award winning showgirl in a very short time. “I am the shyest and the most silent person on Earth. I would never have thought that one day l be self-employed as an entertainer travelling around Europe. You can hit the stage like a diva or rock it like a rock star and I totally live for these moments.”

Its clear that these ladies aren’t just strip teasers, they are pioneers of a new and emerging burlesque scene that is telling women that its ok to express yourself and your sexuality. These women are sending a message loud and clear, ‘It´s time for Slovakia to loosen up! Let´s spread some glamour and help develop self-confidence among woman and let’s have some fun doing it!“

Contributor: Brano Vartovnik


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