Arise Arossa

Image by Steve Babb, used with permission

In June 2018 A Splendid Day Out visitors were treated to a burlesque performance by new entries to the scene Burlesque IOM (Isle Of Man). The troupe were well received by the audience and while there, troupe leader Madame Zuri Arossa fell in love with steampunk. Burlesque has links to the Victorian era as that’s when it was arguably at it’s height. Before the rise of cinema and subsequently television took it almost to extinction.

Neo-burlesque is now back on the rise and Madame Zuri has her diamond encrusted eyelashes set firmly on the UK steampunk scene as being a new home for her and the troupe. The 2019 routine will feature songs from well known steampunk artists such as Alice’s Night Circus and they’ll be integrating steampunk design into their outfits.

Driving force

Madame Zuri Arossa is the driving force behind the Burlesque IOM. She hasn’t always been in the burlesque community, though once she was involved, it changed her as she explains: “I’ve been performing musical theatre most of my life and I’m an established actress, producer and director on the Isle of Man. Nearly four years ago, when I retired from Musical theatre, I discovered Burlesque. It gave me a new lease of life and a new found confidence. In musical theatre I was starting to feel a bit ‘old’, I’m 43. But when I started to learn dance routines for burlesque I began to feel empowered. So much so that I went to London and qualified as a Burlesquercise instructor. It wasn’t long before I teamed up with like-minded people and I reverted back to what I knew best, producing and directing theatre shows but only this time with added Burlesqueness!”

Madame Zuri Arossa
The troupe inject humour and cheekiness into their routines. Image by Steve Babb, used with permission

The message that Burlesque IOM are conveying about body confidence and empowerment are being well received by residents of the small northern island. “(We) have established a respected reputation on the Isle of Man. We’re hired for all sorts of events and functions. We try to do a show, complete with live mic singing and story-line, every so often. We use our performances to educate our audiences. They seem to get that we are spreading the word for empowerment and body confidence for both men and women.”

Interestingly, as Madame Arossa says, the troupe don’t just entertain, but they also educate the audience through their performances. They do this via their History of Burlesque talk. “The History of Burlesque opens with a live mic routine and includes storytelling about the origins of burlesque and about how it became one of the most popular forms of vaudeville entertainment.” explains Madame Zuri. “I take the audience through the fall and rise of its popularity. I also touch on different genres associated with Burlesque. At the end of the talk, and another live mic performance, I demonstrate a simple burlesque routine. In which the audience will have the chance to take part.”

Have a Go!

Once you’re fully conversant with the rich and compelling history of burlesque, you can have a go! Madame Zuri’s Burlesque For Beginners workshop gives you the chance to have a go at the art of tease.  “I open workshops with a live mic number which incorporates a fan dance routine. The audience will learn basic burlesque moves and perform a full routine. Don’t worry there will be no floor or chair work so its bustle and cog friendly. I break all moves down for safety and audience members won’t be asked to perform anything they don’t feel comfortable with. Clothing desirable, a sense of fun and naughtiness essential!”

Image by Steve Babb, used with permission

Madame Zuri Arossa doesn’t just stop at burlesque, she also comperes events. She’s currently promoting herself to all steampunk, music and burlesque events in the UK. She’s using her solo work to lever the name of Burlesque IOM into the peripheral vision of steampunks in the UK

.  In order to do this, for her 2019 bookings, she is waiving her fee. She’s only asking for travel and accommodation. Prospective event organisers could find this beneficial if they’re on a tight budget.

You can find out more about Burlesque Isle of Man by following them on Facebook or Instagram.

Click this text for the Facebook link

Search BurlesqueIOM for Instagram

You can visit their website www.burlesqueiom.com for more information

Anyone wishing to book or find out more can email Burlesqueiom@gmail.com

Burlesque in the Modern Age – Steampunk Journal

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