Yorkshire’s Finest Export (yes, better than the teabags…) and Cheesecake Burlesque extraordinaire, Anna Fur Laxis has flown the British burlesque flag from Teeside to Tokyo!
Along her worldwide travels, this UK burlesque performer even found time to capture ‘First Runner Up’ in both the 2011 Milan Burlesque Awards and Miss Exotic World at the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, the industry’s highest regarded awards ceremony.
Anna is well-known for her innovative, adorable and unique performances. One of her most well known routines is inspired by burlesque and pin up legend Bettie Page, exploring the two sides of Anna (and Bettie) in Viva Bettie! It’s a piece that exemplifies one genre of burlesque known as ‘Cheesecake’.
Cheesecake (which Webster’s Dictionary defines as, “Photography displaying especially female comeliness and shapeliness”) is a term often used to describe cheeky, comical burlesque. Its male counterpart being ‘beefcake’. Oh yes!
Acts may be situational, for example baking a cake or reading a book are often played up, exaggerated or morphed into a dreamscape. Cheesecake burlesque performances generally break the fourth wall and even involve the audience via coy glances, music choice and physical interaction.
The unusual name for a genre, ‘Cheesecake’ came into use after 1915, when a newspaper photographer, George Miller, papped a visiting Russian diva, Elvira Amazar. Whilst walking from her ship in New York. Miller asked the opera singer to hike up her skirt a little for the sake of the picture. Later, the photographer’s editor, something of a foodie, is to have exclaimed, “Why, this is better than cheesecake!”
Check out our Guide to Showgirl Burlesque with Bettsie Bon Bon and watch our answer to: what is burlesque?