Guide to Finnish Burlesque with Kiki Hawaiji

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Kiki Hawaiji

Our ear to the ground and bosom to a pastie in Finland. No, the one and only Kiki Hawaiji has given us this insight into the scene there, on the back of the recent and world-famous Helsinki Burlesque Festival…

Kiki Hawaiji and Finland Burlesque

It’s less than two weeks since we celebrated the 5th anniversary of Helsinki Burlesque Festival. The event that started the burlesque boom literally out of nothing in Finland.

On one hand it feels light years away when our ideas were being refused by venues just because no one knew the word burlesque, let alone what it was about. And on the other hand, time has really flown when we’ve been having loads of fun!

From the beginning, our goal has been to provide quality over quantity and to honour the history of burlesque as well as to celebrate the modern day movement with all its diversity. Over the years we’ve had the pleasure to enjoy the company and to see the burlesque performances of international legends and stars such as Satan’s Angel, World Famous *BOB*, Scotty the Blue Bunny, Cherry Typhoon, Eva von Slut, Kitten on the Keys and the Reigning Queen of Burlesque, Miss Indigo Blue – just to mention a few.

In order to support the growth and development of the domestic scene, the educational aspect has walked along hand in hand with glittering festivities. Workshops by international guests and teachers of Burleskinsituutti (the Finnish Academy of Burlesque) as well as the annual Newcomer’s Night have offered significant stepping stones to local artists, who are now ravishing the audiences all around the world.

So as we look how and where Finnish burlesque is today – male, female and everyone in between; artists shaking, shimmying, bumbing and grinding in big festivals, annual clubs, art museums, even health fairs from Helsinki to the Arctic Circle, one can only think: “None of this could have happened without taking risks, keeping one’s faith during the hard times and most importantly, the collaboration between the ones who love creativity more than cash.”

On behalf of Finnish burlesque performers and producers, Kiki Hawaiji.

Find out more about Kiki Hawaiji on her website.

If you’re in Finland this month, please check out www.flirthelsinki.com on the 16th March.

Watch this montage of Helsinki Burlesque Festival and start saving for your ticket:

Check out Australian Burlesque Takes Pop Culture Prisoner and watch our answer to: what is burlesque?

(Main image from Laikanet Burlesque)

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