Les Filles Rouges is a vintage Pigalle-style show inspired by Melinda’s time spent in Paris and Berlin, two cities instrumental to burlesque’s development as an art form. This European-flavoured burlesque is more vaudevillian than most American Neo-Burlesque seen today; song, dance, and underpants take center stage, with stripping an occasional side effect rather than a main event. Featuring a gaggle of gorgeous gals and their devilish MC, Les Filles Rouges is progressive-burlesque – empowered entertainment, with a dash of literary lasciviousness. Surprisingly classy, side-splittingly funny, and occasionally poignant, it’s burlesque at its best!
What is Progressive Burlesque?
Coined to define Les Filles Rouges’ particular style, the phrase is meant to convey the duality of their unique brand of burlesque – sexy but not sexual, lusty but not lewd. Miller-Klopfer believes burlesque can be life-changing, to those performing as well as observing it. Self-empowerment, self-love, self-respect… these are vital ingredients in progressive burlesque, and tend to be contagious; many a spectator has expressed their heartfelt thanks to Les Filles Rouges for helping to unearth self-love whilst sitting in the audience. Not, perhaps, what you’d expect from a show full of naked ladies. The therapeutic effects of Les Filles Rouges on its own performers has been overwhelming. Through liberated movement, sexual expression, and safe creative space, burlesque has had a life-changing effect (and we don’t say that glibly) on many of Les Filles.
Furthermore, progressive burlesque dedicates itself to improving women’s rights… onstage and off. Ten percent of all show revenues and one hundred percent of all merchandise proceeds are donated to an educational fund for former child prostitutes in remote India – thus using sexual empowerment to fuel itself; to allow women taking their clothes off on their own terms to assist those who took them off under heartbreaking and abusive circumstances. For more information on founder Melinda’s work as a dance therapist in India, or to make a donation to the fund, please visit the ‘Burlesque to Bihar’ section of this webpage.