The updated "cabaret"
In February, The Guardian reported that the infamous New York nightclub The Box would be opening in London later this year. The new London spot is now located in the old Raymond Revuebar, a local landmark famous for being the only venue in London that offered full-frontal, on-stage nudity, since it opened in 1958 and later closed in 2004.
The Box (which originally opened on the Lower East Side in New York in 2007) is a cabaret-themed nightclub that was one of the tastemakers in the revival of classic burlesque. With its permanent dancers named "The Hammerstein Beauties", and other spectacular shows (sword swallowing, gymnastic acts and drag queen comedic numbers…), this nightclub situated in an old theater pays homage to the art of the spectacular and burlesque striptease. The London opening of The Box and its location incorporate several strong trends merging together in one space…
Interior shots, The Box, New YorkThe popularization of striptease
The democratization of, and increasing interest in theatrical striptease and cabaret culture is also spreading to a wider audience in Paris where the Secret Square offers a casual approach to striptease. This, by creating an environment where it is part of a sophisticated bar and club experience. In New York, the Westway (called the "ironic-hipster strip joint" by New York Magazine) makes go-go dancers (boys and girls) look like the new thing…The reopening of "heritage" venues
The initiative to reopen the Raymond Revuebar to house The Box also proves the recent interest in old theaters and clubs, a trend that we have spotted on several locations around the world. The idea is to follow-up on the old legacies of historical landmarks (think Le Trianon and Le Renard in Paris), and to respond to consumers’ desires for the extravagance in “the old days”, a counter reaction to minimal living and political correctness.
From left to right : 1. Still shot from the film "Tournée" & 2. Image from the Cannes film festival, 2010, as seen on www.festival-cannes.canalplus.frBurlesque and the expressions of femininity
We talked about the increasing interest in the burlesque culture on a broader level in our Inspirations book for Fall/Winter 12/13 where we highlight the film "Tournée" as one of our main influences for the "Sentimental Subversion" theme. "Tournée" is a film by Mathieu Amalric that pays homage to theatrical striptease performances, while paying tribute to the many expressions of femininity (also an indirect critic to today’s conformist values of beauty). Another more mainstream example of this is the box-office hit Burlesque from 2010, starring Cher and Christina Aguilera.