Strip tease is a dance performance in which the performer begins with minimal clothing and ends with no clothing. It is also known as striptease or peep show. This is a type of performance art that involves the deliberate exposure of various parts of the body to provoke excitement, usually by suggestion. Come explore the world of strip tease with us – from its inception till the present day…
Strip tease can be traced back to ancient times and cultures like those of the Greeks or Romans. There are depictions of nude or semi-nude women on pottery, frescoes and even mosaics found in many archaeological sites dating back to 2000 BC. It is also depicted in several paintings of the renaissance era. The Victorians had similar ideas of semi-nude or nude women as an art form. The idea was to create an urge or an attraction to the woman but not have to court her. It was a time when women were supposed to be covered up and not seen naked.
The Renaissance Era
A strip tease was a common sight in the renaissance era when there were performances by courtesans in royal courts. They would begin the performance in a very glamorous costumes and as the act progressed, they would remove more layers of clothing till they were left with just a few pieces of jewellery. The dancers were generally from the lower classes and were often used as a political tools. Strips were common in travelling shows, fairs, and at the theatre.
The 20th Century
Strip tease was common during this period, with the burlesque shows when the women would remove their clothing piece by piece, leaving a trail of garments on the floor and performing to a live band. Strip Tease was also a common form of entertainment in gentlemen’s clubs or cabarets. The cabarets, however were a place where women who were not of royal or upper-class origin would dance in a semi-nude or topless state.
21st Century: Re-birth of the art form
Strip tease rose to prominence in the 21st century with the revival of burlesque clubs and a renewed interest in retro culture. Burlesque clubs and conventions flourished. As made the demand for Dancers who could perform striptease acts. The popularity of ‘Peep Shows’, where patrons could watch a striptease ‘hands-free’ (via a peephole), also increased.
Contemporary Strip Tease: It’s Meaning and Importance Today
Strip tease is a modern art form that is sensual, sexually charged and provocative. The person performing it may or may not be naked by the end of their performance. It is an expression of an art form that is as old as time.
It is done to thrill, excite, and titillate an audience. It is usually done in a public setting such as a club, a bar, or a cabaret but can also be performed privately. It can be a solo show, with one person performing all the acts, or can be a group performance with several people taking turns to perform. Both men and women can do strip tease, but, in general, a woman will be ‘teasing’ the audience by slowly removing her clothing and/or other articles of clothing such as high-heeled shoes, a fur coat, etc.
Strip tease, in its most traditional form, is a dance that combines provocative and sensual movements with the use of props and costumes. One can argue that strip tease is more than just taking off your clothes in front of an audience – it’s art.