Striptease in France  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The People's Almanac credit the origin of striptease as we know it to an act in 1890s Paris in which a woman slowly removed her clothes in a vain search for a flea crawling on her body. At this time Parisian shows such as the Moulin Rouge and Folies Bergère pioneered semi-nude dancing and tableaux vivants. In 1905, the notorious and tragic Dutch dancer Mata Hari, later shot as spy by the French authorities during World War One, was an overnight success from the debut of her act at the Musée Guimet on March 13, 1905. The most celebrated segment of her act was her progressive shedding of clothing until she wore just a jeweled bra and some ornaments over her arms and head. Another landmark performance was the appearance at the Moulin Rouge in 1907 of an actress called Germaine Aymos who entered dressed only in three very small shells. In the 1930s the famous Josephine Baker danced semi-nude at the Folies and other such performances were provided at the Tabarin. These shows were notable for their sophisticated choreography and dressing the girls in glitzy sequins and feathers. By the 1960s "fully nude" shows were provided at such places as Le Crazy Horse Saloon.

See also

striptease, French erotica, French cabaret, France

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