What is Burlesque?

Burlesque is a form of striptease where the focus is on the tease. It often combines humour, satire and theatrics with dance. The costuming is amazing. Glitter is plentiful. It’s quite a beautiful, glorious art! I adore it! Performing burlesque, encouraging new talent, and producing and seeing burlesque shows are among my great passions.


My Burlesque Background

As a burlesque performer I perform solo and with other Montreal based performers. I enjoy mixing humour with sensuality and exploring sexual and gender archetypes and stereotypes. My performances take inspiration from artful languid striptease, vaudeville shtick, 1960s go-go dancing, and 1980s bouncy pop.

I began as a burlesque performer in 2003 through a collaborative effort of shows with Elsa Lee (aka Elsa Bangz). She was also a porn and live webcam performer. We had the mutual desire to use burlesque as a form of expression just as we did with our more explicit work. We didn’t want to pick one over the other. Despite what many people told us we believed we could do both! We called ourselves The Coral Lees and our experience was short but sweet and lead to many other wonderful opportunities.

Seska Lee - Burlesque - Pinup

It was around this time that I was asked by the magazine Broken Pencil to write an article on How to Push Your Political Agenda Using Burlesque. It is a piece I still recommend to neophyte burlesque artists and I refer back to it for most every performance I create – even the simple, classic ones.

In 2007 I began exploring the vaudevillian roots of burlesque.  Miss Sugarpuss, and I together wrote, produced and starred in a series of burlesque plays. They also featured such a variety burlesque and cabaret performers as well as magicians, comedians and actors.

In 2008 and 2009 Elle Diabloe, Miss Sugarpuss and I collaborated under the banner of Team Burlesque on the production of  themed shows at the bar Salon Officiel and MainLine Theatre. In 2010 I began exploring macabre burlesque and working with live musicians such as the fellas from Bad Uncle while still enjoying the pleasures of neo-burlesque and vaudeville inspired performances. I performed at the Montreal Burlesque Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 as well as the Grand Burlesque Show in 2011 and 2012. I also began assisting Scarlett James for corporate and special events at upscale bars and restaurants in the Montreal area. In 2012 I launched a new project called Acme Burlesque which I co-produce with Shayne Gryn and has live music for all numbers. It is my dream burlesque project come true and a whole lot of fun!


In 2014 Team Burlesque returned to the stage and we plan on doing a few shows in 2015 as well! Our show is pretty unique in Montreal. We mix solo acts with duo and trios as well as some sketch comedy. I love Elle Diabloe and Miss Sugarpuss so much and I am thrilled to work with them once again!

Visit www.seskaburlesque.com to stay up to date on my shows and performances!