Cabaret culture has come to life in Dotonbori downstairs at The Burlesque! If you’re not already humming John Kander’s All That Jazz as you descend the stairs into this atmospheric basement lounge, it won’t be long before the opening song of the 1975 musical Chicago is being acted out in all its saucy suggestiveness right before your eyes. Utilising an American burlesque, variety-show format, the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed dancers engage their audience by creating elaborate tableau to jazzy, mood-fitting music, under dramatic lighting in their colorful, sequined costumes, with large, white, feathery angel wings, and any other exotic props at their disposal.
The performances aren’t confined to the stage either – these bodacious, leggy, high-heeled and stocking-clad lasses fling themselves effortlessly between stage and bar, sending audience heads from side-to-side, like open-mouthed, sideshow clowns.
The heat kicks up a notch when purple spotlights beam down on the three silver dance poles suspended from the ceiling above the bar. In synchronized pole-dancing spectacles, five of these cheeky dancers maneuver upside-down and around the shafts making it easy to see why they have to pass auditions before they are invited to take the stage (or bar).
Ladies still honing their craft and awaiting their auditions can be found among the troop of friendly bunny girls with tall ears and white cotton tails serving your drinks. The deal is ¥6,000 (before 9pm) or ¥7,000 (after 9pm) for 90 minutes all-you-can-drink draft beer, shochu, ginger ale, and oolong tea. For an extra ¥3,000 you can be seated in the special VIP area and add whiskey to your all-you-can-drink menu.
There is also “Talk Time” where you can request the company of whichever lady you please – ¥2,000 for 15 minutes. The vibe is international with a mix of dancers from Russia, Brazil, Japan, and others. Special tip tickets are available for purchase for tipping your favorite dancers.
Look forward to the novelty acts, such as a solo dance from Beyoncé! No, not that one – this Beyoncé is the Brazilian- born pole dancer ranked no. 6 in the world! Beyoncé takes being fit, toned, and flexible to a whole new level, and after you see her impossible moves you’ll understand why!
Another exotic solo to watch out for is the Japanese dance by Aoi, performed as a geisha in kimono. Think of the dramatic, seductive, postmodern stage performance by Sayuri in the film Memoirs of a Geisha, but a touch more revealing.
Open from 8pm every night but Monday, the ladies of The Burlesque are longing to entertain you! Welcoming ladies and gentlemen, girls and guys alike – this is a show for everyone (over 20 of course!). So kick up your heels and come on down for a night on the town ….and all that jazz.
• Open: 8pm–1am
• Closed: Mondays
• Showtimes: Main shows are from 8:30, 10:30, & 12:30 every night
• Cost: ¥6,000 before 9pm; ¥7,000 after 9pm Discounts for groups of 2 or more • Tel: 06-6484-0133
• Access: Midosuji Subway Line, Namba or Shinsaibashi Stn, 1-min walk from Dotonbori bridge
• URL: en.the-burlesque.com