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Showing posts from December, 2007

Picture Post: Backstage Slipper Room Christmas

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Pinkie Special waiting for the show to begin.


Bunny Love prepares to sing "Santa Baby" with the live band.


Gal Friday straightens the star during a Classic Moves class.

If you have holiday pix, please links to them in your comments! I know a certian Seattle photographer has a pic or two of Miss Indigo Blue performing her Menorah number...

Picture Post: Goats of Burlesque

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Julie Atlas Muz at the Slipper Room. Photo by Jo Weldon (me).


Honi Harlow at The Follies Fromage. Photo by Norman Blake.


Me as a Kid. Photo by Allen Lee

Here's another farm animal in addition to the goat action; my beloved Cherokee (who performed in my first-ever student showcase and who moved away to LA and just did a stint on tv teaching someone burlesque) as a lamb, backstage at Badass Burlesque. Photos by me.
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International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

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Some burlesque performers, both currently and of the mid-twentieth century, have identified themselves as working in the sex industry. Whether you view it as sex work or no, you may find this of interest.


Above: A strippers' reunion in Times Square, 1989; photo taken from "Queen of Burlesque" by Yvette Paris. Pictured are Ann Corio, Bambi Vawn, Leola Harlow, Jennie Lee, Yvette Paris, and Annie Sprinkle. (If anybody knows of a good website on how to get quality scans, please email me at rocknycity@aol.com. Everything I used to know about scanning seems to be not working now.)

Today, Monday, Dec. 17th is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Here in NYC, $pread Magazine, SWANK, & PONY are co-hosting a vigil from 5-7 pm on the steps of Judson Memorial Church (55 wash square south, ACE/BDFV to w. 4th or NR to 8th st).

The following text is from the Swop website:

Over the past year, the international sex worker community has mourned the loss o…

News Post: Royalty Takes a Peek

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'The royal siblings and 10 pals were entertained by acts including US exotic dancers the Wau Wau sisters and French performer La Galu at the Medium Rare show in Bush Hall, Shepherds Bush.'
SEE VIDEO Princes William and Harry enjoy burlesque show

Here's a scary picture I captured of Tanya falling off the trapeze when the Wau Wau Sisters performed at Tease-O-Rama in 2003:



I used to not be able to look at it because I love her so much and I was so scared when it happened. I had the camera on multi-frame, and I don't think I have the photojournalist instinct to have taken the picture because I thought something unusual was happening. Now I love it because I remember how she jumped right back up and owned that trapeze. I love the fierce ladies of burlesque.

Ms.Tickle's Art of the Striptease

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Ms. Tickle is a legend in the New York burlesque and performance art scene, a true original and a favorite of almost everyone who's ever seen one of her charming, sexy, innovative acts. She still performs but works primarily as a costumer and stylist, most recently for Marc Jacobs' holiday parties. Below are some photos of her signature act, "The Art of the Striptease," in which she strips by turning the pages of a book. As clever as that concept is, she goes even further by by adding one little detail after another, doing a whole lot more than just turning the pages! Her imagination and style have rocked my world for nearly a decade.





Ms. Tickle on Myspace

Burlesque on the Subway? Not Exactly.

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One of the interesting side effects of burlesque getting better and better known is that there are more and more people who know the word "burlesque" but don't know what it means. While I find some of the snarkier arguments about what burlesque really is and isn't insanely tedious and self-serving, there's no doubt in my mind that it isn't the same as pole dancing--that is, pole dancing qua pole dancing.

The distinction is most important if someone wants to hire pole dancers and they think that burlesque is pole dancing and they hire burlesque dancers. Let's say they spend all this money installing poles for the dancers, and the dancers show up with a bunch of showgirl costumes and not one of them can get up the pole or whirl around it. In such a case, the distinction isn't a moral or a class issue, but an issue of fact: in order to work regularly as a burlesque dancer, you need skills, imagination, and costumes, but you don't need upper body str…

Dissertation on Burlesque

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Star Burlesque by Reginald Marsh. Click image to purchase the print on ebay.

'Abstract'
'This dissertation undertakes the examination and interpretation of paintings and prints of the burlesque theater produced by Reginald Marsh (1898-1954) during the 1920s, 1930s, and early 1940s. During these years, social reformers sought to have burlesque banned from New York City, the heart of the burlesque as well as the legitimate theater world. At the same time, however, popular awareness of and interest in this type of entertainment increased. The ensuing public discourse indicates that the burlesque had become a site of cultural contention, onto which broader social concerns about gender, sexuality, and class had been projected. Responding to this conflict, artists such as Thomas Hart Benton, Adolf Dehn, Caroline Duriex, Mabel Dwight, Edward Hopper, Gaston Lachaise, Reginald Marsh, and Elizabeth Olds all turned to the burlesque as a subject for their art. Of these, Reginald Ma…

News Post: Brown Girls Burlesque at the Zipper!

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'Dame CuchiFrita, Lady Luscious, Miss AuroraBoobRealis and others pour a little chocolate on top of your burlesque sundae.'

Burlesque in Color

Get More BGB and find out about their next show on February 2.

Molly Crabapple and Me on the Morning News

There's no doubt about it, this is my month for posting video. That's what happens when a blogger gets busy offline, I suppose!



If you haven't yet checked out Molly's book, you should. Of course she's my friend and all, but you've really never seen a book like this! It's not only packed with wonderful drawings and hot photos (okay, some of them are mine), it's got fantastic tips for budding entrepreneurs in any field.
Dr. Sketchy's

I had a blast on the show with Julie Chang, and I love that she kept on the gloves I gave her for her report. I also loved how the other female anchor showed her moves!
Truly Julie

News Post: The Amazing Story of the Crazy Horse in Paris

'In 1951, le striptease was an import from America, more daring than the high-kicking kitsch of French burlesque. Bernardin loved American popular culture, loved women, and seems to have particularly liked the way their naked bodies were rendered in an almost abstract fashion by surrealist artists such as Magritte. An amateur artist and friend of Marcel Duchamp, Bernardin was, in his own way, a dirty old Dada-ist, applying an arty European gloss to a product of the fleshpots of America.'

Wait until you read about their strict guidelines for their dancers!

'Tattoos and silicon implants are banned. This is now restricting the club’s traditional international recruitment policy, Deissenberg explains, because the British girls who used to make up about half of the Crazy Horse’s roster tend nowadays to have had something inked into some part of their body. No Brits currently feature in the Paris show, which is largely staffed by French former ballet dancers. When the Crazy Ho…

Diane Lane Fan Dance

I don't post video clips often because they seem to get deleted from youtube soon afterward, but I can't resist this one! I use this in my "Exotic Dance in Contemporary Film" presentation, and this is the first time I've found it online. As you can see if you look at the video's youtube page, none of the tags are "burlesque;" sometimes I have to be very specific to find the video I'm hoping to see.

In my presentation about strip tease on film, I show a lot of clips and talk about how striptease is used to establish characters, develop plots, set the tone for environments, build up or drop viewer expectations, and so on, and what it reflects about our culture that such scenes can have those effects. For performers, I discuss how, in burlesque loops of actual performers from the mid-twentieth century, it can be difficult to tell how the performers were utilising the music; due to music rights concerns, the music on the clips is often dubbed ove…