Posts

Showing posts from July, 2008

Dick Zigun, Burlesque Impresario

Image
I've been conducting a series of interviews with Dick Zigun, and I'm going to give you just a taste of what we've been discussing. If you're a fan of New York burlesque, you might find the timeline interesting; if you're not a fan, you may at least finally understand why New York Burlesque is so far from being simply recreationist.


Above: Dick leading the 2002 Mermaid Parade. Photo by me.

Dick attended Bennington and earned his MFA from Yale. I won't go into his entire biography here, but a sense of his academic background is useful when considering what he does now as the Artistic Director of Coney Island USA, which he formed as a not-for-profit in 1980. The organization has since then been successfully executing their stated mission: "The purpose of Coney Island USA is to defend the honor of American popular art forms through innovative exhibitions and performances.
The distinct mission of Coney Island USA is to operate a multi-arts center offering mus…

"Stars Who Played Strippers," on Entertainment Weekly

There was a piece about actors stripping in films on EW.com:
Photo Gallery of Stars Who Played Strippers
It includes one of the scenes I show in my "Exotic Dance in Contemporary Film" lecture, Diane Lane in Big Town, and a lot of others I considered including but left out in the interest of keeping the lecture focused.

Demi Moore in Striptease. Whatever was wrong with this movie, I have to say that both the stage dancing and the table dancing (when Burt Reynolds kept talking to her while she was dancing) were incredibly accurate about what stripping looked like in the clubs where I worked in the 80s and 90s. I toured, so I saw a lot of clubs, and this is very much what I remember:

Entertainment Weekly couldn't include them all, obviously. Not pictured in the EW gallery:
Christopher Walken in Pennies from Heaven
Michael Ontkean in Slap Shot
Valerie Perrine in Lenny
Lolita Davidovich in Blaze
Brigitte Bardot in Mademoiselle Strip Tease
Joanne Woodward in The Stripper
Pam…

Burlesque Without Striptease

In recent news, claims have been made that Prince Charles was shocked to find that burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese actually strips (this story actually isn't true); that Representative Pete Sessions was was surprised to learn that the burlesque dancers at Forty Deuce take off their clothes (although this party did happen, I suspect he was not truly all that surprised); and that pole dancing is synonymous with burlesque. Whatever you make of all this, it's interesting that the idea of burlesque without stripping is so available in popular culture that people are suggesting that it could be surprising that burlesque performers are stripping.

In a New York Times article, Dita Von Teese said the biggest misconception about burlesque is "that it’s about dancing around in hot pants with feather boas. Burlesque was about the striptease. The stars of burlesque took their clothes off, end of story, period."

People occasionally ask me if they can do burlesque without stripp…

BurlyCon 2008

Image
I'm on board with Miss Indigo Blue for this one! Obviously, I don't use this blog to promote every gig I have, but this is something else.


Above: Me n Indigo in NYC for Cabaret Yokohama

*********************
BURLYCON 2008
*********************

Last Chance To Get Your Tickets to BurlyCon 2008 for the AMAZINGINGLY LOW PRICE of only $55!
That's right--you have only until midnight on July 31st to get this special discount rate to BurlyCon 2008. Save over $50 by reserving your ticket to BurlyCon TODAY!

BurlyCon

BurlyCon 2008 features Speakers and Special Guests - Panels and Workshops - Merchants and Vendors - Photographers and Vendors - Performers of Yesterday and Today.

With Our 2008 Guests of Honor
*Toni Elling*
*Miss Astrid*
*Laura Herbert*

Along with some of the most respected names in Burlesque from all over the country, coming together to celebrate our diverse and vibrant Burlesque community.

For more information and to buy your tickets go to our website.

See you all …

Bizarre Magazine Burlesque Hall of Fame Pix

Image
The lovely Kate Hodges (deputy editor of Bizarre magazine) just sent me a link to their online article about the Burlesque Hall of Fame weekend, with gorgeous pictures by Neville Elder:

Bizarre's Burlesque Hall of Fame gallery. All the way from Vegas, baby!

There are a few pix of me in there, doing my Sherry Britton tribute number. There are also a couple of great shots of Tempest Storm, whose story has been everywhere the past week or so, and many more delicious stars and audience members. There's also a pretty spectacular piece on Dita Von Teese, with lots of awesome photos.

Just so THIS post won't be without photos, here are a few pix of encounters I had during the BHOF weekend:

Greeting Lily Burana

Tura Satana taking a picture of me at breakfast

Me with Rosie Bitts, who I met at the unbelievable, amazing, astonishing burlesque retreat (and there's another one coming up!!!), the Diamond Minx, and Holiday O'Hara.


Posted by Jo Weldon, Headmistress of The Ne…

Catherine D'Lish

Kelly DiNardo just posted this video of Catherine D'Lish in her blog, and I'd never seen this clip before. As a rule I wouldn't copy post the same video, but in this case I just have to say, Play it again!



Catherine D'Lish and the Royal Crown Revue

Now you know why everyone who's ever seen Ms. D'Lish perform gets a little dreamy-eyed at the mere mention of her name. I mean!!!

Posted by Jo Weldon, Headmistress of The New York School of Burlesque, for burlesquedaily.blogspot.com.

Interview: Baby Doe

Image
Although I missed the first Tease-o-rama convention (I was in San Francisco for the Sex Workers' Film Fest, where Erochica Bamboo performed), I did make it to perform in TOR 2002 and I am very fortunate to know Baby Doe, one of the true pioneers of the burlesque community. I love the way she and Alison Fensterstock and Alan Parowski have worked to enable the burlesque community, and what amazing resources they've provided for it. Baby Doe has a beautiful, generous, fun-loving spirit that's irresistible onstage and off, and I'm happy to have an opportunity to present this interview with her!



Above: Baby Doe at Tease-O-Rama, 2002. Photo by me.

Tell us a bit about The Devil-Ettes and how they came to be, and what they’re like now. I always love to see The Devil-Ettes working and playing at events!
When I did that first show with The Devil-Ettes 10 years ago, I had no idea how the retro dance scene was going to change my life.
So the story goes like this. I was working…

Tempest Storm in the News

Image
'If some might see all this as chasing after lost youth, she says she cares little. Younger dancers tell her she is an inspiration to them, and she has no reason not to believe them. "I feel good about myself. And I enjoy it," she says. "I have fun when I'm onstage, and the audience loves it. Nobody ever said it's time to give it up. Why stop?"'

80-year-old Vegas stripper still does it ‘classy’




Click the image above to buy Tempest's autobiography!

Thanks to the folks who sent me this link!

Posted by Jo Weldon, Headmistress of The New York School of Burlesque, for burlesquedaily.blogspot.com.

Striptease Classes Bump N Grind to a Halt

Image
Note--this post was expanded after its original publication.

"At 4:37 p.m. Thursday afternoon, Rachael Vint found a stop-work order on the door, a piece of paper threatening to put an end to her new business, not to mention ruining her evening...The stop-work order said the address was not zoned for a sexually oriented business, a presumption Vint doesn't agree with. "There's nothing dirty about what we do. This is a natural expression and a great way to exercise," she said.."

Bartlett halts opening of 'Strip To Fit' studio

I don't know that a sexually oriented business is "dirty," or that if it is (as Woody Allen might say, only if done right), that's not a "natural expression and a great way to exercise." But I do know that burlesque classes are sexy! I like adults-only spaces and activities. I hate the idea of a world where everything that isn't designed to accommodate kids is considered unhealthy or shameful …

Dita Von Teese on the cover of Bizarre Magazine

Image
Dita Von Teese on the cover of Bizarre Magazine
Originally uploaded by bizarremagazine A friend of mine, Neville Elder, took pictures at the Burlesque Hall of Fame weekend last month for this issue--I saw the layout and it's GORGEOUS!

I haven't seen the issue yet, but I'm super excited about the Bearlesque feature, and I was consulted for "The Real Burlesque" story. I was asked to write part of it, but I was asked a week before the BHOF weekend and the article was due that week! We shall see...if you've read some of the autobioggraphies I recommend, you know there're scandals to relate!

As always, it's a thrill to have Dita represent. Both she and Exotic World have appeared in the pages of Bizarre multiple times. It's a very, very special magazine.

For more on this issue, which also includes lots of my Coney Island peeps, see:

http://www.bizarremag.com/

Posted by Jo Weldon, Headmistress of The New York School of Burlesque, for burlesquedaily.blogspot.co…

US Burlesque in Italy!

Image
The Uber-Lovable Kitten on the Keys posted these images of Cabaret New Burlesque in Italy, and gave me permission to use them here:





Click here to see more of them and to see larger versions!!

Posted by Jo Weldon, Headmistress of The New York School of Burlesque, for burlesquedaily.blogspot.com.

Fireworks on the Floor

Image
I took this photo while on the Sex Workers Art Show Tour. We stopped for gas, somewhere in Texas, at a place that had a fried chicken counter in the front and a long-closed strip joint in the rear. This carpet looks pretty much like most of the carpet in most of the strip joints where I worked in the 1980s.

Happy Fourth of July, Y'all!

Posted by Jo Weldon, Headmistress of The New York School of Burlesque, for burlesquedaily.blogspot.com.

The Return of the Threat of the Terrible Underboob

Image
Evidently the threat of the terrible underboob is not enough to keep the Palms from allowing burlesque to attack yet again!

Poker Stars and Movie Stars Shine at the PokerStars.net Burlesque Party to Celebrate the World Series of Poker at the PALMS famed nightclub RAIN. Dita Von Teese will perform her signature Martini Dance to celebrate PokerStars and its 2000 players at the 2008 World Series of Poker.

You think it's not scary??? Check this out: a terrified onlooker fires upon the underboob of Bambi the Mermaid at the very dangerous Slipper Room show, Sealboy and the Blondes:




Posted by Jo Weldon, Headmistress of The New York School of Burlesque, for burlesquedaily.blogspot.com.

Robert Adler Burlesque Photography

http://blogs.sfweekly.com/shookdown/2008/04/gallery_preview_robert_adlers.php

http://www.robertadlerburlesque.com/home.html

I was originally directed to Robert Adler's site by my friend Daddy-O.

Posted by Jo Weldon, Headmistress of The New York School of Burlesque, for burlesquedaily.blogspot.com.