Friday, April 16, 2010
Immodesty Blaize Presents Burlesque Undressed
"BURLESQUE UNDRESSED is a lavish and dazzling journey right into the heart of the art-form, featuring a compelling mix of live performance, interviews from burlesque stars past and present, captivating music and all-round show-stopping entertainment. British burlesque superstar Immodesty Blaize peels back the curtain to reveal her world of high-octane glamour, and gives an exclusive peep behind-the-scenes to expose the work involved in the art of the tease to produce a signature act of perfection."
I first saw Immodesty when she performed at the New York Burlesque Festival in 2005, and everybody stopped and said, "Who is THAT?"
Kalani Kokonuts, me, Dixie Evans, Liz Goldwyn, and Immodesty Blaize at the reception for Dita Von Teese's opening night at Crazy Horse, Las Vegas.
If you watch this film, you won't know much about Immodesty's personal history or how she came to be in burlesque, but you'll know a lot about being a showgirl. In my book I focus on how to get started; but for anyone who has made it to the point in his or her burlesque career where they want to bring it to the level of a full theatrical showgirl production, this is where you'll learn, among other things, that it takes as long as two years to put together an entire show. My favorite quote in regard to understanding what goes into a high-level showgirl routine is when Immodesty says that someone once asked her where she bought her rocking horse prop, and she said, "Oh, at a rocking horse prop shop."
As with giant champagne glass props, you usually can't just pick one up--you have to be involved in the design process and production.
The film shows some of her outrageously glamourous performances in full, including the rocking horse number and her telephone number. Viewers will be completely dazzled by her costumes and by her fiercely sensual persona, which is reminiscent of Italian film stars of the 50s and 60s. She talks about the history of burlesque, about choosing music for numbers, and having costumes made. There are interviews with neo-burlesque performers such as Catherine D'Lish, Dirty Martini, Kalani Kokonuts, Perle Noir, and more, as well as clips of their performances, as well as interviews with burlesque legends like Satan's Angel, Dixie Evans, and Joan Arline.
My photo of Immodesty's shoes, in rehearsal in NYC for the Queens of Burlesque show.
It's a visually breathtaking film, and well worth the shipping from the UK!
Order the DVD
Read my interview with Immodesty
Visit Immodesty's website
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Posted by Jo Weldon, Headmistress of The New York School of Burlesque, for burlesquedaily.blogspot.com.