Speaking of Burlesque

February 19, 2016 | Bill V.

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Burlesque star and fashion diva Dita Von Teese is in town promoting her new book and album.


Your beauty mark the ultimate guide to eccentric glamour

This book reminds me of the resurgent interest and reinvention of burlesque during the last ten years. The bump-n-grind and the swoosh of the twirling tassels is new again (according to Ann Corio's This Was Burlesque performer Carrie Finnell could make one tassel go clockwise and the other go counter-clockwise!).

Burlesque was a staple of the vaudeville scene in American stage from the 1900s on. Post 1930s, vaudeville declined (possibly due to the expansion of movies in the 1920s/30s) and burlesque changed to more striptease in the 1940s-60s era only to decline again as nudity became legal and commonplace on stage. More recently, burlesque has been reinvented and reclaimed by female performers (including Ms. Von Teese) in a variety of settings.


Behind the Burly Q Dvd


Satan's Angel Queen of the Fire Tassels Dvd


You may be familiar with Gypsy Rose Lee, possibly the most renowned burlesque dancer/stripper still in today's memory. The movie Gypsy with Rosalind Russell and Natalie Wood is based on Lee's memoir (as are the Broadway shows highlighting Sondheim's music). 

American rose  a nation laid bare  the life and times of Gypsy Rose Lee           Gypsy the art of the tease

My G-String Mother At Home and Backstage with Gypsy Rose Lee           Gypsy Memoirs of America's Most Celebrated Stripper Written by Gypsy Rose Lee

There's even some Canadian burlesque content.

Burlesque West  showgirls, sex and sin in postwar Vancouver


Burlesque  legendary stars of the stage


Determining the dividing line between burlesque and striptease is difficult -- rather like the problem of defining pornography (or good taste) where one is tempted to say "I'll know it when I see it".

Striptease  the untold history of the girlie show  Striptease  from gaslight to spotlight

Pretty things  the last generation of American burlesque queens