Neo-Burlesque (or "New Burlesque") is the revival and updating of the traditional burlesque performance. Though based on the traditional Burlesque art, the new form encompasses a wider range of performance styles; Neo-burlesque acts can be anything from classic striptease to modern dance to theatrical mini-dramas to comedic mayhem. As with the earlier burlesque, neo-burlesque is more focused on the "tease" in "striptease" than the "strip". Audiences for neo-burlesque shows tend to be mixed gender, age, race, and class.

Burlesque historyModifica

Vedi anche l'articolo "burlesque American burlesque" sulla Burlesque Wikia in inglese


Burlesque as a sensation was brought to America from Britain in the late 1860s by Lydia Thompson and her British Blondes, a troupe who spoofed traditional theatrical productions and featured ladies performing men's roles, in costumes considered revealing for the time period. American burlesque soon assimilated music hall, minstrel shows, striptease, comedy and cabaret styles[1] to evolve from the follies of the twenties and thirties to the girlie shows of the 40s and 50s, which eventually gave way to the modern strip club. The striptease element of burlesque became subject to extensive local legislation, leading to a theatrical form that titillated without falling foul of censors.[1]

By the late 1930s, a social crackdown on burlesque shows began their gradual decline. The shows had slowly changed from ensemble ribald variety performances, to simple performances focusing mostly on the striptease.[1] In New York, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia clamped down on burlesque, effectively putting it out of business by the early 1940s.[2] Burlesque lingered on elsewhere in the U.S., increasingly neglected, and by the 1970s, with nudity commonplace in theatres, American burlesque reached "its final shabby demise".[3]

During its declining years and afterwards, films sought to capture the spirit of American burlesque. For example, in I'm No Angel (1933), Mae West performed a burlesque act. The 1943 film Lady of Burlesque depicts the back-stage life of burlesque performers.[4] Pin-up girl Bettie Page's most famous features included Striporama (1953).[5] In such films, the girls wore revealing costumes, but there was never any nudity. The Night They Raided Minsky's (1968) celebrates classic American burlesque.[6]

Revival Modifica

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A new generation nostalgic for the spectacle and glamour of the old times has been determined to bring burlesque back. This revival was pioneered independently in the mid 1990s by Billie Madley "Cinema" and Tony Marando's "Dutch Weismanns' Follies" revue in New York and Michelle Carr's "The Velvet Hammer Burlesque" troupe in Los Angeles. In addition, and throughout the country, many individual performers were incorporating aspects of burlesque in their acts. These productions, inspired by the likes of Sally Rand, Tempest Storm, Gypsy Rose Lee, Dixie Evans and Lili St. Cyr have themselves gone on to inspire a new generation of performers.

Modern burlesque has taken many on forms, but it has the common trait of honoring one or more of burlesque's previous incarnations. The acts tend to put emphasis on style and are sexy rather than sexual. A typical burlesque act may include striptease, expensive or garish costumes, bawdy humor, cabaret and more. Unlike strippers who dance in strip clubs to make a living, burlesque performers often perform for fun and spend more money on costumes, rehearsal, and props than they are compensated. Also, performers will often strip down to pasties and g-strings.Template:Citation needed

Burlesque scenesModifica

Template:Globalize/US The award winning Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society is one of the worlds largest and longest running Burlesque companies. There are modern burlesque performers, shows and festivals all over the world, as well as annual conventions such as Tease-O-Rama, the Great Burlesque Exposition, the Miss Exotic World Pageant, and Burly Con. Today's burlesque revival has found homes throughout the United States (with the largest communities located on the East and West Coasts of the U.S.) and the world.

On the US East Coast, New York City boasts several notable troops and venues including The Slipper Room, Le Scandal Cabaret, Pinchbottom Burlesque, Starshine Burlesque, Wasabassco burlesque. During the summer, New York has Coney Island's Burlesque at the Beach. Further north, Boston boasts an active burlesque scene with several troupes and performers[7] The leading troupe in the area is The Boston Babydolls, winners of "Best in Boston" in 2010 and 2011.[8]

In Philadelphia there is the long-running (since 1998) troupe the Peek-A-Boo Revue, the agitprop Cabaret Red Light, and the theatrical Revival Burlesque. All three performing monthly. In Greensboro, NC, burlesque revival performances by Foxy Moxy and her "Cabaret Risque" troupe have been incorporated into the Greensboro Fringe Theater Festival.

On the US West Coast in the Pacific Northwest, the Burlesque scene is centered in Seattle which is home of Miss Indigo Blue, Miss Trixie Lane—The Queen of Shame, Tamara the Trapeze Lady, Miss Kitty Baby, Ravenna Black, Paula the Swedish Housewife, Vienna Le Rouge, The Atomic Bombshells, Burning Hearts, The Von Foxies, Glitzkrieg Burlesque, and Sinner Saint Burlesque. Portland, Oregon has also become a burgeoning burlesque scene thanks in part to troupes such as The Rose City Sirens, Sugar Q Burlesque, Rose City Shimmy and weekly revues at venues such as The Hawthorne Theatre. Performances reminiscent of times past grace stages a bit farther south, as the Eugene, OR - based Red Raven Follies combine titillation with humor, and throw in a smattering of circus delights. In California, the largest communities reside in the San Francisco Bay Area, home of the largest monthly burlesque and variety show (the Hubba Hubba Revue). In Los Angeles, there was Cherry Kiss Burlesque, featuring star performers such as Crystal Swarovski, Polly Peabody, Honey Holiday, Scarlett Letter, and Nancy SinUltra. Current LA Burlesque includes Monday Night Tease!, LA's longest running weekly burlesque show since 2003, currently produced by Lili VonSchtupp as well as Peepshow Menagerie, produced by Chris Beyond and Scarlett Letter and Victory Variety Hour produced by Penny Star Jr.

There are also thriving scenes in Canada, the UK, Australia, France, Finland and Japan.


In recent years, there are various documentaries and films have been made that regard neo-burlesque.

In 2004, a documentary was made on The Velvet Hammer Burlesque. 2008's A Wink and a Smile, which includes performers Indigo Blue, The Shanghai Pearl, Waxie Moon, Paula the Swedish Housewife, and others is about ten ordinary women in the Seattle area who learn the art of striptease in a six-week course in preparation of performing before an audience. Also released in 2008, was The Great Boston Burlesque Exposition 2008, a short film made about the festival.

In 2010, saw the releases of the Burlesque Undressed documentary which includes the performers Immodesty Blaize, Catherine D'lish, Satan's Angel, Dirty Martini, and Michelle L'amour; Dirty Martini and the New Burlesque, which is a documentary by Gary Beeber that focuses on performer Dirty Martini and features her various cohorts who are mainly from the New York City burlesque scene; and a short documentary on Dr Sketchy's Anti-Art School, the international event founded by Molly Crabapple and A. V. Phibes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn which provides art classes that frequently uses burlesque performers as subjects. A 2010 musical film, Burlesque, starring Christina Aguilara and Cher, "wags its derrière, in the direction of new burlesque, but it’s strictly old school ... with a story line that had already gathered dust by ... 1933.[9] Mathieu Amalric's 2010 film Tournee, is a comedy film that centers around a troupe of American burlesque dancers Mimi Le Meaux, Kitten on the Keys, Dirty Martini, Julie Atlas Muz, Evie Lovelle and Roky Roulette on tour in French ports. The film premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival where it won FIPRESCI Award, and Amalric received the Best Director Award.

In 2011, the documentary Exotic World & the Burlesque Revival will be released. Directed by Red Vaughan Tremmel, the film examines the history of burlesque while exploring the relationship between neo-burlesque dancers and the legends who danced in American burlesque from the 1940s through the 1960s. The film focuses on Exotic World—a museum run by former striptease artist Dixie Evans—that is currently called Burlesque Hall of Fame museum.[10] Located in the middle of the Mojave Desert, Exotic World became a significant force in reviving the moves and history of burlesque dancers, fueling the trajectory of the neo-burlesque movement.Template:Citation needed

Neo-Burlesque organizationsModifica


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External linksModifica

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