The Ghosts of New Burlesque

Part of the Performance Interventions book series (PIPI)


When the first ‘Tease O Rama’ Festival was held in New Orleans in 2001, new burlesque was still an ‘alternative’ genre with a relatively small following outside the US. By the end of the decade it was part of international mainstream entertainment with Dita Von Teese as its most prominent celebrity and the UK’s Immodesty Blaize not far behind. When the Whoopi Club was founded in 2002 it was promoting new burlesque in obscure London venues but the genre was soon flourishing at the Edinburgh Fringe, Glastonbury, the West End, seaside summer entertainment and eventually, family TV shows such as the Eurovision Song Competition and Britain’s Got Talent. In 2010 pop star Christine Aguilera appeared on the finale of The X Factor performing a number from the Hollywood film Burlesque in which she co- stars with Cher. The same year saw the UK release of the French Independent film La Tournee featuring US ‘underground’ new burlesque stars Dirty Martini, Julie Atlas Muz, Mimi Le Mieux and Kitten on the Keys, playing themselves. Commenting on these movies Ben Walters noted that at this point there were two dozen burlesque shows a week in London and at least forty more across the country (Walters, 2010). The internet is flooded with new burlesque web sites, blogs and advertising for hen party packages and YouTube teems with pirated and self-posted videos of acts.


Queer Theory Horror Film Gender Trouble Queer Identity Female Performer 
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Copyright information

© Elaine Aston and Geraldine Harris 2013

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  • Gerry

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