Blaize of glory

by Claire Hamilton

The art of burlesque’s been enjoying a revival in the US for years – but do you know where it all began? Britain’s answer to Dita Von Teese – Immodesty Blaize – is about to tell us in a brand new feature film coming to these shores in March. Burlesque Undressed opens a window into the glamorous world of the showgirl, and features interviews with artistes from the 1950s and 1960s, including Dixie Evans (who was known as ‘The Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque’). From the elaborate spectacular costume designs to the impressive on-stage gimmicks, Immodesty and her pals showcase the best of burlesque in a dazzling explosion of seductive live performance, including footage from her very own sell-out Tease Show.
Veteran burlesque legends reveal hilarious anecdotes from the original Golden Era, including running foul of the censors and getting jailed for shaking their behind even when covered up!
“The art of burlesque is a beautiful fantasy to help you forget the fact that the world is a depressing place,” Immodesty told the Telegraph newspaper.

I saw Immodesty perform at the Edinburgh Festival a few years ago – and she was truly fabulous. Whilst burlesque is almost mainstream here in America, across the pond it’s still relatively under wraps. All that might change if Immodesty gets her way. I’ve got a feeling this is one ambitious lady. Her shows draw inspiration from Busby Berkeley musicals and she cites Hollywood beauties Ava Gardener and Raquel Welch as role models.

2010 looks likebeing the year when burlesque might break into the mainstream conciousness outside America – as later this year we’ll see Cher and Christina Aguilera in the movie imaginitvely titled Burlesque.

Photograph courtesy The Telegraph

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