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Burlesque and the New Bump-n-Grind Paperback – May 1, 2004

8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After being pushed aside by modern stripping in the 1950s, burlesque is now enjoying a renaissance among bachelorettes, Hollywood actresses and other women seeking a glamorous and sexy form of entertainment. Baldwin became enthralled with "the statuesque, curvy ladies in their feather- and rhinestone-laden costumes" after she graduated from college. Here she charts the rise, fall and revival of the show. Her sassy and enlightening history takes readers through the art form’s "golden age"—the 1920s and ’30s—when burlesque was synonymous with "striptease." Baldwin charts burlesque’s reemergence in the 1990s, noting that although it was renamed "vintage," its performers were nonetheless emulating the genre’s style, which is "larger than life, filled with innuendo, and coated with glitter." A chapter on burlesque costumes discuss functionality, form and fashion designers, while a later section on the various styles of burlesque discusses how performers have tweaked the tradition over the years. With fabulous photographs and casual prose, Baldwin’s guide is equal parts how-to and sociological study. 160 color and b&w photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Founder of one of the first neo-burlesque troupes, author Michelle Baldwin (a.k.a, Vivienne VaVoom) has helped to bring the lost art of burlesque back to the forefront of pop culture. Baldwin has served as the creative director, choreographer, music director, costumer, financial head, and performer for her troupe, "Burlesque As It Was." Her deep immersion into this art form has provided her with a rare view into the growth and evolution of the revival. She has sat on a panel of experts at the Tease-o-rama burlesque convention, and teaches the art of burlesque striptease and costume design to any and all interested souls.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Speck Press (May 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972577629
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972577625
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,046,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I like taking my clothes off in an artful manner in front of large audiences, creating clothing to take off in front of large audiences, writing books, eating, sleeping, my cats, scooters, collecting vintage stuff.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Felicia Sullivan on July 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
Reviewed by: John A. Mangarella for Small Spiral Notebook
When author Michelle Baldwin found her way into Denver's Mercury Café to see her first burlesque show, a career was not only born but the first lines of this delightful study of burlesque took shape. The is not just a book, it's the best type of book, a time machine back to the last century when English actress Lydia Thompson toured the U.S.A., shocking, tantalizing and conquering the American stage.
Baldwin's meticulous research, her obvious affection for burlesque, both legendary and contemporary, compels every page of this book to dance before the reader's eyes with a history of women who were not only ahead of their time but stole the heart of America at every whistle-stop. From the crowds that mobbed the Chicago World's Fair ogling the notorious Little Egypt through the advent of Mae West as she descends on Broadway with her first show, provocatively entitled "SEX". This book packs a lot of fast facts that peel away with the ease of silk clothing dropping to the stage floor.
She presents the burlesque of comedy and song, of variety acts and supple curves. From the hootchy kootchy dancers of the 1890's through Sam Scribner's Columbia Wheel, the sexually censored main circuit of burlesque houses that competed with the wild ride of the Minsky Brothers who founded stock burlesque troops and rented inexpensive theaters in poor neighborhoods that boasted cheap tickets and expensive sizzle. Eventually, Minsky's rise caused the powerful but restrictive Scribner to stop censoring his shows by allowing nudity and blue humor.
Ms. Baldwin's anecdotal choices are fascinating. Who invented the modern striptease? Was it Mae Dix in 1917 who accidentally removed her collars and cuffs to ignite the audience into pure wildness?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jo Weldon on June 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
I may be biased, since I appear in this book, but if I weren't proud to be a part of it I wouldn't recommend it!

Michelle does a wonderful job of describing the energy and glamour of the New Burlesque scene, with tons of color photographs to emphasize the passion this rediscovered art inspires. While striptease, even retro striptease, is nothing new, the current New Burlesque scene brings it into a fresh environment where the performances take on a new meaning and a new sense of pure joy. Whether you're a fan of girls who make you wriggle or girls who make you giggle, you'll love the performances of the ladies in this book--and the gentlemen, too!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By anne angyal on September 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
Not only does this book serve as delicious eye candy, but the author does an amazing job interlacing facts with true experiences capturing the crazed phenomenon of burlesque revival. I really admire the energy that comes across in Baldwin's writing it makes me want to go out and try it! I would recommend this to all of you feminists out there who also like showing a little leg.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. Jakubowski on May 17, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have recently become interested in true burlesque and the art of the dance-tease. I bought this book (and a few others) from amazon, and was excited with it arrived. I have been working on it for a week now, because there are a lot of names and details of people and places that I get a little lost in the unknown people every few paragraphs. There is a LOT of information,which is great, but a little heavy for a novice. I do appreciate the obvious research and work that went into this book! I wish it were a little better organized (maybe fewer specific dancers named, but those named were written about a little more in depth). I also wish the pictures were better organized with the topics (many time the person being discussed is pictured on the next or previous page). But overall this is an excellent read, and full of great history and information for those who want to know more about the history and key players in the world of burlesque!
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