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Burlesque Festival Cast Quit Over Blackface Dispute

The Toulouse Burlesque Festival, produced by Florence Boué, and Stephane Lafage of Le Kalinka, has a cast crisis on its hands after a dispute over a blackface burlesque act. Eight performers have walked out in protest at the inclusion of the act.     According to information given to 21st Century Burlesque Magazine, local performer Fafa […]

Burlesque Costume Tutorial: Tricks With Tights

Burlesque Costume Tutorial: Tricks With Tights

In a new series on 21st Century Burlesque Magazine, fabulous costumer, blogger and performer Viv Clicquot shares valuable tips and tricks, continuing with Tricks With Tights!  (P.S. Looking for some stunning lingerie to go with those tights? There’s only one place to go…) The topic of today’s post is one of the very reasons I […]

New Orleans Venue Drops Burlesque Performer Due to Her Size. Burlesque Community Erupts.

Lucky Pierre’s Drops Burlesque Performer Due to Her Size. Burlesque Community Erupts.

Before I was fully awake this morning in London my inbox was filling up with reports from New Orleans about Lucky Pierre’s, which hosts The Blue Book Cabaret, produced by Burlesque TOP 50 ranking performer Bella Blue, who has invited such guest stars as Jo Weldon and Michelle L’amour to the venue.  Ruby Rage, a […]

Burlesque Performers: Get Paid. Stop Working for Free!

Burlesque Performers: Get Paid. Stop Working for Free!

It all started when I received yet another message from a newer performer wanting to get out there in the scene, wanting to do festivals, wanting to headline. Then I wait for it: again they are performing for free because they want the stage time and they want to make friends and influence people. They […]

Latest Features

Burlesque: The State of Things

Burlesque: The State of Things

When I was asked by the editor of this illustrious publication to write a piece about the state of burlesque, I hesitated. My twelve years in the industry have witnessed huge changes and they are not all ones I feel positive about. I wondered if I was alone in feeling some things had gone awry, […]

The Devilettes at Tease-O-Rama 2005

Burlesque Festivals: A History

Burlesque Festivals! They are the structure behind our scene, the canvas against which we can most fully display our artistry. They give us stages big enough for our most elaborate props, our fanciest choreography and our biggest costumes. We are well lit, photographed and filmed, feted by the audience and noticed by our peers. This […]

Burlesque Fan Dancing - Feathers and Fantasy

Burlesque Fan Dancing: Feathers and Fantasy

A history of burlesque fan dancing, from traditions and techniques to dazzling innovations.

Review: Best Boylesque and Groups – Burlesque Hall of Fame 2019

Matt Finish, Best Boylesque winner in 2015, guides us through the group and boylesque categories at the 2019 Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender. Please check out our Burlesque Hall of Fame coverage sponsors Small Groups The Small Group category is always interesting. When the piece is limited to a duo (like all the small groups […]

Burlesque Top 50

Burlesque Top 50 2019 WILL go ahead after voting surge

Before the 10th round of the Burlesque Top 50 voting process began in November 2018, I posted a frank and personal statement that directly addressed 21st Century Burlesque Magazine’s global readership. I explained that I was seriously considering whether the Top 50 could or should continue, and asked that “if the poll brings you pleasure, interest, […]

Dirty Martini by Steven Menendez

Dirty Martini: Past, Present and Future

After over a decade of conversations with Dirty Martini – burlesque icon, New York legend and all-round tease genius – there is always more to talk about. More memories from the birth of the modern revival. More illuminating insight. More self-deprecating authenticity. More and more passion for her art form with every passing year. Read […]

Camille 2000 at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2015: 58th Annual Titans of Tease Reunion Showcase. ©Chris Harman/Harman House Photography for 21st Century Burlesque Magazine. Not to be used without permission.

Camille 2000: Aggressive Art from a Lionheart

Sparkly Devil Scholarship recipient Precious Ephemera writes in tribute to burlesque legend Camille 2000 to mark her passing after a long and valiant battle with cancer. Camille 2000, ‘the Girl for Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow’, is an unapologetic woman with a particular kink for racking up legendary stories and experiences. No one could describe her […]

Review: Best Debut - Burlesque Hall of Fame 2019

Review: Best Debut – Burlesque Hall of Fame 2019

Maxi Millions reviews the Best Debut category at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2019. Images courtesy of MC Newman. I find it fitting to begin the dive into the five hour plus Tournament of Tease marathon with the category of Best Debut. It is always bursting with the kind of fresh energy that immediately […]

Dita Von Teese: Enter the Glamonatrix

After 11 years of interviewing Dita Von Teese, her constant reinvention, evolution and endurance never fails to impress me. Instagram is teeming with Dita replicas wearing shameless copies of her iconic costumes and frolicking brazenly on all manner of imitation carousel horses, martini glasses and giant filigree hearts. None the less, Dita continues to reign […]

Results: Burlesque Hall of Fame Tournament of Tease 2019

Live Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend results from the 2019 Tournament of Tease, including the title of Miss Exotic World, Reigning Queen of Burlesque; Best Debut; Best Boylesque; and Best Groups. Stay tuned for photos and further reports.     Miss Exotic World, Reigning Queen of Burlesque 2019 Frankie Fictitious     First Runner-Up: RedBone […]

Queen Inga - 21st Century Burlesque Magazine

Queen INGA

In 2011 I saw Inga Ingenue, a five foot revelation in pink and black stripes, perform her iconic Minnie the Moocher act at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend. It remains – after 14 years in burlesque – one of my absolute favourite acts, and INGA, as she is now known, is one of my […]

Satan's Angel, by John Paul Bichard

Fire and Grit: The life of Satan’s Angel

Beloved burlesque legend Satan’s Angel has passed away after receiving critical care in hospital. To celebrate her life and contribution to burlesque, I am proud to re-publish this fascinating interview by Jo Weldon, who has recently relaunched her Burlesque Daily blog. Satan’s Angel was one of the first burlesque legends I met, I believe over […]

She’s Back! Miss Astrid Opens her Mystery Box

“Legendary deadpan dominatrix” emcee Miss Astrid – aka comedian Kate Valentine – has been tearing strips off unsuspecting audience members in over 1000 shows since 1997. After a number of years out of the spotlight, “focusing on other things and raising my excellent kids,” she’s back onstage next week in Miss Astrid’s Mystery Box a […]

Crescent City Burlesque: The Real New Orleans

Crescent City Burlesque: The Real New Orleans

In November I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural Crescent City Burlesque Weekender, a three-day celebration of New Orleans burlesque. The festival, produced by AJay Strong and Bella Blue, was held at the small, cavernous Allways Lounge in the Bywater (well removed from the Bourbon Street mayhem). Headliners Jeez Loueez, Darlinda Just Darlinda and […]

Cultural Appropriation in Burlesque: What is Harmful, and Why?

Hello readers. My name is La Viola Vixen, an Australian burlesque performer based in Berlin. I am writing this from the perspective of an individual who represents the majority of the burlesque community because I am white, privileged, young, female and able-bodied. Those words and their truths reflect that we have a lot of work […]

Is This the End of the Burlesque Top 50?

The Editor of 21st Century Burlesque Magazine, Holli Mae Johnson, addresses rumours that the Burlesque Top 50 – the annual event when burlesque professionals, peers and fans vote for their most influential industry figures of the past year – will come to an end after this year’s poll.   As years go, 2018 has been […]

Lou Lou la Duchesse de Rière at the New Orleans Burlesque Festival, by Tomas Orihuela.

Meet the New Burlesque Queen of New Orleans

Lou Lou la Duchesse de Rière has been crowned ‘Queen of Burlesque’ at the New Orleans Burlesque Festival, in a classic burlesque contest where competitors perform accompanied by a live band. Routines sometimes last up to eight minutes and transition over two or three traditional burlesque melodies, which defies the typical four minute rule at […]

INGA is crowned Miss Exotic World, Reigning Queen of Burlesque 2018 at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2018 in the Orleans Showroom, Las Vegas. Photo © MC Newman

First Look: INGA – Miss Exotic World, Reigning Queen of Burlesque 2018

Last night, in the Orleans Showroom in Las Vegas, INGA was crowned Miss Exotic World, Reigning Queen of Burlesque 2018. Jessabelle Thunder took 1st Runner Up, with Elle Dorado in third place. Read full results from Burlesque Hall of Fame Tournament of Tease 2018 here. Enjoy this first look at our new Queen being crowned, and […]

Results: Burlesque Hall of Fame Tournament of Tease 2018

Live Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend results from the 2018 Tournament of Tease, including the title of Miss Exotic World, Reigning Queen of Burlesque; Best Debut; Best Boylesque; and Best Groups. Stay tuned for photos and further reports.     Miss Exotic World, Reigning Queen of Burlesque 2018 INGA     First Runner-Up: Jessabelle Thunder […]

Burlesque legend Judith Stein leads Darlinda Just Darlinda, Roxi D'Lite and others in a pool conga at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2015. ©Don Spiro

How to be Sad at BHoF

Last year I got dumped by another performer right before BHOF. What was meant to be this grand adventure together had turned into a solo obligation. The trip was further complicated by my going viral over wearing short shorts on a plane. During this already emotional time I was fielding interviews, hate mail, and strange […]

Josephine Baker Still Gives Life to Burlesque and Pinup Women of Colour

What things her gaze conceals, yet gives acknowledgement to. What horrors, yet what joys. “Josephine Baker” I whisper to myself before shows, willfully propelling myself forward, no matter the obstacles. Others say Josephine is why they began their careers. What exactly did Josephine Baker give us, give this world, for which we pay homage to her […]