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 […]

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 […]

Review: Stars and Strippers - An All American Burlesque Revue (Underbelly Festival 2017)

Review: Stars and Strippers (Underbelly Festival 2017)

[wp-review id=”28184″] The Folly Mixtures put on quite a show last year in the London Wonderground Spiegeltent, performing to an adoring crowd of family, friends and fans. They, and the fanclub, are back this year at the newly renamed Underbelly Festival with their Stars and Strippers spectacular, celebrating all things American.   The opening is […]

Blaze in the Miss Viva Las Vegas burlesque competition 2017. © Tim Hunter.

Review: Miss Viva Las Vegas 2017 (Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend)

I was delighted to attend the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend at Easter for a second year. Audrey Deluxe curates a sensational Burlesque Showcase on Friday night, famed for its world class casts, with Dita Von Teese headlining this year’s three-show marathon. Burlesque Bingo, another of Audrey’s fabulous creations, ran throughout the Weekend. Saturday night […]

Dita Von Teese: The Art of the Tease

Dita Von Teese Reborn in The Art of the Teese

In March, I visited Dita Von Teese at The Crazy Horse Paris during her sold out return to the legendary erotic cabaret. As we shared a thrilling interval in Crazy founder Alain Bernardin’s backstage office as mutual superfans, I detected a noticeable glow of confidence in burlesque’s most famous and opulent star.  Little did I […]

Ginger Valentine at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend Tournament of Tease in The Orleans Showroom, Las Vegas. ©Chris Harman/Harman House Photography for 21st Century Burlesque Magazine. Not to be used without permission.

10 Steps to Classic Burlesque Superstardom – The Ultimate Masterclass

Classic burlesque striptease, when done well, captivates and excites me as much as it did over ten years ago when I arrived on the scene. And yet a number of people approach me at shows and message me to complain about how boring and bland classic burlesque is now, rolling their eyes at the sea […]

A NOTE ON PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT IN BURLESQUE AND CABARET (OR, WHY ATTACKS ON CRITICS ARE AN EMBARRASSMENT TO OUR ART FORM)

A Note on Professional Conduct in Burlesque and Cabaret (or, why attacks on critics are an embarrassment to our art form)

I realise we’ve already had quite a tempestuous weekend in the burlesque universe, but I arrived home today to yet another attack on a burlesque and cabaret critic because the performer and their friends didn’t like what they said. One word in particular, as it turns out. A professionally written expression of one person’s informed […]

Tweets, presumably by What Katie Did founder Katie Thomas, now deleted.

What Katie Did Questions Need For International Women’s Day. Keeps Digging.

The founder of retro lingerie brand What Katie Did decided to celebrate International Women’s Day by blowing off both of her feet with a shotgun on social media. “#inspiringwomen – yes!” she began. “But do we really need #InternationalWomensDay? At What Katie Did we’re to (sic) busy #WomenJustGettingOnWithItDay” The tweet received a flurry of reactions, […]

Dita Von Teese at Crazy Horse Paris 2016, by Ali Mahdavi

Dita Von Teese: Making Her Mark

Since our previous interviews in 2012, Dita Von Teese’s career has been a breathtaking trajectory of achievements and appearances, and I felt it was high time I checked in. We had a lot to discuss: a new, glossy tome of beauty advice and philosophy, a purring vinyl record, an upcoming return to Crazy Horse Paris and a […]

Claudine Van Den Bergh, Moulin Rouge showgirl. ®Moulin Rouge-« S.Wells

Together We Can-Can: Life as a Moulin Rouge Showgirl

I am thrilled to present this special feature about sensational showgirl Claudine Van Den Bergh, who I had the pleasure of interviewing backstage at the legendary Moulin Rouge, Paris. After passing through a hidden door and an intriguing labyrinth of dressing rooms and studios,  I was shown into a room with a mannequinned row of eye-wateringly fabulous costumes. The view was […]