One of the most enjoyable and enduring aspects of the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekends, and indeed many burlesque events, is the array of beautiful photographs that are shared around the world. They can make you feel like you were there, capture affection, innovation, inspiration and celebration, and preserve magical memories for many years to come. The photographers who work at BHoF each year are much loved members of the community, and I asked some of them to share their memories, and some of their favourite shots from over the years. I am so grateful to them for their generosity and enthusiasm.
Here is a selection from the wonderful New York photographer, Ed Barnas…
“The Burlesque Hall of Fame weekend has a special appeal to me, primarily due to the long history of the event. While the pageant has been in existence since 1991, its roots go back to the Exotic Dancers League and the meetings/parties started by Jennie Lee in 1957, and carried on by Dixie Evans after Jennie passed. It is the presence of so many ‘Legends’ at the event that I appreciate – meeting with them and seeing so many of them still performing on stage and captivating the audience is a particular pleasure.
Of course, the weekend also offers a chance to experience an international array of performers, not just in the competition but also in the showcase events that bookend the weekend. While I may have seen some of their numbers before, the bar is raised even higher when performing before an audience of peers and Legends.
I have attended the weekend since 2006 when it moved to Las Vegas, and have a number of fond memories of making new friends, meeting old ones, seeing great performances and just hanging out. However, I am primarily a performance photographer and document many of my memories with photos. My biggest problem with shooting at the weekend is that I take so many photos that the sheer volume intimidates me. It takes me months to plough through the images, eliminate the ‘misses’, fine tune the survivors, and get proofs out to the performers. I hesitate to list my favorite images for fear of running on far too long…”
Quoted in major international newspapers and held in high esteem and affection by the international burlesque community, 21st Century Burlesque Magazine has documented the contemporary burlesque scene since 2007. Founded and edited by Holli-Mae Johnson.