Neo-Burlesque: Striptease as Transformation

Rutgers Univ. Oct. 2021. 224p. ISBN 9781978828094. $55. THEATER
Sally (burlesque and performance studies, New York Univ.; Fighting the Flames: The Spectacular Performance of Fire at Coney Island) provides thought-provoking scholarly analysis of the neo-burlesque movement (an updated take on the burlesque scene of the 19th and early to mid-20th century), examining the work of performers such as Dita Von Teese, Dirty Martini, and Bambi the Mermaid. Having worked in the neo-burlesque scene as “a performer, producer, host, and teacher,” Sally writes as a “vulnerable observer,” compiling research, interviews with artists such as MsTickle and Julie Atlas Muz, and strenuous academic critique. Sally’s argument offers some theoretical frameworks for understanding neo-burlesque as a medium of performing art, participatory culture, and new sexual revolution. Striptease, once seen broadly as a symbol of women’s oppression, becomes in Sally's book a tool of empowerment, and she shows how different artists choose to wield it. Peppered with photographs and film stills from a vast array of performances, the book opens up a vibrant, engaging dialogue.
VERDICT Whether readers are new to or familiar with neo-burlesque, they’ll find that Sally’s book is an entertaining and informative study of striptease as performance art.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing