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        Burlesque (Ecdysiast) has roots as far back as 364 BC with 'Hannibal', the famous Fabulæ Atellanæ' but really became first known in 1387 when Geoffrey Chaucer published the first British burlesque, "The Canterbury Tales," which was a bawdy collection of stories that included "The Wife of Bath." Burlesque is slow to rise until in 1727 when John Gay's "The Beggar's Opera " opens at London's Inn Theater. The beggar's Opera burlesque becomes London's first stage success which would last until 1886. In 1734 Ballet Dancer Marie Camargo raises dancing skirts above the ankle (for better freedom to move.)

     By 1830 the Can-CAN is getting rave reviews and with little success is being banned all over as lewd and immoral. 1861 brings Adah Isaac Menken's ride across the big stage dressed in pink tights and a short tunic which starts a whole new generation of women in stage performances and attention to their clothing, her routine also had a sort of disrobing which is said start the first public striptease. In 1866 " the Black Crook " opens which was a big success and a milestone in dance and nudity on stage.

 

    Burlesque arrived in the USA from France via Britain in 1868 with the Hootchy-Cootchy & Can-Can dancers, one of the first was Lydia Thompson and her British Blondes. Also in 1868 the Folies Bergere opens its doors in France and the rest is, well, history. Burlesque was originally not about stripping but rather musical Comedy, Dance and Song which eventually split and became Vaudeville (Vaudeville was basically dead by 1932, because of film,) while Burlesque became more and more a girly show. In 1875 Le Divan Fayouau, in the Rue des Martyrs performs a sketch that requires her to remove most of her clothing one piece at a time ... Striptease is now official.

 

    The transformation into Risque Burlesque continued onto the early 1900's with the very first runway appearing at the Shubert Theater in 1912 and later a man named Minsky installs his first runway. Also in 1917 a dancer named Carrie Fenway would be the first to reveal herself (her breast) on stage, even if only accidentally an by 1923 and Hinda Warsaw is said to be the first American stripper who was publicly announced in 1925. Josephine Baker becomes the first topless star


of the Follies Bergere in Paris in 1926.

 

Earlier, dancers such as Little Egypt were shocking the country with her provocative "belly dance" routine (named by Sol Bloom, however please note that belly dance tho it may be erotic, it is not striptease!) and others dancing on the Vaudeville stage when Vaudeville was transforming back into "Burlesque," as well as dancing in many regular nightclubs which had fabulous stage shows featuring the talent, legs and many times the skin of many famous dancers.

    Some fabulous dancers found the money and the cheap fame of risque burlesque very appealing with many changing the way we think, dress and act today. By the mid 1930's, strip tease or skin Burlesque was at it's peak. Police raids were becoming standard daily events, payola agreements were on the up rise and many citizens worrying about the moral decay of society thereby running lengthy political and legal campaigns to end it's rising popularity. Sometime in the mid 1920s, the tumultuous Burlesque shows of comedy, skits and dance transformed into the firmly planted Strip-Tease, then came topless, eventually by the 1950's the G-strings would be removed as well and by the mid 1960's many dancers would be starring in Sexploitation films (a type of soft pre-porn) which helped to further spawn the porn industry and permanently changed Burlesque.

    But whatever happened thru out Burlesk history to try and stop its rise, burlesque was here to stay and transformed again into a more sleazier form of entertainment as time marched on. We are talking the Vegas show girl, theatre and early nightclub type burlesque on these pages, not the sleaze, sometimes prostituting, drug ridden strip joints one may think of when thinking Burlesque as portrayed today (many are listed however).


    

    Many of these dancers or strippers of yesteryear are honored here. Prior to the 1960's, these ladies would make Burlesque movies, (Cheesecake, B-Movies etc., yet they were very tame by today's standards), would appear in many magazines, stag parties, etc. and many times featured the dance acts these dancers used on the stage. Many television shows and movies were based on or built around burlesque and/or vaudeville sketches of the past. There is an ongoing effort to bring back the Burlesque shows of yesteryear that feature acts, striptease, dance, comedy, skits and more.

   Note: The following pages / section may not be suitable for Minors as some of the photos / clips (such as the ones listed on this page) are on the 'risque' side (no frontal nudity or porn here). Caution is advised as you may want to child block this section. This is the only section on this site were this may apply ... (The section with photo's to block is: http://www.streetswing.com/histburl/).



Birth Place

Creation Date

Creator

Dance Type

Orient / Europe 1387 evolved (Chaucer) Erotic / Exotic / Strip

A few of the Legendary dancers in this site

Amalia Aquilara Irma The Body
Ann Corio Jennie Lee
Betty Page Kalantan
Blaze Starr Lily 'Cat' Christine
Bubbles Darlene Lily St. Cyr
Busty Brown Nejla Ates
Candy Barr Raven de la Croix
Chelo Alonso Rita Alexander
Dorian Dennis Rose La Rose
Daphne Lake Sherry Britton
Evangeline Tempest Storm
Georgia Sothern Virginia Bell
Gypsy Rose Lee Zorita
Ha Cha San  
(Click Here for a more complete index listing of dancers)-- < it's all free!)
Tee-Tee Burlesque dancer

Burlesque Posters

Strip Music Titles

Lido Club Program Cover Poster Blaze Starr Adv. Bumps and Grinds
Bronze Venus For Strippers Only
Burlesquefest Let Me Entertain You
Busty Brown Melody for G-String
Cabaret 2002 Put The Blame On Mame
French Can Can Slouch
Josephine Baker Strip Polka (Johnny Mercer - 1942)
La Cigale Review Take it Off Polka
Lady Burlesque I The Burlesque Show (Rufus Shoffner)
Lady Burlesque III
Teledrama
Lido Club Theme For Gypsy
Moulin Rouge The Stripper (David Rose)
Peek A Boo Review Zip Strip
Princess Tam-Tam Betty Page: Danger Girl Music [CD]
Show Girls Strip Jointz [CD] (Modern Music)
Tease-O-Rama Sugar Babies Soundtrack [CD]
  Take It Off: Striptease Classics [CD]
  Tease: The Beat of Burlesque [CD]

Sheet Music Covers

Television

Twirly Burley Sheet Music Cover Black Crook, the 1949 - Think Fast (Gypsyhost)
Strip Polka 1958 - The Gypsy Rose Lee Show
Twirly Burly 1964 - Wonderful World of Burlesque
  1998 - Bettie Page: E! True Hollywood Story
   

Play Name

Location

Dance (s)

Performer

Date

The Black Crook Niblo's Gardens Burl, Ballet Marie Bonfanti. David Costa (Chor) 9/12/1866
Ixion Niblo's Gardens Burlesque Thompson & her British blondes 1868
Evangeline Niblo's Gardens Burlesque< ?? 1874
L' Africaine Ohio Burlesque Euclid Opera House 2/24/1876
Adonis ?? Burl, Pedestal ?? 1884
Ivanhoe ?? Burlesque Guards Burlesque Co. 1889
Excelsior Jr. ?? Burlesque Fay Templeton 1895
Twirly Burly ?? Burlesque ?? 1902
Ziegfeld Follies Winter Garden Burlesque ?? 1907
Merry Widow Burlesque Webers Music Hall Burlesque ?? 1908
Burlesque Plymouth Theatre Burlesque Barbara Stanwyck 1927
Strip Girl Longacre Theatre Burlesque ?? 1935
Billy Rose's Casa Manana ?? Burlesque Sally Rand, Ann Pennington 1936
Peek A Boo Revue ?? Peek-A-Boo ?? n/a
Burlesque Belasco Theatre Burlesque ?? 1946
Too Many Sarongs Music Box Theatre Burlesque Rose La Rose 1944
This was Burlesque Hudson Theatre Burlesque Ann Corio, 1965
This was Burlesque Princess Teatre Burlesque Ann Corio, Burly Cutie's 1981
Victor/Victoria [DVD] Marquis Theatre Burl, Apache Julie Andrews,
Artie Phillips
1982
Sugar Babies Mark Hellinger Theatre. Burlesque Ann Miller,
Micky Rooney
1979 & 93

Burlesque Groups

Billy Watson'S Beef Trust (1890's) Zaftig British Blondes (1860s)
Hollywood Glamourettes (1950s Hollywood Theatre) Ziegfeld Girls (1920's)
Glamorous Amazons (1950's)  
Lydia Thompson and her British Blondes (1860's)  
Mme. Rintz's Female Minstrels  

BURLESQUE Night Clubs, Theatres, etc.

National Winter Garden - BURLESQUE TICKET -1920S Cotton Club (NY) Lido Club (Paris)
Crazy Horse Saloon (France) Minsky's (NY)
Earl Carroll's Moulin Rouge (Paris & NY)
El Rancho (Vegas) Niblo's Gardens
200 Club El Rey Burlesk Theatre (CA) Old Howard, the
500 Club (NJ) Folies Bergere (Paris & NY) Rose Room, The (Harlem)
606 Club Folies Marginay Roxy Burlesque (Ohio)
Apollo Theatre (NY) Gunga Den (Bourbon St, New Orleans) Sassy Lassy (755 N. Pacific, San Pedro)
Batman A Go-Go (Los Angeles, CA.) Hotsy Totsy's (Bourbon St, New Orleans) Savannah Club, the (NY)
Bimbo's (CA) Hurtig's and Semans (NY) Sho Bar (Bourbon St, New Orleans)
Blue Viking (San Pedro, CA.) Jungle Club (Miami) Theatre De L'Empie
Casino de Paris Latin Quarter (varies) Tibaran (France)
Casino Royale (Stormy's) Le Carousel (Paris) Town Hall (San Pedro, CA.)
Colony Club (CA.) Les Poupee's de Paris (Bourbon St. N.O.) Winter Garden Theater (NY)
Copacabana (NY) Leon and Eddie's  

Gypsy Rose Lee: A Memoir by Lee and Preminger
Encyclopedia of Vudeville
Queens of Burlesque

some Books about Burlesque etc. ($ = purchasable)

$ A Bit of Burlesque $ Glamour Girls
$ Auto bio of Yvette Paris $ Horrible Prettiness:
$ Bare: On Women, Dancing $ Ivy League Stripper
$ Bare Facts: My Life Annie Ample $ Live Nude Girls: top 100 Strip Clubs
$ Bare Truth: Stars of the 40's/50's $ Live Sex Acts: Women Performing, Erotic Labor
$ Behind the G-String $ Lusty Lady
$ Berlin Cabaret $ Minsky's Burlesque
$ Best Burlesque Sketches New Burlesque
$ Best of Male Burlesque $ Peepshows: A Visual History
$ Bombshells $ Pictorial History of Burlesque
$ Burlesque $ Pictorial History of Striptease
$ Burlesque and the Art of the Teese  
   

Links: Burlesque

Off Site Link Burlesque Costumes (Taylor made)
Off Site Link Burlesque History.com
Off Site Link Exotic World USA.com
Off Site Link Pink Pussycat Productions.com
ON Site Link Streetswing's List of: Burlesque Dancers
ON Site Link Streetswing's List of: Burlesque Videos and DVD's
Other...

 

Striptease with Demi Moore - DVD
Blaze Starr Goes Nudist [DVD]
Varietease featuring Betty Page and Lili St. Cyr
Show Girls
The Beautiful, The Bloody along With Behind Closed Doors Double Feature
Lady Burlesque
Jayne Mansfield
House Of Savage
Sinderella and Goldilocks
Damaged Goods and Hard Road DVD
Portrait of a Showgirl, Tony Curtis, Rita Moreno [DVD]
Street Corner DVD cover
Indecent Desires / My Brothers Wife
Aroused / Rent A Girl / Help Wanted Female / Leeson of the Strap
Girl In Trouble: Bundle / Bad Girls do Cry plus more
Double Agent 73 features Chesty Morgan

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