Monday, October 26, 2009

All The News That's Fit To Strip

Veronica Mars star, Kristin Bell is the latest to join the cast of the upcoming movie Burlesque. The long hours of dance rehearsal are beginning to take its toll. She said:

"I've started dance rehearsals and my neck is sore and my inner thighs are so sore."

She also discusses her role in the movie-musical. She will play opposite Christina Aguliera , competing with her for the spotlight. She adds:

"There's a competition between the two of us. I really want to sing and she's allowed to sing at the club so we fight... In the end when all is well, they may sing together. I almost wish they wouldn't, because I would rather just listen to Christina."

In other news...

For a group of mothers from Tennessee, it's bottles and diapers during the week and rhinestones and feathers on the weekends.

There's more to do in Cambridge, Mass. than study. Try burlesque. Axe to Ice Productions presents Boiling Point Burlesque, a revue of striptease and drag performances this Sunday at the Oberon Theater.

Monday, October 19, 2009

All The News That's Fit To Strip

Christina Aguilera is reportedly turning to Dita Von Teese for some tips and advice on burlesque moves.

"Christina is meticulous in her preparation for anything she does,” explains a source close to the star. "She is already training hard to be ready for this role and has asked Dita for some coaching on the more technical aspects of burlesque dancing. She doesn’t want to have to use a double for anything if she can help it."

Yet another source says:

"It is not about g-strings and pasties. It's about female empowerment. No one is ever in lingerie. The film is sexy, but there's no stripping."

Burlesque begins filming next month and is slated to release Thanksgiving 2010.

In other news...

Michelle L'amour's Naked Girls Reading rapidly expands to cities throughout the United States and catches the attention of Carson Daly.

Becki Ross, a sociologist from the University of BC has penned a new book, Burlesque West: Showgirls, Sex and Sin in Postwar Vancouver. Her new work explores the West Coast strip scene through first person accounts and interviews.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Revealing Images: Erochica Bamboo

In Revealing Images, photographer Don Spiro dishes up sweet photographic treats and the stories behind them. Today, Don aims his lens at 2008's Miss Exotic World Erochica Bamboo.

This is one of my favorite portraits, of Miss Exotic World 2003, Erochica Bamboo. The simple costume of feathers, pearls and black velvet gloves accented by giant false eyelashes and stylized makeup conveys a sense of timeless beauty that I associate with Miss Bamboo in real life.

We had spent a whole evening doing various costume and makeup changes, varying the backgrounds, poses and lightings for each image. For this one I chose to shoot her from the waist up with glamour lighting like an old Hollywood publicity still. I wanted to accentuate not just her face, but the pasties, pearl necklace and matching earrings that all added to the allure and elegance of Miss Bamboo.

My key light was to the left of the camera and a bit high, I asked her to turn her face right into it, keeping the front of her face free of shadow except for her cheeks, while allowing light to hit her earring. She curved her shoulders and the light raked across her body, streaking across her arms and cleavage and allowing her necklace to shine. I placed a second, softer light behind her to light the top of her camera-right shoulder. Bouncing off the floor it provided a soft glow on the shadowed side of her breasts, neck and chin.

I was very happy with the result, a kind of film-noir image that was moody with a lot of contrast, but I didn’t want hair to disappear into the darkness behind her. Rather than light her hair with a strong backlight, which is one way to get good separation of the subject from the background, I chose instead to light the backdrop itself. The backdrop was dark grey, and I spotted a light very tight into it in the space above her shoulder.

I shot this image with color film, exposing it so that her face was about two stops over my key, which gave me amazing skin tones on her body and making all the pearls glow. The background ranged from near white wear the spot was most intense to dark grey on the edges of frame, with a full range of tones between. She gave a beautiful smile and looked right up into her light, just like many of those old movie star glamour shots. Her charisma in this image and the charm in her face is so overpowering that the fact that she is wearing little more than pasties is almost overlooked.

~Don Spiro

Monday, October 5, 2009

All The News That's Fit To Strip

Eliza Dushku is another celebrity jumping on the burlesque bandwagon. Inspired by dancers she saw at a wrap party for her science-fiction show, Dollhouse, the actress hopes her character has a chance to try burlesque too. The creator of Dollhouse said:

"We haven't figured out how to put it in an episode yet but we are still trying! We had some burlesque dancers at the wrap party and she was like, 'I want to do that'."

In other news...

See what happens when Orchid Mei, a handful of legends and the New York Times meet up in a hotel room in Wis.

The infamous Slipper Room in New York gets a nod from NPR.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Candy Gram: Gentry de Paris

In our ongoing Q&A series --"The Candy Gram"-- we ask the same quirky questions of burlesque's various performers. If you want to be added to the mix, drop Tanya Cheex a line at t.cheex AT gmail DOT com. Today, say hello Gentry Lane.

What is your hometown?
Paris (via Hollywood )

How long have you been interested in burlesque/performing?
Since I first saw Gypsy at around age 12. But I didn’t start taking off my clothes until I was 23. (I guess I’m a late bloomer).

How many pairs of pasties do you own?
Not that many. Perhaps a dozen. Do you want me to go count?

What are your three favorite songs to perform to?
Harlem Nocturne (I know, I know! But there’s a reason it’s a classic!)
Too Darn Hot
A French song that I’m going to regret posting called J’Coûte Cher. It’s super vavoom jazzy and has great lyrics. Copy me and I’ll kill you. Actually, I won’t have to. It would be career suicide to use a song that’s already so closely associated with me. So there.

What three items could you not live without as a performer?
Really high heels with quick release ankle straps, Kryolan pancake and good lighting.

Who had the biggest influence on your career?
Dita. She’s generous with her advice, she doesn’t mince words, and now I’m getting pretty good at figuring out when she’s joking. (I’m so gullible, it’s tragic/hysterical). She has set the standard and anyone who doesn’t admit to her level of influence on their own career is a Big Fat Liar.

Who is your favorite burly queen?
Gypsy is my favorite because of her marketing ability, but she doesn’t seem like she was a very nice person. People will hate me for saying this, but I find the real stories behind these women quite sad. I don’t know one who led an admirable life. Except Josephine Baker, but she was never technically a stripper.

What is your favorite item of clothing?
I have 3 François Tamarin corsets that make my waist 18” In a word: Hot.

What’s the last movie you saw?
Good God! I don’t even remember. I’m fighting the inclination to lie and put something intellectual. But it was probably a BBC documentary. I hate going to the movie theater. The seats are filthy.

What’s on your must-see-TV list?
House and Mad Men. I’d do Don Draper in a second.

What book is on your nightstand?
The script for my show in September -- The Gentry de Paris Revue with Dita Von Teese.

If you could go anywhere for vacation, where would you go?
Thailand. I’d like to get a three-hour massage while lying face down in a kiddy pool full of Pad Thai. I hear it’s legal there. And only costs $7.

If you could have any superpower, which one would you want? Why?
Teleportation. Because the Paris metro sucks.

Satisfy your appetite for more Candy Grams: Jade Pearl, Kitten DeVille, Miss C, Immodesty Blaize, Nasty Canasta, Vivienne Vermuth, Scarlett James, Tura Santana, Tatah DuJour, Susie Caboose, Gigi La Femme, Kitten on the Keys, Virginia D'Vine, Tamara the Trapeze Lady, Champagne Sparkles, Selia Carmichael, Pyra Sutra, Roxi Dlite, Scarlet O'Gasm, Bombshell Betty, Foxy Moxy, Bambi Galore, Mis Rosie Bitts, Sahara Dunes, Mimi Rockafellar, Baby Le Strange, Rose Darling, Satan's Angel, Ophelia Flame, Panache La Plume, Ginger Valentine, Madame Rosebud, Little Brooklyn, Victoria Veneance, Sauci Calla Horra, Penny Starr Jr., Gemma Parker, Darla DeVine, Sparkly Devil, Vivienne VaVoom, Lux LaCroix, Charlotte La Belle Araignee, Bunny Love, Amber Topaz, Amelie Soleil, Red Hot Annie, HoneyLu, Kimberlee Rose, Vicky Butterfly, Dominique Immora, Yasmine Vine, Cherry Bomb, Millie Dollar, Joanie Gyoza, Bonbon Vivant, Lola Martinet, Frankie Boudoir, Vixen Violette, Ravenna Black, Veronica Lashe, Amber Ray, Beatrix von Bourbon, Angie Pontani, Tanya Cheex, Bloody Belle, Clams Casino, Trixie Little, Michelle L'Amour, Margaret Cho, Miss Dirty Martini, Princess Farhana, Miss Delirium Tremens, Paris Green, Jo Boobs, Jack Midnight, Heidi Von Haught, Diamond Minx, The Titillation Twins, Scratch, Creamy Stevens and Gina Louise.