Though burlesque has survived in the back of our cultural consciousness after being pushed aside by modern stripping in the ’50s, the revival that began in the early ’90s has finally brought burlesque back to the forefront of popular culture.
Evolving from an underground movement to a nearly mainstream fetish, neo-burlesque embraces a wide variety of modern interpretations all based on the classic bump and grind and “taking it off” with a wink and a smile. From classic tributes to punk rock revisionists, women of all ages, sizes, and backgrounds are rediscovering burlesque and reinventing it. A sense of heightened imagination, empowerment and energy are being delivered to the stage, perhaps even more so than during the historic heyday, the Golden Age of Burlesque.
Slipping behind the scene, Burlesque and the New Bump-n-Grind undresses the issues of feminism, modern popularity, and what exactly draws the unique and varied audience members to the shows. The women—and men!—of burlesque also receive their fleshed-out dues by a categorized peek into the various troupe styles including classical, re-creationists, revivalists, modern, circus, performance art, political, queer, bawdy singers and comics.
Peppered throughout the book are full-color and black-and-white photographs that fully instill the picturesque dance into the reader’s mind.
Founder of one of the first neo-burlesque troupes, author Michelle Baldwin (a.k.a, Vivienne Va-Voom) has helped to bring the lost art of burlesque back to the forefront of pop culture. Baldwin has served as the creative director, choreographer, music director, costumer, financial head, and performer for her troupe, “Burlesque As It Was.” Her deep immersion into this art form has provided her with a rare view into the growth and evolution of the revival.