A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

Categories: Culture | History

Today burlesque is a real art form. Modern burlesque performers, men and women, combine the most explosive aspects of costumed erotic dance, comedy and theater and, of course, nudity on stage. Dita von Teese has turned this non-trivial genre into a dynamic practice that challenges all the usual stereotypes of perception of the naked body.

The roots of burlesque go back to the 1840s and originate from the minstrels of American culture. Nevertheless, the burlesque that we know today began as a cocktail of vaudeville humor and striptease and became popular in the early 1900s, when burlesque performers (mostly women) performed dancing and provocative nudity in clubs and Broadway venues.

We looked into the photo archives to demonstrate the visual taste of 1950s burlesque.

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

Dancer Brenda Conde, dressed in a bikini, backstage at the Tivoli Theater, Mexico City, circa 1950.

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

Burlesque dancer Gloria Knecht in a two-piece outfit, circa 1950.

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

Burlesque dancer Lonnie Jung in a bikini decorated with flowers, circa 1950.

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

Burlesque dancer Mary Mack reclining on a chaise longue, circa 1950.

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

American actress and burlesque entertainer Gypsy Rose Lee (1914-1970), circa 1950.

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

Stripper and artist Lily St. Cyr during her performance at the Samoa Nightclub in New York on August 10, 1952.

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

A group of girls dressed in bikinis in a burlesque show at the Tivoli Theater in Mexico City. Around 1952.

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

Stripper and artist Lili Saint-Cyr during a rehearsal of her interpretive dance for the three-dimensional short film Carmenesque on January 23, 1953 in Los Angeles.

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

Members of a civic group - opponents of burlesque shows - picket the Reade Paramount Theater on June 28, 1953 in Long Branch, New Jersey, in protest against the opening of the theater for burlesque entertainment.

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

From left to right: Burlesque actresses and entertainers Margie Hart, Lily St. Cyr and Gypsy Rose Lee at the Old Howard Theater in Boston on November 25, 1953.

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

American burlesque diva Tempest Storm on stage in 1954.

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

Tempest Storm performs on stage in 1954.

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

Portrait of American burlesque performer Blaze Starr circa 1955, bikini and high heels.

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

Burlesque dancer Lily Kristina before performing and showing her famous "Cat Dance" in 1955.

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

Burlesque dancer in exotic horned headdress and bikini, mid-50s.

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

Stripper and artist Lily Saint-Cyr appears on the stage of the play "Son of Sinbad" in June 1955.

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

A general view of the stage show at the Columbia Burlesque Theater in New York on December 26, 1956.

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

Girls with wings during a dance at the Columbia Burlesque Theater in New York on December 26, 1956.

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

American burlesque diva and author Gypsy Rosa Lee (nee Rosa Louise Hovich) laughs during an appearance on the TV show "Man to Man", February 6, 1957.

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

Molly Dexter on the stage of the Lido in Paris in 1957.

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

During a performance at the Columbia Burlesque Theater in New York in 1957.

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

Stripper girls drink tea during a break between performances at the Nell Gwyn Club, Dean Street, Soho, August 13, 1959.

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

British actress Joan Collins rehearses a provocative dance for the film "Seven Thieves" in Hollywood, California, August 20, 1959.

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

Portrait of American stripper, dancer and burlesque performer Blaze Starr while dancing in the shade of a tree in 1959.

A brief but stunning history of burlesque in the 1950s

Burlesque Dancers, December 15, 1959.

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