Skip to Store Area:

CALL US: 01983-565245

0 items

T-Town Tassels are something pretty special, even in the very special world of burlesque. And on 28th March they will be demonstrating their superb specialness at a show in Toledo. What makes them so special is that they have an American Sign Language (ASL) translator who interprets every part of their show. A year ago, a CODA (child of a deaf adult) Emmah Artino who is married to a Joey Artino, who is deaf, wanted to attend a T-Town Tassels show … when she contacted the founder to find out if sign language interpretation was available, she was delighted to find that the answer was yes, as for many live events, ASL interpreters are not supplied as standard.

Read More
Posted By Rowena Yee

Ruby Rage and body shaming

 New Orleans is the home of burlesque, but when Lucky Pierre’s club on Bourbon Street told Ruby Rage that she was no longer necessary, she asked why. The club’s new management informed troupe leader Bella Blue that Ruby didn’t fit the requirements, by which, it seems, they thought she was too large.

 

It was left to Bella to explain this to Ruby, who has called out the club for their body shaming. As she put it, “…burlesque is accepting of men, women, different genders, transgendered, it does not matter.” Going public was difficult for her but she’s had a lot of support, Bella Blue has taken her show away from Lucky Pierre’s and Ruby has a new show, produced by Bella, at a different venue.

 

It’s a bigger question than one performer’s shape/size though. As burlesque becomes increasingly mainstream and as a result, is commercialised and homogenised, there will always be a tension between acceptance and judgement. People paying for burlesque aren’t likely to be expecting an education in tolerance or diversity, but that’s what the profession will have to give them, if it is to remain proudly supportive of every shape, size, colour, gender and persuasion. So, for example, we stock Bordello Teeze shoes up to size 10, so that everybody can enjoy a little burlesque in their life!

Read More
Posted By Rowena Yee

Dubious costuming for burlesque events

Were you aware of the controversy around the Canberra Fringe Festival? No, nor were we, but it’s an interesting topic as burlesque performers constantly skirt (or perhaps petticoat!) the edge of acceptable behaviour to create exciting and thought-provoking performances. There’s also pressure on many burlesque shows to ‘ramp up’ their shock factor to win media attention and that can in turn push performers into more explicit or shocking performances than they’d choose without that added pressure.

So what happened? Apparently a burlesque dancer dressed as Hitler. The performance was seen as particularly controversial because it took place in the Family Tent, where children were present. (Hmmm …. we’re not entirely sure about that - is burlesque for children? We’d love to have your views!) Anyway, this year’s festival director suggested that the 2015 programme will be ‘family-oriented’ but still edgy and diverse. Sounds like a plan to us!

And if you want an edgy costume, can we suggest the sexy skeleton? She offers a few chills along with lots of thrills and no risk of causing offence.

Read More
Posted By Rowena Yee

Cabaret birthday for Cabaret star

Scottish star Alan Cumming is much better known on the other side of the Atlantic than here - but the actor who is currently starring in “Cabaret” and has been winning plaudits for his role in “Good Wife” has just celebrated his half-century in style. His husband Grant Shaffer hosted a surprise party for the actor at Duane Park, New York. The keynote act was Amber Ray, who bills herself as a ‘professional sensationalist’ and who shook her tassels to help Cummings and his guests commemorate his fiftieth birthday. Also in the line-up were a hula hoop artist who apparently managed to pull off a burlesque act with 27 simultaneous hoops!

Read More
Posted By Rowena Yee

Plastic People

Hard on the heels of the threat of redevelopment at Madam JoJo’s* comes the news that Plastic People has gone. Shoreditch has never been the most exciting location, Plastic People was handling considered to be a high class venue, but its focus on electronic music made it a clubbing mecca for those who loved music. So what’s that got to do with burlesque?  Well, nothing to do with the classic, often vintage-themed burlesque that most of us recognise as the genre, but the much more challenging and transgressive forms of burlesque that have pushed the boundaries of role-play, mime and sexual expression wore born in small clubs like Plastic People and London Bridge’s Cable (also sadly defunct) where dance forms evolved and died rapidly and where a form of purity, based around both music and self-expression, became a testing ground for new ideas about performance and audience interaction.

Read More
Posted By Rowena Yee

Another burlesque legend passes

Gloria Dillon, famous in the golden age of burlesque as Tajmah, ‘Jewel of the Orient’, passed away in December, aged 77. Her mother, Tina Marie, was a cocktail waitress in a burlesque club and the teenage Gloria decided to take to the stage after watching the dancers perform as she did her homework!

Tajmah’s signature act was performed with her mother, who also became a burlesque dancer, and was called ‘The Spider and the Virgin’ with Tina Marie as the spider and her daughter as the virgo who becomes ensnared in the giant spider’s web. It was a powerful and athletic performance which many of today’s burlesque dancers reference in creating gothic interpretations of ‘classic’ burlesque. As many of the burlesque legends of the previous generation leave us* reconsideration of their legacy is going to turn up in more and more homage acts, and Tajmah’s Spider and Virgin is one we think is ripe for a revisit!

Read More
Posted By Rowena Yee