Striptease is much more than what many believe, especially when one applies the filter of Neo-Burlesque to it. As the curtain lifts, the music starts and the Emcee calls a name, performers step out on stage, driven by a sense of living in the moment, the culmination of hours of costume making, sweating through rehearsal after rehearsal, and having the eyes of fans both old and new upon them. After it's all over, and the performers step backstage, there is an ultimate sense of community, a group of people coming together to empower one another to achieve new levels of confidence, self-expression, and body positivity. Performance studies scholar and acclaimed burlesque artist Lynn "Dr. Lucky" Sally offers an inside look at the history, culture, and philosophy of New York's neo-burlesque scene. Revealing how twenty-first-century neo-burlesque is in constant dialogue with the classic burlesque of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, she considers how today's performers use camp to comment on preconceived notions of femininity. She also explores how the striptease performer directs the audience's gaze, putting on layers of meaning while taking off layers of clothing. Through detailed profiles of iconic neo-burlesque performers such as Dita Von Teese, Dirty Martini, Julie Atlas Muz, and World Famous *BOB*, this book makes the case for understanding neo-burlesque as a new sexual revolution. Yet it also examines the broader community of "Pro-Am" performers who use neo-burlesque as a liberating vehicle for self-expression. Raising important questions about what feminism looks like, Neo-Burlesque celebrates a revolutionary performing art and participatory culture whose acts have political reverberations, both onstage and off.
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