Abstract (from author): In both neo-burlesque and roller derby, there is a two-way communication between the audience (both male and female) and the performers/athletes that celebrates what the women (and sometimes men) on stage and on the track are doing. Using interviews with several burlesque performers and derby players, I demonstrate that there is a sense of community at both events between performers and audience, and that the art form of burlesque is not about monetary gain or exclusively for the pleasure of men. The burlesque performer is continually in communication with the audience through eye contact, performer-initiated physical contact, and invited audible response. I draw a parallel to roller derby as another outlet for women to express themselves outside of a traditional patriarchal frame for an audience of both women and men, paying particular attention to the acceptance of a wide range of body types, the creation of community, and a celebration of strength and skill not usually associated with women.
Archive for March, 2018
Representatives from The Big Girl Burlesque will be visiting my HDFS 5440 classroom on The Ohio State University Main Campus (Townshend Hall, Room 247) on Thursday, March 29th from from 11:10 am to 12:30 pm.
If you are in another instructor’s 5440 or you’ve taken it with me previously… YES, you may come. But it’s standing room only, so you may need to grab a square of carpet. If you wish to bring a friend? The same thing applies. Make certain they are adults and tell them that chairs aren’t part of the bargain. Note: guests should not ask questions of speakers unless “paying” students have exhausted all of their inquiries.
The Big Girl Burlesque is a troupe of like-minded women who believe that size has nothing to do with sexy! They own their curves and love their bodies. They invite you to come see what a body positive burlesque experience can be! Empowered and exciting, the troupe invites you to come out to see them at their monthly shows.
For more info on where you can find them, follow the Big Girls on Facebook at
Psst… They have an upcoming show (April 6th, 2018) at Club Voodoos here in Columbus
In addition to normal class readings that prepare students for topics on sexuality and how people express it, students were asked to read David Owen’s “Neo-Burlesque and the Resurgence of Roller Derby: Empowerment, Play, and Community.”
Students are encouraged to visit Leonard (Yes, Spock!) Nimoy’s FULL BODY PROJECT featuring full bodied models in a variety of clothed and naked poses.
Many of the images I’ve used for the BGB in the past (and some currently as well) were captured by the talented lens of Lightning Images.
A more common media portrayal of burlesque (Cher’s Welcome to Burlesque from the film: Burlesque)
Due to their age, the following videos are all in the public domain and are available at ARCHIVE.ORG
A vintage video clip from the 1930’s featuring Sally Rand:
Undated, The performer known as Kalantan:
A 1940’s era burlesque performer:
My dear friend, Bashka, shared this link with me today on facebook. It is a video drenched in pain and yet… full of hope. I share it here with students (and visitors) in hopes that it will remind all of us of the importance and urgency of life. Breathe then Labor then Push, indeed.
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/209223693″>Breathe and push Sikh-American civil rights advocate Valarie Kaur s plea to …</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user24977624″>St. Ignatius Church -Baltimore</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
If you visit the video through vimeo, you can actually download it as well.