THE ART OF TEASE
It`s not about revealing, but concealing. The striptease dancer doesn`t simply whirl her naked body on a pole or perform a grinding lap dance. She teases the audience with a hope of glimpsing some skin, usually stopping short of full exposure.
Despite the more in-your-face antics available in strip clubs and on video store shelves, burlesque entertainment is seeing a revival. Old style, eroticism can be found in neo-burlesque stage shows throughout the world.
Here are just a few of these delightful performers and the subjects of this exhibition.
DITA VON TEESE
The undisputed queen of burlesque, is iconic to this revival with her signature Martini glass and feather dance routines.
Charles Willmott was invited to London's Erotica 2006 as accredited artist, where this series of studies and oils featuring top of the bill Dita Von Teese was conceived.
`Dita commented of the fantastic opportunity to bring burlesque to the mainstream... her performances were absolutely sensational`
VIENNA LE ROUGE
The Florodora girl who pays tribute to the popular beauties that once graced the most famous theatre in 1900 `The Florodora` Although born and raised in Seattle, the city of Vienna is the place of her deep family roots and from where she took her name.
Always stylish, always elegant Vienna Le Rouge evokes a bygone era of satin boudoirs and classic elegance with just a hint of the Ziegfeld Follies. Her gorgeous costumes studded with Swarovski rhinestones complete that vintage look. Vienna tours mostly with a troup but is shown here in solo performance.
In contrast the captivating burlesque and pop troop ADORA are committed to redefining femininity in the 21st century with their bourgeois cabaret and sizzling routines.
Again during his visit to Erotica 2006 at Olympia Charles met the glamorous ADORA gals : Rebecca Parker, Anna Harmsworth and Emma de Vees.
`They`ve worked with some of London`s top choreographers and have written songs in collaboration with Bellissima, as their high octane performance shows... thanks Rebecca, Anna and Emma, you`re stunning!`
Of course there are many other talented and enthusiastic performers tramping the boards and strutting their stuff...
As part of his research Charles met many burlesque performers and visited the haunts where they apply their trade... places like London`s Lost Society, The Candy Box, The Glee Club and of course the famous Café de Paris.
`Without exception, the personalities, the performers and the audiences of this re-emerging genre are interesting and real people and I thank them for allowing me into their unique world... the few studies here, perhaps show this is likely to be an ongoing!`
International burlesque star and founder of the Ministry of Burlesque (MOBS) and who recently broadcast a burlesque special on TV`s hit show WAGS Boutique.
Saucy singing starlet performing burlesque cabaret with her killer curves and show girl splendour.
A trained stilt walker and trapeze artist wooing the crowd with her Vaudeville style `Bride of Frankenstein` extravaganza...
...need one say more!
`I wasn`t naked. I was completely covered by a blue spotlight`
- Gypsy Rose Lee -