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April 10, 2021

Spectacular Striptease: Living Legends of Burlesque

Hosted by University of Toronto

Spectacular Striptease is a Zoom panel that allows attendees to have an inside peek at the lives and careers of the surviving “Exotics,” or stripteasers, who worked in the golden age of burlesque performance. Such performers are colloquially referred to in the burlesque community as our living “Legends.” These women, whose careers span from the late 1950s to the 1980s, will provide invaluable personal accounts of their lived experience pertaining to histories of sex work and queer performance.

The panel has been curated to combat revisionist histories of 20th century burlesque which erase the presence of Performers of Colour, Trans performers, and the vibrant touring circuit which existed throughout North America, including here in Canada. Each of our panelists’ careers disprove this popular false archive and instead work to describe the labour conditions, lifestyle, celebrations, and challenges that a life in burlesque presented to them. Furthermore, many of the panelists worked in different decades and in different territories, meaning that they each can offer a unique perspective that helps to paint a picture of the larger burlesque circuit throughout the 20th century.

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ASL interpretation will be available.

For more information or questions about the event, please contact Julia Matias at julia.matias@mail.utoronto.ca