I was approached by the creator of Burlesque, Christopher Logan to see if I reviewed coffee table books and, not having done so on the blog I thought I’d give it a go. I wasn’t sure what to expect and what I found was quite different from anything that has appeared on Linda’s Book Bag before.
Burlesque follows d.r.a.g (Dressed as Girls), and is part of a project run by actor Christopher Logan to raise funds for independent film projects. The cover image is by Karl Giant. Burlesque will be released on 30th March 2016 and is available from the Book The Film website.
I was slightly disappointed to begin with that there wasn’t more text for me to read about the history of burlesque after the initial definition and introduction or more details about the individuals appearing in the photographs as I would have liked to know more about them.
That slight criticism aside, Burlesque is a stunning book. The photographs are gorgeous, high quality images that reward multiple views in order to appreciate the photographic skill. There is fabulous lighting to show off the performers at their very best such as that of Angie Pontani where the shadows give sculpture and form to her image. Colours are vibrant and the black and white images are atmospheric so that each plate is a work of art in its own right.
I hadn’t really considered the role of men in burlesque before so photos of people like Captain Kidd certainly made me challenge my own perceptions. So too did the expressions on the performers’ faces. Every emotion from sadness to joy and seduction to sweetness is to be found in the burlesque world. I appreciated the almost feminist pose of Missy Malone, for example, and the less than perfect but still beautiful figures of World Famous *BOB* and Selene Luna. Having said I would have liked more text to accompany the images, I still learnt an awful lot about burlesque. Looking at the photographs over several days and really studying them I began to see how the positioning of a hand, for example, was typical of some poses or conveyed a completely different meaning in others, and how a slight alteration in the lips could move an expression from innocence to seduction. Burlesque really isn’t a book to look through only once.
If you’re looking for something a bit different, are open minded and don’t mind some nudity, but want a book that is beautifully produced and supports an interesting project, look no further than Burlesque.
You may have seen Christopher in the recent X-Files episode ‘Founder’s Mutation’ and you can follow his Book The Film project on Twitter.