Performing at the 2007 Burlesque Hall of Fame pageant (formerly Miss Exotic World) which she won.
Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England
|Occupation||Burlesque performer and novelist|
Immodesty Blaize (born Kelly Fletcher in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England) is a British burlesque dancer who performs internationally. She was crowned Reigning Queen of Burlesque in June 2007 at the Las Vegas Burlesque Hall of Fame formerly known as Exotic World.
Rise to fame
Her ethnic heritage is Croatian, Russian and Irish. Inspired by films such as Gypsy, and glamorous strong women such as Grace Jones, she originally worked in TV production, and won an award for directing commercials for the Nobel Prizes.
Immodesty has been performing burlesque in London since the mid-1990s. Originally she performed in addition to her film day job. She recalls of burlesque performance, "I really was working in a vacuum. Very few people knew what it was, and I had a hard job to convince people that I wasn’t going to do the classic Stringfellows stripper." Immodesty did her shows on the underground scene in the early years, for example performance art nights on Brick Lane, and has since been widely credited as one of the instigators of the burlesque renaissance. She left her film production job in order to perform full-time for fashion, celebrity and art events. Immodesty brought a mainstream profile to the genre in Britain, garnering extensive press coverage for her elaborate theatrical shows and extravagant costumes as well as consistently bringing the genre to mainstream TV.
Showgirl and writer
In 2009 Immodesty signed to EMI She produced the feature length documentary 'Burlesque Undressed' which screened in cinemas in over 30 countries. She performs her live shows in theatrical venues globally, in Europe, N America and Far East. She has also performed with music artists such as Goldfrapp, Marc Almond, James Brown, Roxy Music, Barry Adamson, and Nick Cave. Historically she first brought burlesque to the British mainstream back in 2002 after working with Goldfrapp as part of their live shows and in pop promo 'Train'. Immodesty then became the first woman to take burlesque back to the historic landmark The Windmill Theatre, In 2005 she had the headline role in the first ever West End theatrical burlesque show, running for 5 months. Immodesty was crowned 'Reigning Queen of Burlesque' in Las Vegas 2007 at the Burlesque Hall of Fame She then took a special residency at Ascot Racecourse in 2007, and in 2008 was the first showgirl to be invited to debate at "the world's most prestigious debating society" the Oxford Union. which she took part in alongside US Congressman Bob Barr and Lord McNally. She spoke extensively on radio and television as a pundit e.g. Woman's Hour and BBC World Service, and various chatshows, and at places such as National Film Theatre, and Hay Literary Festival. She also outsold Archbishop Desmond Tutu's presentation at Hay Literary Festival. She notably beat TV censorship and was allowed to perform a full showgirl striptease on Prime Time TV pre watershed, on ITV1 the Paul O'Grady Show in 2010. She has been unanimously credited with bringing burlesque to the mainstream in Europe. Immodesty is best known for her signature act with an enormous rocking horse, but has many other shows including with her giant telephone, a crystal bubble bath, and her signature oversized powder puffs, which was her original act that won her the crown at the Las Vegas Burlesque Hall of Fame in 2007. Immodesty also follows in a tradition set by Gypsy Rose Lee (author of The G-String Murders), and has written two novels set in the modern showgirl world, which are published by Ebury, "Ambition" and Tease, published early 2009. Tease
Immodesty has written two novels.
- Blaize, Immodesty (May 2009). Tease: the Secrets of a Showgirl. London: Ebury Press. ISBN 978-0-09-193001-1.
- Blaize, Immodesty (June 2010). Ambition. London: Ebury Press. ISBN 978-0-09-193004-2.
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/3364729/Immodesty-Blaize-Britains-burlesque-star.html telegraph.co.uk - "Immodesty Blaize: Britain's burlesque star" - retrieved 07-05-2009
- Barnett, Laura (4 September 2007). "Portrait of the artist: Immodesty Blaize, burlesque dancer". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 5 May 2010.
- Immodesty Blaize: interview - Features - Clubs - Time Out London
- Times; November 2004, The Face 2004
- "Blaize lands film and record deal". Irish Independent. 18 November 2009.
- Brinton, Jessica (3 May 2009). "People like them". The Times (London).
- John Walsh, "Immodesty Blaize: Sex, scandal and naked ambition", The Independent, 30 May 2009
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