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Burlesque (genre) going forward[edit]

I think it very important that the Burlesque (genre) article be moved to Victorian burlesque because American burlesque is also a genre; the disambiguator does not adequately disambiguate. I don't mind going through to change the links once the move takes place. As for including the various incarnations of burlesque on this article, that is vital; the main Burlesque article should document how the form has developed all throughout history, not simply select one form of burlesque and document only that. Neelix (talk) 18:56, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

As I said, I don't mind the "Burlesque" article including a discussion of all the different forms that have been called "burlesque" and cross-referencing the dedicated articles. I would not object to your renaming the article if you change all the links, although I don't think it's necessary; there are a lot of links, but it's up to you. -- Ssilvers (talk) 22:41, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Re: Neelix's point above, do people think we should rename Burlesque (genre)? Some possibilities: 19th-century burlesque, Burlesque (musical) and Victorian burlesque. Since this genre existed both in the UK and the US, I don't prefer the latter term. I am inclined towards Burlesque (musical), since they were a kind of musical theatre. This term was originally suggested by Kleinzach at Talk:Burlesque (genre), and I disagreed with the idea long ago but have come to agree with it, and we have indeed categorized the burlesques as musicals. I do note that moving all the links will be time consuming. Please comment. -- Ssilvers (talk) 19:02, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

A parenthetical disambiguator such as "(musical)" would not be appropriate because these are not two unrelated theatrical forms; the term "burlesque" refers to a broad category of theatre made up of several different types. The type of burlesque currently discussed at Burlesque (genre) historically developed directly into other types of burlesque without there being any clear breaks. Victorian burlesque appears to me to be the best title for the article; there was a Victorian America just as much as a Victorian England. The issue of changing the links being time-consuming is not a problem; I do not mind spending the time changing them. Neelix (talk) 21:01, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

I think renaming the article Burlesque (musical) would make the most sense if Neelix is kindly prepared to change all the links. Jack1956 (talk) 08:05, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

I agree that retitling is desirable in the interests of clarity. Victorian burlesque seems more natural to me, but as I have recently added something about Broadway versions in the 1840s I am obliged to admit the point made by Ssilvers above. Nonetheless, I give my first vote to Victorian burlesque but I would be resonably happy with Burlesque (musical). My slight reservation about the latter is that I assume (I have lived a sheltered life) that the American strip-tease that calls itself burlesque is done to music, so that the distinction is not as clear to the casual user as it would be if we went for Victorian burlesque. It is most kind of Neelix to volunteer to change all the links. Tim riley (talk) 09:02, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Burlesque (musical) sounds to me as if it's a musical entitled Burlesque. I vote for Victorian burlesque. --GuillaumeTell 11:22, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Done. Neelix and all, have at the links. By the way, as G-Tell wrote on my talk page, there is much repetition in this article. Tim riley has done a super job of upgrading the Victorian burlesque article, so you may wish to refer to that for the 19th century stuff. -- Ssilvers (talk) 16:50, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Sweet. Will do. Neelix (talk) 18:07, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Happy to give the Victorian section a going-over, and there is plenty of scope for improving the earlier historical stuff (Chaucer? - Sir Topaz possibly, but it's stretching things). The main part of the article – the American strip-tease material – is not my area of expertise, but if someone with access to relevant references could add the necessary citations it would be a start in bringing it up to WP standard. Meanwhile, loud applause for the hours Neelix has put in tonight on redoing all the links. Bravo! Tim riley (talk) 23:20, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, thanks for all the link fixing, Neelix. Looking forward to Tim's revisions. Since there is a much-improved main article on Victorian Burlesque, Tim can streamline that part of this article per WP:SUMMARY. -- Ssilvers (talk) 01:14, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
[edit conflict] As Ss says, what needs to be done here is to reduce each of the sections that duplicate those in Victorian burlesque to a précis, each with a "main article" link to the appropriate section of the latter. Then people like Gilbert and Vestris can be removed from the Bob Hope 'n striptease list. And some attention might be given to the excision of blank spaces and reorganising the images. Good luck, Tim! --GuillaumeTell 01:22, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
I shall be away all next week, but will attend to this on my return. A worthwhile task, meseems. Tim riley (talk) 17:49, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
I know I am rather late to the party here, but I don't think "Victorian burlesque" is the best name. Certainly burlesque reached a heightened popularity in the 19th century, but the artform was already a notable part of the British stage during the 18th century. Thomas Arne was composing burlesque operas as early as 1733, and I think the name "Victoria burlesque" is starting this genre's history a century too late.4meter4 (talk) 12:51, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
IMO Victorian burlesque is a good title, and it has been accepted by the other editors. According to Parkinson in Grove, among Arne's works only Achilles in Petticoats (1773) is designated as a 'burlesque opera'. Arne was involved in performing English-language works "after the Italian manner", rather than farces or parodies. --Kleinzach 01:51, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Um... I looked at Grove before making the above comment and it lists the following 4 works as burlesque operas: The Opera of Operas, or Tom Thumb the Great (1733), The Temple of Dullness (1745), King Pepin’s Campaign (1745), and Achilles in Petticoats (1773). Squire Badger (1772) is listed as a burletta. Best.4meter4 (talk) 02:33, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Parkinson (1992) in the New Grove Opera lists The Opera of Operas, or Tom Thumb the Great (1733) as an 'opera'. King Pepin’s Campaign (1745) and Squire Badger (1772) are given as comic operas. (He gives no genre for The Temple of Dullness (1745)). Who exactly (and where) is suggesting something different? (The word 'burlesque' only appears once in the text - in connection with Achilles in Petticoats.) --Kleinzach 00:06, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
Grove Music Online lists the above as I have given them in the list of works by Thomas Arne. Go to the Thomas Arne article in Grove Music Online and click on the list of works section. I'm sure someone else with subscription access can confirm. Best.4meter4 (talk) 00:08, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
In the meantime, this also refers to The Opera of Operas, or Tom Thumb the Great (1733) as a burlesque opera. My whole point in bringing this up though, is that the burlesque genre pre-dates the Victorian era. It seems odd that there are now articles like List of compositions by Thomas Arne, which now link to Victorian burlesque when the works themselves pre-date the Victorian Era by as much as a century. Best.4meter4 (talk) 00:59, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
  • This reference seems to imply that Arne's Tom Thumb was the first burlesque opera; although I'm not sure I would trust the source. Regaurdless, this google book search has a lot of sources connecting Arne and burlesque with the above mentioned works. Best.4meter4 (talk) 01:20, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
I see the List of compositions by Thomas Arne was complied by User:Nrswanson, based on an article by Peter Holman and Todd Gilman, rather than Parkinson. Hmm. OK it's now clear what you are referring to. However we already knew that (quote) "burlesque genre pre-dates the Victorian era" (unquote) that's implicit in this whole article. --Kleinzach 09:09, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
I agree. My main concern was sparked because burlesque (genre) was redirected to Victorian burlesque. However, it appears that User:Neelix has changed this since I chimed in here initially. It now redirects to this article which makes everything fine in terms of incoming links. I'm completely on board now with all the recent changes. Best.4meter4 (talk) 09:25, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
Further to the above discussion, I have redrawn the 19th C section as agreed. Please dive in and add, subtract or alter ad lib. Tim riley (talk) 12:20, 15 February 2011 (UTC)


IMO the Travesty section - actually about Travesti - doesn't belong here. If there are no (reasoned!) objections I will take it out. --Kleinzach 01:03, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

OK. Now removed. --Kleinzach 02:04, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I propose that Burlesque (literature) be merged into Burlesque. The scope of the articles is now the same with the main article referring to literature. Material from Burlesque (literature) can easily be integrated in Burlesque. There is no longer any advantage in keeping them separate. Kleinzach 01:55, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

I think I disagree with this, but I'll hold off on commenting until others comment. Please move deliberately here - Tim riley is away and will likely have an informed opinion about this; and in general you need to leave proposals open for a longer period of time. I'd suggest a week, as per normal with move requests. In the meantime, there is plenty to do in the almost completely unreferenced American parts of this article, in which I have no interest or knowledge. -- Ssilvers (talk) 02:57, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
I note, by the way, that in 2008, Kleinzach wrote, at the talk page for what is now called Victorian burlesque: "...perhaps this article here needs to be split into two different articles: Burlesque (literary genre) and Burlesque (musical)." At the time, I disagreed with Kleinzach but subsequently changed my mind and created the article Burlesque (literature). Perhaps we should ask this question at the various literature projects to see what literary historians think about this. -- Ssilvers (talk) 03:06, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
The articles were completely different in 2008. (Please remember to indent, otherwise it looks a bit like kerb crawling.) --Kleinzach 02:26, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Support - Merriam-Webster defines burlesque as "a literary or dramatic work that seeks to ridicule by means of grotesque exaggeration or comic imitation". Literary and dramatic burlesque are of the same tradition. Dealing with them on separate articles without a primary article dealing with both would be like only dealing with thriller films on the Thriller (genre) article and creating a separate article for thriller literature at Thriller (literature). Neelix (talk) 18:14, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment I'd support a merger and re-direct for now. It doesn't stop someone from eventually expandng Burlesque (literature) as a full article. Actually, the one that whould be split off and covered here only as a summary is American burlesque. It dominates this article and is inappropriately detailed for a general overview of the subject. (Not to mention way over-illustrated, and containing a lengthy list of names of just about everyone remotely connected with it) Voceditenore (talk) 12:53, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment - I concur wholeheartedly with Voceditenore's statements. If anything is to be split off, it should be American burlesque. Much theatrical burlesque is dramatic and therefore literary, so if a section on non-theatrical burlesque is eventually split off from this article, it should be split off in a manner specific to its medium (ex. Burlesque novel, Burlesque poetry, etc.). Neelix (talk) 20:02, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Please don't split off an American burlesque article until you figure out how to avoid creating a conflict/mess with Neo-Burlesque, whatever that is. Is American burlesque the best name for it? Maybe Vaudeville-based burlesque, or who knows what.... The problem is that all the 20th century sections are nearly unreferenced, so you don't really know what you have. -- Ssilvers (talk) 23:23, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment - I think we've now established that this is the main article. It could end up being fairly long so (per Neelix) subpages can be split off per WP:SPLIT: "If an article becomes too large or a section of an article has a length that is out of proportion to the rest of the article it is recommended that a split be carried out.". Re the title American burlesque, I see that Victorian burlesque has some American references, so perhaps we need to think about this? --Kleinzach 23:52, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

 Done. I've now done the merge - that is to say the copy edit - but the first sections of the article still need research, checking sources, filling in gaps etc. Scholarly help appreciated! --Kleinzach 01:16, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Merger proposal 2[edit]

I propose that High burlesque be merged into Burlesque. This is just an orphaned stub. Info will be more accessible here. --Kleinzach 01:24, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. -- Ssilvers (talk) 06:47, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
I third the nomination. Neelix (talk) 17:44, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, this seems sensible. Voceditenore (talk) 18:41, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

 Done --Kleinzach 02:27, 15 February 2011 (UTC)


I tried an experiment with the headings. Please revert if not appropriate, but it seemed to me that the Burlesque shows on American film, the list of names in 20th-21st century burlesque and the stuff about Neo-burlesque were really subtopics of The development of American burlesque. So I changed them to level 3. Voceditenore (talk) 18:41, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes, i think that makes it clearer. --Kleinzach 02:16, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Looks good to me. Neelix (talk) 16:31, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
I agree with the change in headings. But the fact remains that the article is largely unreferenced and therefore appears to be largely WP:OR. -- Ssilvers (talk) 16:38, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Splitting off American sections?[edit]

This all looks a lot better than it once did. What is now needed, IMNSHO, is a shortish section on American burlesque/neo-burlesque (to complete the overall picture) and the removal of the whole American burlesque section to its own article, together with the list of performers, many of the images and the Sexuality (?and Dance?) banner(s). The Ruy Blas parody poster would be a good replacement for the 1898 image that is still situated at the top of this article. --GuillaumeTell 18:50, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

It seems to me that the way forward is, most decidedly, as proposed above (today's date) by Guillaume Tell, viz to distil the US burlesque section within the present omnium gatherum article into a brief précis and then hive off the complete existing text of that section into its own article. Tim riley (talk) 22:22, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
OK, but if someone is going to do that, would they kindly add a few refs so that the new article has references for its basic "thrust"? (sorry!) -- Ssilvers (talk) 23:58, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
I have found some reliable sources for the American burlesque section, and will add them, and prune unreferenced stuff, in the section, But I cannot find any sources for the cinema or neo-burlesque sub-sections. Would someone be willing to take them on, in preparation for hiving the article off? Tim riley (talk) 09:06, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Title for the soon-to-be-split American burlesque article[edit]

The relevant Cambridge Paperback Guide to Theatre entry is called 'American burlesque show'. Is that worth considering? --Kleinzach 03:13, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Looks good to these (English) eyes; it would be helpful to know if it would seem idiomatic to American readers. Tim riley (talk) 10:56, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Looks good to me too. There are plenty of other articles using American as the first word of the title, from the lofty topic of American literature to the somewhat less lofty American comic book and American lager. Voceditenore (talk) 11:23, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

I don't know if the word "show" adds anything, especially as a lot of the material is about films. So, I guess just "American burlesque" would be better. But I guess it will need a hatnote about "Neo-Burlesque". Please look at the "Neo-Burlesque" article. Is it intended to cover different material than "American burlesque"? It looks pretty similar.... -- Ssilvers (talk) 15:28, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

I'd be equally happy with "American burlesque" tout court. If we do hive it off and replace it here with a four or five para summary, is there anyone who would be willing to take temporary charge of the American burlesque article in its new detached home? (I don't feel even remotely qualified to undertake that demanding role.) Tim riley (talk) 21:24, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
In response to Ssilvers, Neo-Burlesque is a subgenre of American burlesque, so the Neo-Burlesque article should be summarized in a section on the American burlesque article rather than simply linked in a hatnote. I also agree with the suggestion that the word "show" should not be included in the title of that article. Neelix (talk) 22:07, 16 February 2011 (UTC)


Can we simplify (and correct) the present rather off-putting aggregation in the lead? As far as I can see from the sources quoted (and also the OED) everyone is agreed that:

  • the French got the term burlesque from the Italian burlesco (not burlesca as the article now says), and
  • burlesco is derived from the Italian burla, variously translated as joke, ridicule or mockery (parenthetically, cf Falstaff – "tutto nel mondo è burla" – the whole world is a jest)

Some sources delve further back and say that the Italians got it from the Spanish who got it from Latin. I suggest that this remote lingustic ancestry could safely be banished to a footnote, leaving something like this:

The word burlesque is a French version of the Italian burlesco, from burla, a joke, ridicule or mockery.[Note: The Italian burla is believed to derive from the Spanish burla (same meaning) which comes from late Latin burrae (meaning nonsense) which derives from late Latin burra (wool). [Add citations]].

Any views? Tim riley (talk) 11:51, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

A comment: The Grove Opera article starts "Burlesque (Fr.; It. burlesca, Ger. Burleske)". My Italian dictionary doesn't have burlesca, but does have burlesco, which is an adjective... --GuillaumeTell 12:14, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
We need to check whether there is any substance to the Spanish connection. Does OED mention it? If we have a reference we can keep it, otherwise maybe it's better deleted. Is burlesco simply the adjective of burla? Can we clarify that? --Kleinzach 13:05, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Anything to cut down that mess is welcome. My suggestion is to keep it as simple as possible and stick to the OED when discussing etymology in the article. Grove's authors may be experts on opera and music, but they are not experts on etymology, and this isn't the first time I've seen similar errors. Note also that "burlesque" is a naturalised English word (in continuous use in English since 1656), not a "French word". It came from the French word "burlesque" (originally an adjective), which in turn came from the Italian adjective "burlesco", which incidentally is also now used as a noun with the same meaning as the English. There's also an Italian idiom "alla burlesca" which is used to describe something done in a burlesque manner, especially with respect to poetry or music. But in the article, I'd stop with how it came from the French word which in term came from the Italian which in turn came from "burla" and then basta. Whether or not the Italians got it from the Spanish is largely irrelevant and probably wrong as well (the OED says nothing about it), and where the Spanish got it from is even more irrelevant. Voceditenore (talk) 13:44, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Good! We seem to be ad idem. Ought we to add music to the opening line of the article, as we now include concert works along with stage and literary works? I've dug out some well-documented stuff about the American genre and can do something with that section if there is no volunteer better informed than I. (Afterthought: the Oxford online Italian-English dictionary says this: "burlesco, -schi –sche: Aggettivo parola che descrive un sostantivo: 1. (comico) [discorso, carattere, stile] burlesque; 2. (letterario) burlesque". My touristical Italian suggests that it is only an adj, not a noun. Anyone more fluent in la bella lingua?) Tim riley (talk) 14:12, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
More detailed paper Italian dictionaries, give a secondary meaning for "burlesco" as a noun. You can also see it in use that way at Google books. All but the second entry on that page ("il burlesco epiteto" ("the burlesque epithet"), are noun uses). Voceditenore (talk) 15:52, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
The WP:LEAD section and the "Literary origins" section are confusing when read together. The Lead must give an overview of the entire article, and right now it does not give a very clear one. I note that the Etymology section completely skips the 19th century, jumping to "modern times". Now that there seems to be some agreement on etymology, can someone fix that part of the Lead? Also, in the "Literary origins" section, we discuss "high burlesque" and "low burlesque" and then say that "Pure burlesque was simply comedy". Can anyone clarify what this is trying to say? -- Ssilvers (talk) 15:31, 16 February 2011 (UTC)


The text now says "According to the Cambridge Paperback Guide to Theatre, an unusual example of a longer and more substantial burlesque is Tom Stoppard's 1974 play Travesties, although Stoppard does not so refer to it in his introduction to the published text, and the word burlesque is not used of the play in Jim Hunter's 1982 book, Tom Stoppard's Plays or Michael Billington's section on the play in his One Night Stands (1993)."

Can we clarify whether Tom Stoppard should be in the article? I understand (per Victorian burlesque) that travesty is synonymous with burlesque. In that case, why is it worth pointing out that Stoppard omits the 'b' word? Or is there something here that I've missed? --Kleinzach 14:56, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

The play certainly contains elements that mirror Victorian burlesque. Travesties revolves around an old man's memories of a production of The Importance of Being Earnest in Zurich in 1917 while he was employed at the British Consulate. The production was arranged by James Joyce. In the old man's erratic memory, lines and situations from the Wilde play drift in and out of the dialogue and action, as do Joyce and his works. Gwendolen (Carr, not Moncrieff) and Cecily (Carruthers, not Cardew) conduct their version of the quarrel from Act 2 of The Importance by way of verses in the form of and to the tune of "Mr Gallagher and Mr Shean". The play is also crammed with dreadful puns (e.g. 'My art belongs to Dada', and – for the good feeling after a glass of wine – 'Post hock, propter hock.') So it is, I think, legitimate, and helpful, to mention it. But whether the play as a whole is a burlesque (in the purely Victorian or the wider sense) is, I think, questionable. I know we musn’t cite another Wikipedia article, but the one on the play is good, I think, and if you have a look at it, it might help you decide if you want to keep the reference here. I should be sorry to see it go. Tim riley (talk) 15:12, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
So why add negative information to what is only a passing mention to help the inclusiveness of the article? Why not leave the short text as it was without " although Stoppard does not so refer to it . . . One Night Stands (1993)."? --Kleinzach 22:21, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Your edit summary described your addition as "important", and I concur, but we need to get it factually right. On the balance of published material found by you and me, the statement unmodified was questionable (see Stoppard, Hunter and Billington, cited in the article): there are major sections within the play that are pure burlesque; equally, there are more sections, e.g. Carr's monologue in Act I, Cecily's long and severely factual address on Lenin in Act II and the discussion of the nature of art between Carr and Tristan, that are the antithesis of burlesque. The statement in the Cambridge Paperback that the whole play is "a rare example of a full-length burlesque" is not borne out by the other sources. You have, very properly, not quoted the Cambridge guide verbatim, and the circle can, I think, be squared if you are willing to permit a further redraft on the lines of "is an example of a full-length play drawing on the burlesque tradition", in which case the need for hedging around with the comments of Stoppard, Billington and Hunter would cease. –Tim riley (talk) 08:48, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that would be fine. Comments of S, B, H etc. all belong on the Travesties page itself, of course. --Kleinzach 09:01, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Good! Will do. Tim riley (talk) 09:18, 17 February 2011 (UTC)


I have redrawn as discussed on this page. The version I have just saved looks a bit exiguous, so please add any suitable lead info that you think it lacks. Tim riley (talk) 16:36, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Thank you, Tim. Infinitely better. Yes, it could be filled out a little more, but at least it now gives one an idea of what will follow in a reasonably logical way. -- Ssilvers (talk) 19:12, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
The lead includes the following: "A later use of the term, particularly in the United States, refers to variety shows, popular beginning in the late 19th century, often in cabaret and non-theatre performing spaces, featuring ribald comedy and female striptease.[5]" There seems to be something missing between "popular" and "beginning". Note 5 is subscription only, and I can't guess what was intended, I'm afraid. Any offers? --GuillaumeTell 22:45, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
G-Tell, you are having trouble understanding my accent. Perhaps the British usage would be: "popular from the late 19th century". What I mean is that American bulesque became popular late in the 19th century, which doesn't need a cite in the Lead, because it has good cites in the body of the article below. Indeed, I think we should now move the cites from the Lead to the body of the article below, where assertions are clear and well-supported below and are not controversial, now that we are reaching a better consensus on the content of the whole article. More generally, now that we have nailed down some of the content, we should expand the Lead to give a better overview of the content below. Can anyone give it a shot? -- Ssilvers (talk) 23:45, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps you could supply me with a copy of your accent? Anyway, I thought that I would reword the para to make it more comprehensible to non-Americans. Feel free to complain. (I agree on the other points that you raise, but it's past my bedtime, as ever. And doesn't the MOS deplore refs in Leads?) --GuillaumeTell 00:47, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
Looks good to me, G-Tell. I added a couple brief sentences re: film and neo-burlesque to flesh out the paragraph per WP:LEAD. Re: refs, "quite so", I believe they say in those isles beyond the wave. -- Ssilvers (talk) 02:10, 19 February 2011 (UTC)


A bit of a sidenote here. I had a glance at the lead, which looks OK to me. Then I noticed that a link there, travesty, led to a dab page which is entitled Travesty but lists only two articles, Travesti and Travesti (theatre), neither of which have Travesty in their titles (and why isn't the latter called Travesty?), plus a Wictionary link to Travesty ("An absurd or grotesque misrepresentation"!). I piped the link in the lead, so that's OK, but I notice that Travesty is linked from fifty-odd pages. I can't be bothered to find out who created this, um, travesty, but it would be a good idea if it got sorted out soon. --GuillaumeTell 18:09, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Actually, piping it to Travesti (theatre) isn't quite right either. That article is solely about the theatrical practice of/term for females playing male roles and vice-versa (including in opera and ballet). It hasn't got anything to do with travesty in in the sense used here, and is only tangentially related in that some types of burlesque and related genres have travesti roles. That article was originally called En travesti, which I thought was possibly more accurate, but it was recently moved. Voceditenore (talk) 18:31, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I rather agree with that. No one WP article fills the bill and the word should be left to look after itself. Tim riley (talk) 18:52, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I agree about letting the word take care of itself. It might be more accurate to say in the lead that "travesty" is sometimes used interchangeably with burlesque in some literary and theatrical contexts.This definition of "burlesque" from The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English which relates travesty to "low burlesque" might be of some help here. Voceditenore (talk) 18:58, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, or that "the terms 'travesty' and 'extravaganza' have sometimes been used interchangeably with the term 'burlesque'". -- Ssilvers (talk) 22:03, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
That's an excellent short para in the Cambridge Guide. Worth pillaging for more than the lead, I fancy. Tim riley (talk) 21:26, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Er, yes, but what about the disambiguation page Travesty, which has 50+ articles linking to it? --GuillaumeTell 21:56, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Many of those pages were looking for Victorian burlesque, and some were looking for Burlesque. I disambiguated most of it, and someone else can disambiguate the last few, which seem mostly to be looking for one of the cross-dressing usages. -- Ssilvers (talk) 22:39, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Hmm. Three of us have been working on the 'Travesty' problem (of whom I have probably been the least active). I think we're all agreed that the solution (so far) is not ideal, but at least we no longer have it as a confusing redirect to the narrow, historical subject of Victorian burlesque. IMO a little explanation is needed on the Travesty disambig. so that the reader understands that the word can mean (a) a bad representation (basic modern usage), (b) a burlesque or similar, or (c) an alternation in dress, a disguise. Given that "Wikipedia is not a dictionary" I wasn't sure how to do this. Any ideas?

If you look at the full OED (rather than Google advertizing pages!) it explains the French/Italian origin of the word. 'Burlesque' is the oldest meaning at least in England. The term is dated to Paul Scarron's 1648 Le Vergile Travesty en vers burlesques (Virgil translated in burlesque verses) which was (quote) "made known in England" (unquote). 'Travesti' is not in the OED. P.S. That also, of course, implies that the word 'burlesque' reached England by mid 17th century. --Kleinzach 23:28, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

I'm confused. What "Google advertising pages" are you referring to? I don't see any. Voceditenore (talk) 05:46, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
  • I've expanded the Travesty disambiguation page with a very short general definiton for context which is OK per this guideline, reorganized it a bit, and added Burlesque and Victorian burlesque as "travesty" is used synonymously for those terms in some contexts. I moved Travesti (the gender identity term) to the See also section there because its meaning is quite different and as far as I know, "travesty" is not used in English as a synonym for it. Please tweak or destroy as appropriate,;-) Voceditenore (talk) 08:00, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Good, if that level of definition/explanation is within the rules that's great. (Re. 'Google advertising pages', maybe I should have use a fishing metaphor and called them 'Google bycatch'? No less than five of them were (happily) removed from the lead here yesterday.) --Kleinzach 08:30, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Good work on the Travesty disambiguation page, Voce. -- Ssilvers (talk) 15:45, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Hear, hear! At last it makes sense. And thanks to Ss for getting rid of the linking articles. --GuillaumeTell 18:24, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

American burlesque[edit]

Excellent rewrite of the first American section, Tim. I made a few edits to try to clarify the chronology. -- Ssilvers (talk) 15:45, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Thank you – the more the merrier! I am blundering around somewhat, knowing next to nothing of the sub-topic, and will be glad of any amendments to improve the section. As for the movie section, I believe that Wikipedia does not regard the Internet Movie Database as a reliable source, but I'm blest if I can find anything better to use to add citations to that section. Is is worth using imdb for the time being, for want of anything better? The content of that section looks rather good apart from the lack of refs. – Tim riley (talk) 15:57, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

I also think that the film section is not bad, except for the lack of references. Newspaper reviews of these films would be helpful. Can we steal any refs from the Betty Page article or elsewhere? Thanks to your efforts, I think that the American burlesque sections can now be separated into a main article, adding in a little more history at the top and taking with it the long list of names. Then we can cut down what is here to a summary. -- Ssilvers (talk) 16:32, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

When is this article going to be separated? I see that someone added a very long quote to it today, but I don't think the ref is complete. -- Ssilvers (talk) 18:06, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
The question is who is going to perform the separation? I have drafted a few summary paras to replace the great bulk of the existing spiel when it is hived off. If some competent editor will do the necessary with setting up the new separate article I will replace it in this article with my draft summary for all to amend ad lib. (That huge new quote doesn't half go on, and the ref isn't great, but let it pass.) Tim riley (talk) 10:41, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
 Done. I've done it. Go ahead, Tim. Feel free to help clean up the new article, everyone. Neelix and others, can I have some help moving the links? -- Ssilvers (talk) 17:11, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
I've removed the WP Sex banner. Hopefully, when Tim's American burlesque paras appear here, they need not contain the images currently in that section now those have moved to the new article. I'd vote for moving the poster that's currently alongside the lead to replace them - but then we'd need another image up top. --GuillaumeTell 18:27, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

Done. I've summarised as best I can, and invite improvements. Tim riley (talk) 23:12, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

I've switched the images, as G-Tell has advocated, but returned Gypsy Rose Lee and added back a little about the burlesque resurgence. There are plenty of sources describing this resurgence. -- Ssilvers (talk) 00:16, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Ragtime travesties and burlesque in (classical) music[edit]

I've twice separated the unrelated examples of ragtime travesties ("Well known ragtime travesties include . . . ."), presumably parodies, from the section of (non-parody) classical music burlesque (the, now former, 'Burlesque in European music' section). Each time they have been recombined. Hmm. Perhaps the Jazz information should be in the American section? Or developed by someone with knowledge/reference material about Jazz? It is out of place where it is now. --Kleinzach 23:42, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

I don't think it makes sense to break the music section down any further. It's not a very long section, and the jazz stuff by itself is much too short for its own section. Obviously, it is music and belongs in the music section, not in any of the "burlesque show" sections. So, I disagree that it is out of place. -- Ssilvers (talk) 00:15, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The section you have renamed 'Burlesque in music' is not the only section related to music. Lumping different kinds of burlesque together without proper explanation is confusing for the reader. It also makes it more difficult to edit in an intelligent way, given that the article is currently a work in progress. --Kleinzach 00:45, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
I should like to offer a constructive comment on this, but alas I find myself in dither mode. I quite see the point that music is music and should therefore be in one section; I also see that classsical music and jazz could be thought so different as to require two separate sections. I am less averse than Ssilvers is to short sections (when appropriate); I should like to know what other editors of these pages think. Tim riley (talk) 00:31, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
My own view is that the use of burlesque in musical composition ought to be in one section. The transition to the use in jazz compositions seemed a lttle abrupt at the moment, so I added an intro sentence. But perhaps a way around this is to make its use in jazz a level 3 subheading under music rather than a completely separate section? But it definitely doesn't belong in the American section, unless those ragtime pieces were specifically written to be performed in burlesque shows. Voceditenore (talk) 05:37, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
The linking sentence makes it less abrupt, but it implies that the kind of burlesque that Strauss etc. wrote is the same as the ragtime travesties, which is not so - see the titles! Having burlesque in musical composition in one section would be fine, but consider the actual content of this section at the moment. Only half of it is to do with instrumental music. As a general/seeing the big picture point the burlesque subject is complex and it will be a while before we can do full justice to it. Having small, undeveloped sections on subjects like jazz, will give us a clear roadmap for improvement. Lumping contradictory information together will only confuse everybody: both readers but editors. --Kleinzach 06:26, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
The linking sentence was a temporary measure until it's decided what to do about the headings. I agree with your point about the possible confusion which is precisely why I suggested a level 3 heading in the first place. Voceditenore (talk) 08:31, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
OK. I have added a level three heading - as a temporary measure. Maybe someone will find the necessary information to bring the section up to the 'detail level' of the rest of the page. --Kleinzach 23:46, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
If we must have some kind of heading, I'd suggest just a bold heading beginning with a semicolon, instead of a level 3 heading, like this:
Burlesque in classical music
Blah, blah. Yada, Yada, Blah, blah, blah blah.
Burlesque in jazz
That way the two little lines won't be so lonely under the heading. -- Ssilvers (talk) 05:51, 18 February 2011 (UTC)


I removed this a few minutes ago from the end of the lead:

A number of producers attempted to recreate the spirit of this form of burlesque in Hollywood films from the 1930s to the 1960s. There has been a resurgence of interest in this format since the 1990s.

and I now think perhaps I ought to have left it. Views invited. Tim riley (talk) 23:36, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

IMO better left out. Although it's difficult, we need to keep balance. For similar reasons, I'd prefer to see the words "especially during the Victorian era" out as well. 'Ribald' also sounds oddly prudish in this context. "Ribald comedy, what! Oh dear! Oh dear!" --Kleinzach 00:05, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
I streamlined it and put it back. It is needed to adequately summarize the article. See WP:LEAD. I clarified that Victorian era modifies extravaganza, rather than the other terms. The lead is too short, not too long. Would "bawdy" be better than ribald? -- Ssilvers (talk) 00:10, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
I added some "overview" information to the lead per WP:LEAD. Is this article ready to be promoted to B-class? If not, what are we still missing? BTW, I must say that a few weeks ago I never imagined that this article would turn out to be anything of value. It had been an unreferenced junkyard of OR for so many years. Now it collects the bits and pieces of this slippery term, with appropriate references, and gives appropriate cross references to more detailed discussions. Well done to all! -- Ssilvers (talk) 17:15, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Note, I disambiguated several dozens of the links to this article, many of which should point to either American burlesque or Neo-burlesque. Would someone please help with some of this? There are hundreds. -- Ssilvers (talk) 17:15, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Very happy to help. How do you go about identifying the links to change? Tim riley (talk) 17:46, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
You click on "What links here" in the toolbox at the left of the article near the top. See it? It is also here. -- Ssilvers (talk) 18:10, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
Fine. I'll start on that tomorrow. Tim riley (talk) 19:27, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Arabella Fermor/crooked picture[edit]

The pic of Arabella Fermor is crooked. Can that be corrected? Or maybe another image substituted for it? --Kleinzach 00:18, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

True. Can anyone crop it and straighten it? It was the best image I saw for the literary type of burlesque, but if anyone can find/create a better image, by all means do. -- Ssilvers (talk) 03:04, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
Done, but I've got the link to the Commons original wrong on the upload page. Can anyone fix? Tim riley (talk) 08:20, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
I fixed the link. Great work: this looks super! -- Ssilvers (talk) 16:53, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

New image[edit]

A visiting editor has added a third image to the American burlesque section of the article. I think this adversely affects the balance of the article. Two illustrations a section is surely the most the article can comfortably accommodate. Any thoughts? Tim riley (talk) 09:41, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

Completely agree. I've removed it. It belongs in Neo-burlesque, if at all. Voceditenore (talk) 10:47, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
This is what it looked like on the page [1]. If anyone insists on restoring it, it should be made half the size and aligned right. But it really doesn't belong. Voceditenore (talk) 10:50, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

I agree. The person depicted may have a following, but she does not have the name-recognition among the general public of Gypsy Rose Lee, so I think the images we have currently (and I agree that 2 are enough for that section) cover the most important territory. -- Ssilvers (talk) 15:59, 27 February 2011 (UTC)