Monday, January 14, 2013

Breathless Moments

Disclaimer: I love the Monday Night Tease, and I'm frequently onstage at Three Clubs. A photo of my wife is hanging on the wall at The Perfect Exposure Gallery. My opinion may be a little biased.

"People are so wonderful that a photographer has only to wait for that breathless moment to capture what he wants on film." - Weegee
On exhibit now through February 16th at The Perfect Exposure Gallery in Koreatown:  The Monday Night Tease Retrospective:
Burlesque! — The Monday Night Tease Retrospective celebrates nine years of live performances at LA's longest weekly running burlesque show. Since 2004, Monday Night Tease has been a staple in the variety arts world. Described as the heartbeat of the Los Angeles burlesque scene, it is a home to local performers as well as a destination for out of town artists. Producer Lili VonSchtupp prides herself with launching new talent as well as nurturing established performers to take risks and further their art form. Several burlesque shows have come and gone, but every Monday the backstage area of The Three Clubs in Hollywood pulses with the beat of makeup, glitter, shimmy belts, and pasties. The energy presented weekly at Monday Night Tease is unmatched and we are proud to share it with you through a collection of images captured by some of LA's premier event photographers.
At the opening of the exhibition this past Thursday night, I experienced a moment of wonder: One of the audience regulars of The Monday Night Tease intently studying the faces in the crowd of one photo, trying to locate himself in the shadows.  He recognized the moment frozen in time; that specific burlesque dancer's performance.  He knew he was a part of that moment when it happened, and he was searching for the photographic evidence.

Live entertainment photographs very, very well.  The work of the photographers on display, curated by Lili VonSchtupp, almost perfectly captures the glitz, glamour, sweat, exhilaration, and breathlessness that you will experience on Ms. VonSchtupp's stage every Monday night.  I say "almost," because there is no real substitute for the live experience.

Yet presented in this way, these breathless moments give the viewer a rare opportunity to reflect on live entertainment on a more sublime level.  The beautiful lines of dancers in motion, the colors and textures of their costumes, the expressions on the audience's faces -- it can be spellbinding to let yourself slip into the details of the photos.  For those of us who perform and produce live entertainment, it strikes a deep chord.  You can't help but feel connected to this world.  For those who appreciate live entertainment, the specificity of each image charms and enchants.

The Monday Night Tease Retrospective is on exhibit until February 16th, 2013.  The Perfect Exposure Gallery is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11:00 am to 4 pm, and is located at 3519 West 6th Street in Koreatown, just a couple blocks east of Normandie Ave.

For more information visit, and by all means come out to see The Monday Night Tease!  Who knows what breathless moments you may be a part of?

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