Nima Taradji Photography

Photographer
    
Red Hot Annie
Location: Chicago
Nationality: American
Biography: NIMATARADJI photography +1-312-925-3500 +1-866-701-3686 photo@nimataradji.com I am an Iranian-American editorial and documentary photographer based in Chicago, Illinois.  Cultural, social and political themes attract my curiosity. My aim is... read on
Public Story
Red Hot Annie
Credits: nima taradji photography
Date of Work: 06/15/15 - 01/01/16
Updated: 09/28/19
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Red Hot Annie, the founder and CE-Oh of the Vaudezilla Productions and Burlesque in Chicago since 2008 created one of the most successful burlesque groups in the United States.

Burlesque originated over a 150 years ago as a means of the working class to parody the operas, theater and social habits of the upper classes. While burlesque shows could incorporate many different aspects in the parody, including political statement and stand-up comedy, they also included an act of striptease particular to itself. Specifically incorporating the same exaggerated sense of comedy, and political statement other acts in the show espoused.

Annie attended her first burlesque show when she was 25. It was right after her divorce, and she chose to invite a date she had just met to a burlesque show. Her expectation of burlesque, at that time, was a sort of Las Vegas dancer performing a classic striptease.

Much to her surprise, however, the show consisted of an all female cast of performers and technicians who were in total control of all aspects of the show: from the performers, light technicians, stage direction, those making calls, and announcers – all were women. It was obvious to her that the performers had made their own costumes and had choreographed their own unique personal acts. 

Annie has a background in classic theater where she performed in productions of shows like Macbeth, she had never experienced a similar theater production. She remembers showing up to auditions where a number of female actors would compete for one or two female roles, while the male actors stood a better chance of landing a one of the plentiful male roles. Annie was mesmerized and amazed at the fact that women dominated the burlesque show. the women thrived in the burlesque environment and were free to expand on their own creativity.

Burlesque is not the same as an act of striptease: the power structure between the performer and the audience is different. It is often said, “Strippers dance for money. Burlesque dancers strip for applause.” This is the engine that empowers the burlesque performer over the audience.In a more common striptease show all power is in the hands of the audience.While a stripper’s body has to adhere to the current societal view of that which is beautiful and desirable, the burlesque performer can be anyone: a girl, a boy, a transgender and can be of any shape or size.The performer is the story teller and can tell the story on display in any shape or form he or she desires – the success of which leads to applause and in many occasion a standing ovation! 

To be a burlesque dancer, one has to be at peace with one’s body-flaws and imperfections.

Annie relayed a time when she was hired to perform striptease in a strip club. The manager of the club asked her to come and do burlesque as an experiment. It turned out that when doing her burlesque striptease at the strip club, she was rewarded for lacking confidence. The more unsure and more apprehensive she felt and the less confidence she portrayed during her act, the more satisfied the audience was – and more tips she received.However, as she became more confident in her striptease act, her tips decreased and so did the attraction the audience felt towards the act. On the other hand, during a burlesque show the audience’s enthusiasm increases as the performer’s confidence increases. 

The above example illustrates the power structure difference between striptease and burlesque. This difference may emanate from the fact that a striptease show is simply a transaction where the audience is there to receive a service - much like when a person pays for a massage, the stripper is there to perform and provide a service to the audience. At a burlesque show, the performer is not providing a service - the performer is an artist displaying her or his work for the audience to take it or leave it. 

Annie’s Vaudezilla group of dancers includes everyone: men, women, and transgender persons.They are dancers and performers of different shapes and sizes.They are comfortable with themselves.Burlesque is where they have fun, enjoy the show and support one another. 

One truth holds for every performer: Burlesque can only be done well if done from the heart.

13,198

By Nima Taradji Photography —

VISUAL STORY

Published

By Nima Taradji Photography / Chicago, Illinois — Tearsheets by Nima Taradji
VISUAL STORY

No War Protest - Chicago

By Nima Taradji Photography / Chicago, illinois — Several hundred Chicagoan marched on the streets of Chicago calling for no war in Iran following the United..
VISUAL STORY

Living in Gorelovka

By Nima Taradji Photography / gorelovka, georgia — "The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live..
VISUAL STORY

Hasankeyf: History Flooded

By Nima Taradji Photography / hasankeyf, turkey — Hasankeyf is a 12,000-year-old village on the banks of Tigris River in Southeastern Turkey near the Syrian..
VISUAL STORY

God Child of Xochimilco

By Nima Taradji Photography / Xochimilco, Mexico — Xochimilco, the southern borough of Mexico City, is home to a 430-year-old image of Child Jesus (or..
VISUAL STORY

Environmental Portraits

By Nima Taradji Photography / Chicago, Illinois — Portaits by Nima Taradji
VISUAL STORY

The Conventions

By Nima Taradji Photography / philadelphia — What I find funny about The Conventions is not really funny, but it is funny. In fact, it would be really..
VISUAL STORY

Bajito y Suavecito

By Nima Taradji Photography / Chicago, Illinois — Text by Hector Luis Alamo   Lowrider culture began in the desert somewhere. Whether it started in the..
VISUAL STORY

Shishmaref's Struggle

By Nima Taradji Photography / Shishmaref, Alaska — Shishmaref, Alaska is a remote village of about 600 people located 30 miles south of the Arctic Circle,..
VISUAL STORY

Second Line

By Nima Taradji Photography / new orleans, louisiana — One of the most unique and quintessential New Orleans traditions can be found played out every Sunday in..
VISUAL STORY

Guns in Schools

By Nima Taradji Photography / Sidney, Ohio — In Sidney, Ohio school and public safety officials have worked together over the last five years to develop..
VISUAL STORY

Lost Paradise

By Nima Taradji Photography / armenia — "This people has attained riches without usury, and all the honours that can be awarded to slavery..
VISUAL STORY

Lucha Libre

By Nima Taradji Photography / villa park, illinois — In 2015, I started work on a personal project about Mexican Wrestling or Lucha Libre.  This sport is..
VISUAL STORY

Crucified

By Nima Taradji Photography / Pilsen neighberhood, chicago, illinois — Via Crucis or The Living Stations of the Cross is the re-enactment of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion. It has..
VISUAL STORY

In Print

By Nima Taradji Photography — Editorial Publishings
VISUAL STORY

C2E2

By Nima Taradji Photography / Chicago, Il — The ninth annual C2E2 Expo wraps up at the McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago Comic and..
VISUAL STORY

Lucky Seven

By Nima Taradji Photography / Chicago, Il — Lucky Seven refers to baby Ansel. After struggling through losses, Lori Sapio welcomed her “Second Rainbow..
VISUAL STORY

Brave Ordinary Things

By Nima Taradji Photography / Chicago — Brave Ordinary Things This is an ongoing project which started in 2006 and aims to show the concept of that..
VISUAL STORY

Road to Mayhem

By Nima Taradji Photography / USA — Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, political rallies, media control, Democratic National..
VISUAL STORY

At the Eddie Adams Workshop

By Nima Taradji Photography / Calicoon, new york — Family Ingredients Family is a recipe.  It is a place where we teach our children how to cook. Family..
VISUAL STORY

Ashura

By Nima Taradji Photography / Naperville, Il — Members of the Irshad Learning Center in Naperville, Illinois, gather to commemorate Ashura. Members of..
VISUAL STORY

Bud Billiken Parade

By Nima Taradji Photography / Chicago, Illinois — The Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic (also known as The Bud Billiken Day Parade) is an annual parade held..
VISUAL STORY

No Justice/No Peace

By Nima Taradji Photography / Baltimore, — Baltimore, Maryland was the scene of civil unrest in April and May 2015. It all started with the evidently..
VISUAL STORY

Cuba's In Motion

By Nima Taradji Photography / Havana, cuba — Since the 1990s, when the collapse of the Soviet Union (and the end of decades of subsidies to its..
Join us
for more access