Iconic Burlesque Darling Dita Von Teese Set for Documentary

by Susan Ryant

The iconic career of the revered Queen of Burlesque, Dita Von Teese is set to be spotlighted in a new documentary currently in development with celebrated director Tiffany Bartok (Larger Than Life: The Kevyn Aucoin Story) on board to steer the project as director. This is according to an exclusive report from THR. A living legend as far as the profession of vedette and burlesque dancing is concerned, Von Teese is credited with helping re-popularize and modernize the ancient burlesque performance which held sway in Hollywood from the 19th to the early 20th century.

While the popularity of the classic American burlesque which began as variety shows of their own began to wane beginning from the 1940s, its charm lingered on and by the 60s it saw a resurgence and subsequently became an occasional element of Hollywood movies. When you talk of modern-day burlesque dancers, it doesn't get any better than Von Teese—the pioneer of Swarovski crystals-bejeweled martini glass strip tease. Needless to say that a documentary such as this one has been long overdue. The yet-untitled nonfictional work will take audiences on a deep dive into Von Teese's career trajectory tracing all the way to her humble beginnings as the daughter of a manicurist in 80s West Branch, Michigan where she nursed and pursued her first aspirations of becoming a ballet dancer.

The intimate documentary will feature interviews with her family members who will be introduced to fans of the creative dancer for the first time ever. Audiences will also be treated to archival footage of her early years in the industry some of which have never made it to the public space. Also included will be an exclusive backstage look at her Glamonatrix revue tour which was delayed by the COVID pandemic and later kicked off in 2022 in Europe. The tour is scheduled to continue into next year covering multiple locations in North America.

dita-von-tesse-taylor-swift-bejewled Image via Taylor Swift

The documentary has been a long time coming, revealed executive producer Matthew Felker who detailed in an interview his first encounter with Von Teese at a Marc Jacobs party. “I was standing in earshot of her conversation and thought she was so witty and interesting. I introduced myself and we became fast friends," Felker said of meeting Von Teese. Further adding; "shortly after I went to Paris with her and her close friends to witness her performance at the Crazy Horse. It was there that I got my first glimpse of her extraordinary and anything-but-traditional life." Felker nursed an idea for the documentary about ten years ago and recently decided that "now was the time."

“After just one conversation with Dita, I fell head over heels with her strength, vulnerability, and grace and wanted to explore every aspect of her life and bring what was discovered to others in order to inspire audiences,” remarked director Bartok. Bartok and Felker are producing the project alongside Jesse Scolaro, Ryan Kempe, and Stephen Fitzgibbon.

A release date is yet to be set for the documentary, but producers are projecting a release by next Fall. Over the years, Von Teese has graced a handful of movies and TV shows with her performance mostly in cameo roles. She's also appeared in music videos most recently in Taylor Swift's music video for her song "Bejeweled" from the 2022 album Midnights . You can watch her strut her stuff in a scene-stealing cameo performance in the recently released psychological thriller, Don’t Worry Darling which is currently available to stream on HBO Max. Watch the trailer for the film below;