Magic lantern slides classified within the burlesque genre are defined as having three specific properties, in addition to the scenic generic properties: (1) The recording and level of codification of their images through pictorial and / or printing techniques; (2) a medium complexity in staging —slides were designed to be shown with some kind of funny comment and / or some form of musical accompaniment—; and (3) the use of cultural contents from certain minor dramatic traditions — dances, musical numbers, illusionism, declamation, imitation, humor, pantomime, shadows and silhouettes, or circus arts —including acrobatics, juggling or samples of biological rarities or trained animals.
Among burlesque magic lantern slides, those that refer to actions that seek to ridicule someone or something are very frequent. In human interaction, the slides present their subjects in two ways, either in fun or harmfull: they use parody and exaggeration of the features and actions of a character in order to ridicule a topic, either glorifying the socially unacceptable, or denigrating the socially dignified. These slides are connected to variety shows and directly related to the tradition of the American vaudeville, the French cabaret, or the British pantomime and music hall.

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