Vedette is term used in Hispanic American countries to describe female entertainers with multiple talents for singing, dancing, or acting. Although the Spanish term is derived from French vedette ("starlet") its meaning is equivalent to French meneuse de revue ("showgirl" or "bombshell"). Examples include Suzy King, Susana Giménez, Iris Chacón, Josephine Baker, Liliane Montevecchi, and Candida Batista. More broadly, the term describes female variety performers whose talents typically include dancing, acting, and singing in theatres and carnavals. These risqué productions are similar to the French cabaret, burlesque, and revue.
Supervedette is a term used to distinguish a vedette that is known for her work and talent mainly in theater for many years. Most supervedettes are over 50 years old, like Susana Giménez, Moria Casán and Carmen Barbieri. Younger supervedettes are Valeria Archimó (42), Mónica Farro (38), Adabel Guerrero (35), Florencia De La V (39) and María Eugenia Ritó (38).Nélida Roca was one of the first supervedettes in Argentina. Others include Graciela Alfano (1952-) and Reina Reech (1958-).
The First Vedette is a vedette who leads all the other vedettes and dancers in a group of two or more vedettes. Examples include Jésica Cirio, Andrea Ghidone, Claudia Albertario, Mónica González, and Claudia Fernández.
Vedette Cómico is a vedette who is at the same level as the first vedette but is distinguished by her acting and comedy rather than her dance ability. In "Bravísima" in 2010, Belén Francese was the vedette cómico and Mónica Farro was the first vedette. Examples include Rocío Marengo, Belén Francese, Silvina Luna. Even though Mónica Farro has been manly credited as a first vedette (now supervedette), she has also been credited as a vedette cómico and veteran supervedette. Carmen Barbieri and Florencia De La V both started their theater careers as a vedette cómico.
In Argentina and Uruguay in a theater show or musical (usually at a music hall or a revue) the vedette is the lead attraction: there will be a lead supervedette (sometimes 2 like in Barbierísima or Escandalosas), a first vedette (which can sometimes be more than one, example: Excitante with 2 or Barbierísima with 3) and one to three additional vedettes. Some theater musicals have a lead supervedette and a guest supervedette like Barbierísima with Carmen Barbieri as the lead and Zulma Faiad as the guest or in Escandalosas where again Barbieri is the lead and Moria Casán is the guest. Barbierísima also had the exception of having three first vedettes: Andrea Ghidone, Claudia Albertario and Andrea Estévez, and more than three extra vedettes: Gabriela Mandato, Adriana "Leona" Barrientos, Silvina Scheffler, Victoria Xipolitakis, Dominique Pestaña and Ivanna Paliotti. In 2011-12 Excitante had the late Estela Raval as the supervedette, Adabel Guerrero and Jésica Cirio as first vedettes, one second vedette, Estefanía Bacca, one third vedette, Chintia Fernández, and later on an extra vedette, Virginia Dobrich. In La fiesta esta en el lago in 2007 and 2008 there where no extra vedettes and three first vedettes: Valeria Archimó, Mónica Farro and Adabel Guerrero.
Already in the 1920s the image of the vedette in Mexico had begun to emerge with the stars of the revue, with figures such as Lupe Velez,Amparo Arozamena,María Conesa "La Gatita Blanca",Prudencia Grifell,Mimi Derba, Esperanza Iris, Celia Montalvan and Lupe Rivas Cacho among others.
The Golden Age of the Vedettes in Mexico was between the 1950s and 1980s. The Cuban Rosita Fornes was considered the most important exponent of the genre. In the cabarets and night clubs of Mexico City, the "Exoticas" Tongolele and Su Muy Key "The Chinese Doll" became popular.
The vedettes, called "Rumberas", conquered the Silver Screen in the Golden Age of Mexican cinema in the 1940s-1950s, and created a cinematographic genre known as Rumberas film. The principal exponents were the Cubans Maria Antonieta Pons,Amalia Aguilar,Ninon Sevilla and Rosa Carmina, and the Mexican Meche Barba.
In the following decade, Ana Luisa Peluffo,Ana Bertha Lepe and Zulma Faiad were very famous. At this time the shows were becoming bolder.
In the 1970s and 1980s when, thanks to television, movies and magazines, the Vedettes reached their highest point, successful vedettes became very numerous. The names of some of these legendary starlets who lit the marquees of Mexico City are: Sasha Montenegro,Rossy Mendoza, Yolanda Liévana,Olga Breeskin,Lyn May Wanda Seux, Thelma Tixou, Angélica Chain, Gloriella, The Princess Lea and The Princess Yamal who were also the stars of the called Cine de Ficheras, stars of the night life, particularly when the midnight T.V. show Variedades de Medianoche (Midnight Varieties) contributed to the "boom" of vedettes. In the next decades, the most famous vedette was Niurka Marcos, who started as a dancer in the cabaret Tropicana in Havana, Cuba.
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