Musical Theatre in Preview
Grab your garters, find your fans, fish out your fishnets and corner your corsets. The Burlesque Ball is coming to Brisbane!
Although it was originally a literary term meaning to parody or grossly exaggerate, burlesque has come to be known far more widely as a form of entertainment and it is becoming increasingly popular in Australia. According to Julie Atlas Muz (who is headlining at the Ball): â€œBurlesque is a performance art form in which people celebrate their bodies by taking off, and sometimes putting on costumes in a clever way. It is also refers to a type of lifestyle and scene.â€ Sound intriguing? Read on.
Julie learnt jazz and tap dancing as a child, and studied the performing arts even more intensely at college when she went to the University of Modern Dance. However, itâ€™s only recently that she has begun studying ballet and more traditional forms of theatre like clowning. Sheâ€™s excited about the Burlesque Ball because as well as doing her tried and tested act, â€˜Moon Balloonâ€™ (for which she was crowned Miss Exotic World in 2006), sheâ€™s going to be doing a brand new piece. â€œThe inspiration for this new act is the sun. Itâ€™s rock n roll, heavy and bright and hopefully good,â€ she laughs. Julie loves performing, explaining that; â€œbeing on stage is just about the best place to be in the whole wide world. I feel strong and I feel like I can be utterly myself. My favourite moment on stage is right after Iâ€™ve done a good number and just before the audience starts to applaud.â€
At first her family wasnâ€™t supportive of her colourful career choice. She had been studying classical music and was going to study violin and piano at a conservatory but the theatrical stage beckoned. Luckily, she stuck with the theatre and finds that on a bad day her friends are the ones who will get her through. She has been backstage with many of them for well over a decade. They know her inside and out and can always be counted on to make her laugh and to put things in perspective. When she steps off the stage, her time is spent; â€œtravelling, preparing for performing, making visual art and talking about art. See the world. Look for inspirations, write, dance with friends.â€ And she makes a mean soup.
The Burlesque Ball began in 2005 when organiser Jac Bowie noticed the art formâ€™s growing popularity in Australia. Over the past five years it has grown amazingly and has rightfully earned its place as the pinnacle of the Australian burlesque calendar. The Burlesque Ball is no two-minute fan dance in a smoky, dimly lit cafÃ©. Itâ€™s a big-budget, lavish-sets, dazzling costumes event. â€œBurlesque as you want it to be,â€ proclaims the website. Brisbaneâ€™s own Lola the Vamp will make a saucy entrance and she will be joined by an array of international performers. Acts such as the descriptively named Peekaboo Pointe from New York - â€˜the fastest tassel-twirler from East to Westâ€™, as well as several other Australian acts. These include Australiaâ€™s queen of burlesque, Imogen Kelly, who was the first burlesque act ever to be booked at the Sydney Opera House.
As well as an incredible line up of world-class entertainment, the Burlesque Ball will offer plenty of opportunities for you to dance. Plus, towards the end of the night there will be an auction of vintage memorabilia, a delight for the discerning collector. Also, if youâ€™ve ever dreamt of moving to Paris and dancing at the Moulin Rouge or even if youâ€™ve just secretly shimmied out of your clothes, then it may interest you to know that at the Burlesque Ball, audience participation is encouraged. Any aspiring burlesque performers will have a chance to show everyone what theyâ€™ve got - so if this sounds like you, come prepared.
The Burlesque Ball has something to entrance people of all ages and from all backgrounds. It is designed to entertain and not to offend. It should be noted that there is a dress code to be adhered to. Check the website for more details but the basic theme is black, red or burlesque (if youâ€™re not sure what is meant by â€˜burlesqueâ€™, think fascinators, feather boas, Moulin Rouge). Itâ€™s sure to be a wonderful night of beauty, colour, music and general frivolity.
The Burlesque Ball is on at the Tivoli on February 27.