Adelaide Fringe Review – The Beautiful & The Damned

Last year’s Adelaide Fringe presented some truly great burlesque alongside some decidedly mediocre efforts that were happy to co-opt the name in order to get punters through the door, but then deliver something so by-the-numbers or off target that made the experience painful.

I admit my bias up front though –  I like my burlesque either traditional, or innovative, but have come to dread the maudlin’ middle ground.  I held no such fears for the Miss Kitty’s Meow “Beautiful & The Damned” production, coming from a decidedly dedicated burlesque training ground in Tasmania with accompanying names of good repute from amongst the Australian scene.

The first number from the Meow Trio was a bright choreographed fan dance, with clever interplay, excellent audience eye contact, captivating smiles – this dancing dole of doves immediately injected a sense of levity into the night.

Zara La Mor then gave us a Cabaret chair routine with sharp Liza Minelli smarts to the tunes of “Mein Herr”. Some might regard this as ‘cabaret standard’, but unless you have an audience already well versed with the impact of Weimar sensibilities on such live performances – revisiting and reinforcing this history is justified. And to drive the point home, Zara dots the dancing exclamation point with eye watering splits.

Like a late Russian Royalty, Lucy Sky Diamond, dominates the stage with presence, replete in furs. Oh, and what a venus in furs is she! Playful. Poised  Never resorting to overly grandiose movements, it’s the subtlest bump of her hip, flourish with a hand and a half concealed seductive smile that shows that an understatement can speak volumes.

This was followed by the delightful Oopsie Daisy who gave us a sultry “Do Right” – her controlled jazz vibrato and pitch delivering a solid emotional performance.

Grace Cherry delivered my want of innovation. A slow controlled burlesque number with ballet highlights and contemporary dance tonality, immaculately timed and expressed over a melancholic cello soundtrack.

If to date we had the Beautiful, then Bella De Jaq gave us the Damned, like a glorious crimson fallen angel losing her wings feather by feather upon descent. Her routine was infernally good, her demeanor smoldering, like red hot embers fanned with purgatorial pleasures.

Seldom does one see a flower as radiant as a Tiger Lilly in bloom, a gorgeous vintage costume, shimmying seductively to a jazzy “My Man”. What I admired most about her was her facial expression of the lyrical emotion – amazing transitions between pain, tease, terse and sass-  a seamless glissando of heartfelt projection.

Lucy Sky Diamond returned once again, this time amongst a sea of blue parachute, rolling like waves. She emerged from the waves like the mythological Cyprian Aphrodite herself, replete in gold and jewels, dancing to a stirring classical soundtrack while weaving a beguiling spell of infatuation and beguilement upon the witness (at least I was anyway..)

And lastly Bella De Jaq, initially diaphanous and delicate like a porcelain fin de siècle doll come to life, built a closing performance with what became a raw and personal number where the energy emerged from the introspective self, a display of passionate movement and a soul laid bare.

This is a short run show – Friday 24th February (SOLD OUT) and Saturday 25th February Where: Excess Theatre, Gluttony Cnr of Grendell and Rundle Rd When: 10:45pm – 11:45pm

Adults $24 Concession $20 Fringe Benefits $10.

Be there with the Beautiful people or be Damned.

Jonathan Feb 24th 2012 08:32 pm Art,Burlesque,Cabaret,Culture,Events,News,People,Reviews No Comments yet Trackback URI

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