Sydney is known for its vibrant culture and love of the risqué. So it should come as no surprise that our city was a scheduled stop for burlesque icon Dita Von Teese and her curvaceous cast of ‘The Art of the Teese’…
For many Sydney-siders last Thursday night was a glorious episode of time travel into a bygone era of jazz, feathers, and flesh as Dita Von Teese –the Queen of Burlesque – and her beautiful cast of performers conquered the State Theatre with ‘The Art of the Teese’.
The theatre was packed to the rafters with men, women and all in between ready to indulge in a night of style, glamour, and the risqué. And the Queen of Burlesque did not disappoint! From the moment the curtains parted and she appeared in a figure-hugging floor-length sequinned dress –which eventually got done away with – the audience was hers and she made sure to cover all the bases for a truly spectacular night.
Famous for revitalising the art of burlesque with an aesthetic that celebrates Hollywood’s cinematic Golden Age à la Rita Hayworth and Marilyn Monroe, Dita treats her audiences to immersive trips into the glamorous bygone era. Her shows are filled with dazzling costumes, sets, and homage to genre films – and ‘The Art of the Teese’ was no exception. Her first number –rather reminiscent of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes – featured everything from syrupy jazz to a giant crystal champagne glass filled with bubble bath celebrating the glamour of a Hollywood showpiece. And the numbers only got classier from there as she playfully emptied her entire arsenal of signature acts including ‘Lazy’ where she blissfully reclined on a silk chaise, ‘Swan Lake’ where she put her ballet training to good use with a sexy take on the Swan, and ‘Rhinestone Cowgirl’ where she celebrated the Hollywood Western with jewel-encrusted chaps, a pink plush mechanical bull, and a downpour of silver confetti.
And it wasn’t just Dita keeping the heat turned up. Performing alongside the Queen were a series of Ladies each celebrating the art of burlesque in her own unique style. Texan-born beauty Ginger Valentine showed off her gymnast’s curves and flexibility with the aid of Dita’s signature filigree heart prop. Native New Yorker Dirty Martini took on the Swarovski crystal carousel in an extravagant corset and bustle skirt, which she then abandoned for garters and nipple tassels so as to delight the audience with her mesmerizing chest aerobics. Australia’s own Zelia Rose paid tribute to the Ziegfeld Follies with her feathered headpiece and banana bikini, which she made even livelier by doing the Charleston in. Boy-lesque star Jett Adore blew minds –amongst other things- with his rhinestone-studded tribute to Zorro, proving that capes are not just for superheroes. Add to all this the fabulous job that comedian and singer Jonny McGovern did as MC and it really was the best of burlesque under one chandelier.
But it wasn’t just the performers that went back in time. Sydney’s love of dressing up and ‘teaming with the theme’ came into play really hard with everyone dressed to kill. The theatre was a sea of velvet, sequins, feathers, and chiffon with figure hugging wiggle dresses, petticoats, plunging necklines, and fascinators coming at you from every direction turning the place into a stunning oasis of vintage glamour and making it more than a mere night at the theatre.
Did you catch the show? Share your thoughts with us!