Adelaide Fringe 2012

An evening of Burlesque

1 Comment 17 March 2012

Presented by Stage One Dance Studio
@ The Cavern Club
FRIDAY 16th March

A crowded downstairs venue dimly lit with the soft hue of yellow and pink stage lights and filled with the gentle sounds of cabaret music. In this windowless room, reminiscent of a scene from the popular movie Burlesque, a sense of anticipation fills the air as people vie for the best seat in the house. The usually retro Cavern Club has been transformed as members of Stage One Dance Studio prepare to present their debut performance An evening of Burlesque. Featuring songs from the movies Chicago and Burlesque as well as scores of cabaret music, An evening of Burlesque brings to life the sights and sounds of the Moulin Rouge (and burlesque) and is sure to delight fans of dance and musical theatre alike.

“I’d like to say that it (the show) is more on the classy side of burlesque” explains Kim Ewing, artistic director of Stage One, “there’s nothing too risqué, it’s more about the dance. It’s a bit girly, a bit sexy, a bit raunchy without being too in your face”.

At first glance the stage seems massive, stretching from one wall into the centre of the club, occupying most of the free space in front of the bar. A few lucky audience members pack the small tables and booths surrounding the stage while many others are forced to settle for seats spanning from the stage to the back stairs of the club. It seems an odd seating arrangement for such a visually rich show and I’m certainly glad I was one of the lucky ones up front.

As the lights dimmed the familiar tune of Cher’s Welcome to Burlesque began to play and the stars of the show took to the stage. This aptly chosen song was the perfect start to the show as it set the mood for the evening and introduced us to the twelve young women (most aged between 18-22yrs) who would guide us on this journey. As the show continued it became clear that the already expansive stage could have been a little bigger; particularly for the group routines. There were a few near misses as dancers performed leg extensions, long, stretching poses and fast moving twists and turns and the fact that there were no collisions is a real credit to the tight choreography and talent of these women.

For me, the standout routine of the night was the stunning rendition of Chicago’s Cell Block Tango - complete with cell doors. It was clear the dancers were enjoying every minute of this routine and while they were all amazing to watch the real standout performer for me (in this instance) was Peytyn Gericke. Her energy and facial expressions during this routine brought her character to life and she owned the stage with her attitude. Other favourite routines include the intricately choreographed Express and the energetic Show me how you burlesque which saw the girls dancing through the audience (an almost impossible task in the near capacity venue). Fans of the movie Burlesque may notice that some of the dance steps performed in this show closely mirror those featured in the movie and it was a real joy to see these moves performed live.

The show comprises group and solo routines and while most were performed to a recorded soundtrack, there were a few occasions where the dancers sang along to the songs. Soloist Samantha Adams was a joy to listen to and her powerful voice was beautifully complemented by those of her fellow dancers; it’s just a shame the overly loud music often drowned them out.

The costumes were absolutely stunning; from sultry black sequins to delicately laced pink and white corsets and even a slightly risqué police uniform (and I use that term lightly). The dancers looked fantastic. They all seemed completely at ease with their somewhat revealing outfits and their confidence really shone through in their performance. Any girl who can dance in a corset and heels deserves a standing ovation in my book.

An evening of Burlesque was truly a feast for the senses with beautiful costumes, memorable tunes and awe inspiring routines; I thoroughly enjoyed my first (and hopefully not my last) foray into the world of burlesque.

Your Comments

1 comment

  1. Kim Ewing says:

    Thanks Trista for an awesome reveiw. We had a ball putting this show together and look forward to continuing our success with many more shows to come. As the Artistic director I am extremely proud with the professionalism shown by all involved.We have proven that SA has some wonderful talented young adults who are dedicated and commited to their craft.

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