Created and performed by Jazida
Belconnen Arts Centre to 12 February
Reviewed by Len Power 9 February 2022
In ‘Exotic Hypnotica’, a burlesque theatre extravaganza, Jazida opts into a hypnosis program with the Exotic Hypnotica Clinic. It promises to make everything better but will she find what she’s looking for within her subconscious?
Exploring what it means to be labelled ‘exotic’, Jazida’s journey to enlightenment takes her through a number of dream-like states full of colour, sound and movement. In confessional moments between the dreams, under hypnosis, she reveals a lot about her personal self and the often harsh realities of her life.
This is an ambitious show with good production values. Jazida appears in a dazzling array of well-designed, expensive-looking costumes and the colourful setting has been enhanced with a dramatic and atmospheric lighting design.
Jazida is an internationally acclaimed burlesque performer and dance teacher. Her warm and sincere onstage personality and her skill as an exotic dancer are showcased very well. She is supported by an ensemble of women billed as the Fabulous Fan Dancers. They lived up to their title with an intricate ostrich feather fan dance that was executed very well, receiving appreciative applause from the audience.
The sound design was a bit over-powering at times, swamping the vocals. It was impossible to hear the lyrics of some of the songs and dialogue over the music.
More attention needed to be given to the transitions from one number to the next. Some of these were anti-climactic and exits from the stage by the ensemble were not planned well. The framing story about the hypnosis clinic did not really go anywhere and seemed to be forgotten later in the second act. If a framing story is deemed necessary for the show, it has to have the same care and attention as the dance and music sequences. Overall, the work would benefit from stronger direction.
With ‘Exotic Hypnotica’, Jazida and her company have provided an entertaining burlesque evening for adults that should appeal to a wide audience.
Len Power's reviews are also broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7 in the ‘Arts Cafe’ and ‘Arts About’ programs and published in his blog 'Just Power Writing' at https://justpowerwriting.blogspot.com/.