Sunday, July 14, 2019

Miss Burlesque ACT Competition

Produced by Jazida and Michael Wheatley

29 June 2019

The Abbey, Gold Creek

By Samara Purnell

Winner Rainbow and Runner up Rebelle Velveteen
Photos by Captavitae

The glitter has settled and the crown has been placed on a new wig – that of
Rainbow – the winner of Miss Burlesque ACT 2019. With second place taken out by Rebelle Velveteen and the second runner up Seker Pare, the competition was held in front of a full house, at The Abbey Function Centre. The competition was stiff this year, with eight performers chosen from a large number of applicants.
Miss Burlesque Winner Rainbow

The judges - a flamboyantly attired panel, declared they were looking for imagination, style, engagement and crowd enjoyment, how the performer occupied the space and the “X” factor. Artemis Seven, last year’s competition winner, was looking for “Something sick” and pregnant judge Bunny Lambada said that as she was completely sober, she wanted to be transported to a place of drunkenness. Former CityNews Artist of the Year Liz Lea was one of six judges.

Personable MC Charlie Chapstick opened with an entertaining Shakespearean monologue, given a local burlesque twist, as she floated across the stage brandishing Yorick’s skull doused in glitter. The audience was asked to remember how nervous we were when we had to play the bush in the school play and imagine the nerves of the competitors. But they didn’t appear nervous at all, all performing confidently and professionally.

The performance began (well after the scheduled start time) with a red carpet section - a short introduction and parade, then the traditional section – routines inspired by the burlesque practice prior to the 1960s and finally a unique, freestyle section.

Possum Galore’s blue sparkly outfit paid homage to the most loved features in Canberra – LBG waterjet (that’s Lake Burley Griffin, just to clarify) and the Belco owl. She performed a funny, fruity Carmen Miranda inspired routine, expunging coconuts from her person and constructing a fruit salad in her headdress, around a stuffed possum. You should see where she hangs her pineapple rings!

Veridian Mint came up against a giant inflatable champagne bottle in delicious candy pink and green costumes, whilst Sara Martini took bibliophile to the next level with a saucy librarian routine.

Minky Minx, with a “limit of one facial expression a day to avoid wrinkles” performed with graceful ease in attractively choreographed routines.

Chocolate E Claire assumed the “posture of a queen and the hips of a whore” as she transformed from an English horse rider, to the ridden. Clever and kinky, this was a very funny characterization with great props.

Seker Pare
Seker Pare’s Marilyn Monroesque routine saw her perform in a white satin, fishtail lace-up dress, to a samba beat. Hers were the most blatantly sensual and sexy routines of the evening, with her “Moth to a Flame” act intriguingly seductive.

Seker Pare, unique section

Rebelle Velveteen was most adept at the removal of clothing, performing in a red velvet dress, with black boa. Later, she gave a very confident routine of a roadside break-down, where she utilized a versatile prop that transformed from car seat to spikes, which she then lay on.

Runner up Rebelle Velveteen

Competition winner, Rainbow, put Priscilla to shame with her brightly coloured, voluminous costume. Her Can Can-inspired routine was high energy and brash, with not so much a girly “woo”, as a blood-curdling scream before throwing herself into a split. Her second routine, as the Mad Hatter was genuinely hilarious, with a lampshade for a hat and a new take on tea-bagging! Brash, quirky and hysterical, she was a fitting winner, given the judges’ requirements. Rainbow takes home $1000 in cash and will represent the ACT in search of the title of Miss Burlesque Australia, to be held in Perth.

Rainbow, traditional section

Competition organizer Jazida was dressed in a stunning black and purple corset, with a Mohican-style feather headdress and a waist to hip ratio to make Dita Von Teese jealous. Rockstars and Royalty had teamed up with Jazida and co-producer Michael Wheatley to make the bedazzling wardrobe of corsets, gowns and costumes for the evening and it appeared a perfect fit.

The set-up appeared more organized that the previous burlesque production by the same team, but with lengthy intermissions, speeches and delays, it was almost midnight when we spilled out into the wintry rain. But the rain didn’t dampen what was a most entertaining, quality evening of colour, costumes and creativity.