|Jazida in "Finucane &Smith's Dance Hall"
Tuggeranong Arts Centre November 30th and
Reviewed by Bill Stephens
Finucane & Smith can justly claim to have planted the
seed of the flourishing burlesque in Canberra when they presented their lavishly
staged, eye-brow-raising “Burlesque Hour” in the Street Theatre nearly 20 years
ago. Since then they’ve continued to present a succession of provocative
variety shows around the city in venues which include the Street Theatre, the
Canberra Theatre Centre and the Tuggeranong Arts Centre, each production
notable for the excellence of presentation and the quality and skills of the
Upholding that reputation, the current edition of
Finucane & Smith’s Dance Hall is being presented in the Tuggeranong Arts
Centre where the tiny theatre has been converted into an intimate velvet draped
cabaret room. However, this presentation varies from previous editions of the
show in that in addition to their own extraordinary feature artists, Finucane
& Smith spotlight several Canberra performers including 2022 Canberra
Critic’s Circle Award recipient, Jazida.
|Maude Davey in "Finucane & Smith's Dance Hall"
Recently named this year’s recipient of the Melbourne
Fringe Living Legend Award, Maude Davey was the compere for the show, her
elegant appearance a convenient cover for some sly wickedness, including her very
technical, very funny, lecture for intending vampires.
Maude explained at the beginning that the show would be presented
in two sections. The first half would be the “PG” section, still risqué, but
providing the opportunity for those with delicate sensitivities to leave at
interval. The “Adults Only” second half was meant for the more daring. No one
left at interval.
|Bede Nash in "Finucane & Smith's Dance Hall"
Described in an Edinburgh newspaper as “the sexiest hula
hoop artist alive”, rubber-faced, Bede Nash, lived up to that description with
an outstandingly clever hula hoop routine, which he topped later in the program
with some amazing hand-stand feats.
A practising yoga teacher and cabaret artiste, Chris
Burgess, thrilled with his unique rendition of the Lieber and Stoller classic,
“Is that All There Is”, before conducting a hilarious group yoga session to
commence the second half of the program.
Prominently featured in the first half of the program, 16
year-old Wiradjuri and Tongan singer and The Voice contestant, Tahalianna
Sowward-Mahanga was the first of the Canberra artists to perform and had the
audience entranced with her mesmerising vocals.
Already touring nationally with Finucane & Smith’s
Dance Hall, but still proudly Canberran, exotic dancer Jazida, captivated with
her extraordinary ability to artfully remove sections of her gorgeous costumes.
The highlight among her routines being an artistic presentation for which her
entire costume consisted of two huge ostrich feather fans.