Across the sea for Art of The Teese!

Yes, it’s true – My bestie Selina Power and I flew to America to see a burlesque show, specifically Dita Von Teese’s latest show Art of the Teese.

We admit, it does seem rather extravagant to cross the globe for a show when Brisbane offers so many so regularly, but what is life without the occasional extravagant girl’s holiday! The lure of seeing our favourite artists (Violet Chachki, Ginger Valentine, and of course Dita Von Teese) perform in one show was just too strong to resist. We had previously been spellbound at ‘Strip Strip Hooray’, so we knew we would be in for a treat.

We were not disappointed. There is a reason Murray Hill calls Dita ‘The Boss of Burlesque’.

The show was held at the hallowed House of Blues in Houston, Texas. The stage was set with a blue velvet curtain and I made my way to the very front row, while Selina daintily perched at a cocktail table a little further back.

When Dita made her entrance, it was for her iconic martini glass act and we were all bewitched by the decadent richness of the thickly laid silver crystal of her costume, right down to her garter clips. Not a single hair was out of place, her alabaster skin glowed under the lights and her ruby red lips glittered. Each movement and gesture seemed perfect and the crowd went wild.

Her skill as a burlesque artist is undeniable and the luxury of her costume and props cemented the glamour of the show. The standout act for me was the ‘Swan Lake’ number, in which Dita is the black swan, adorned with red crystal accents and perfect red bottomed ballet slippers! Dita performed mostly en pointe in high drama mixed with the occasional coquettish lift of her tutu. The finale, when she teased down her fishnet stockings, left me speechless. If you’ve sat near me at a burlesque show, you know I am rarely speechless and always hollering!

Dita also performed a re-worked version of ‘Lazy’, this time in a silvery lavender sequined peignoir finished with opulent feathered sleeves. The grand finale of the night was another iconic act and perfect for the Texan audience – the cowgirl on the pink velvet bull, which was punctuated with a confetti cannon of state of Texas shaped confetti. On the second night I was lucky enough to catch the glittered wheat prop!

Amid all the opulent props and costume that may be out of reach for most, I was struck by some mannerisms of Dita’s that we can all learn from. For example, how she let the light and shade of the music place across her face, how she kept her hands in perfect glamorous shapes, how even when barefoot she kept her arches high and with each tease, stroke and reveal her features transformed with desire.

Importantly, Dita was so gracious and polite at the meet and greet. This is a characteristic I’m happy to say is shared by our tutors at The Bombshell Burlesque Academy. Yes, being gracious is a mark of professionalism but I always think it makes someone seem even more glamourous!

I was so transfixed during the show that the very next morning I booked another ticket to see it again, and not just for Dita but for her supporting cast.

Ginger Valentine’s act on the heart was pure sexual energy. Violet Chachki’s Art Deco inspired act was ethereal. Most notably, I was so proud to see Australia’s own Zelia Rose perform her Charleston number and she really brought the house down. It’s a testament to the quality productions that Bombshell Burlesque produce that this act hand-picked by Dita also graced the stage at a Bombshell’s Ball!

Our girl’s strip was bookended by glamour and adventure in Los Angeles and Houston, and as I sit here, mildly jet-lagged and contemplating work tomorrow, I wish I could do it all again!

Jacs Saffioti

@fujikawa_foxtrot

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