Interview: Australian Burlesque Festival


Australian Burlesque Festival

Lola Ramone

Burlesque. The word alone conjures up an array of titillating images; scantily discarded lace, peep-toe lingerie, smoky bars and sultry glances, all thrown teasingly over a (somewhat) tastefully bared shoulder.


As the performances catalogued in this week’s upcoming Australian Burlesque Festival reveal (cough), the vampy aesthetic of the Golden Era of Burlesque still reigns. The Australian Burlesque Festival (ABF) program is undoubtedly imbued with all the heady glitz, glamour, and out-and-out seduction of 1920s, 30s and 40s raunch, decadence and debauchery.

Modern burlesque however, with its consummate mix of nostalgia, dynamism and new media forms, functions far beyond the realm of mere striptease.

“I have always been drawn towards the 1920s-60s style and aesthetic, definitely the vintage nostalgia and the heightened sense of fantasy, lust and spectacle. Burlesque has the ability to transport you to another time and its fantastical, elevated sense of entertainment is just thrilling to both perform and watch,” says New Zealand’s Fanciforia Foxglove when asked why she was drawn to contemporary burlesque performance.

With neo-burlesque and ‘boylesque’ styles featured in the Festival’s program, progressive takes on the art form abound, opening up new spaces for artists to explore both the sensual and the strange.

Melbourne’s Lola Ramone, one of the many talented international performers featured across the two day Adelaide festival, explores the boundaries of contemporary burlesque interpretation.

“I kind of stumbled across it around 2007/2008 & immediately fell in love with the DIY aesthetic of it and the fact that the performer is responsible for the entire creative process of creating something to present to an audience,” she said.

“Whilst I love classic burlesque, the penny-dropping moment for me was when I figured out I could create acts that incorporated my love of B-grade film, space-age & lowbrow art into something that people wanted to see. As such, I now perform acts that generally feature UV/Glow In The Dark elements, space-age and midcentury film scores.”

Ramone goes on to reveal, “The piece I’m doing for ABF was inspired by The Twilight Zone and a piece of music by Bernard Hermann, something with a twist and the unexpected.”

A description of her style in a few words? “Kitschy, campy, vampy, glamorous and GLOWING.”

So amidst all the revelry, sizzle and seduction, what can Adelaide audiences expect from the ABF?

“To escape into a spectacular world of glamour, glitter and debauchery,” Foxglove teases. “They can expect the unexpected because no two acts are the same! There are no rules in burlesque as it is an art form that celebrates diversity and is flavoured with influences from circus, theatre and dance to pop culture and politics.”

And for those with a taste for titillation there are burlesque workshops available across the duration of the Adelaide Burlesque Festival.

Lola Ramone and Fanciforia Foxglove will be performing on Thursday night this week.

Interviewed by Jordana Lennox

Australian Burlesque Festival
Nexus Multicultural Arts Centre, Lion Arts Centre, crn North Terrace & Morphett St, Adelaide
Season: 19 & 20 June 2014
Tickets: $55.00
Bookings: Book online through the Australian Burlesque Festival website


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