Choosing a favourite act at My Favourite Things is harder than picking from a full box of chocolates. The Burlesque Collective of Christchurch, joined with other special guests, pulled out the best acts from their repertoire to bring the crowd a smorgasbord for the senses. Primarily showcasing burlesque, the Collective invited musical and circus acts to the stage, creating an intimate cabaret-style, variety show.
The inventive My Favourite Things theme meant the performers had a free reign of creativity, an opportunity none turned down. From the hilarious MC Dan Bain to the “Queen of Classic” Bonita Danger Doll, every performer brought their energy to the stage and left the crowd excited for more!
Starting the night, the comedic MC Dan Bain kept the audience at the edge of their seat with his comments about foot fetish, visual metaphors and fantasies of a Harry Potter styled Burlesque Academy. Juggling introductions and rusty blades, Dan mastered the crowd like a ringmaster, pumping them up for some of the best burlesque and variety talent available.
Performing first were the dynamic duo Sapphire Matizze and Steel, with their Office Maneuvers act. Incorporating humour with classic dance styles and neo-burlesque storytelling, the pair told a visual and fun story about the day to day grind and the powers of dance. As the jukebox flicked through music, Sapphire and Steel showcased their years of dance experience for the crowd using various traditional and modern dances.
Following Sapphire and Steel was the delicious Scarlet Covette. Proving that Redheads actually have all the fun, her candy-coated performance was so sweet it almost hurt. Her cheeky attitude and sexy strut left many begging for more. Adaptable and very flexible, this southern beauty left us craving candy.
Another performer with a background in traditional dance, Sera Tonin graced the stage next. Fusing classical burlesque elements with neo-burlesque themes is something this starlet does effortlessly, her Gatsbyesque sparkling showgirl style costume glittered as she seductively shimmied to intoxicating big band music. Sultry and sophisticated, Sera Tonin was classy and confident with just the right dash of cheeky.
After several sexy burlesque acts, Tiger Luci gave us a Postmodern Jukebox vocal rendition of Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes. Known for her confident burlesque acts, this pin-up beauty wowed the crowd with her suggestive voice and sexy glove and boa work. The contrast between Tiger Luci’s Classic voice and costume with modern lyrics was entertaining and enthralled the audience.
Special guest to the Burlesque Collective stage was the titillating Tatiana Tornado, from Ebb and Flow Entertainment. A talented circus arts performer, Tatiana tore the stage up with her favourite toy – hoops. Circles spun and clothes flew in an artistic and sensual blur as the crowd soaked in her dark circus style. Cheeky and energetic, Tatiana Tornado blew us away and left the crowd wanting more of her circus-burlesque blend.
Bonita Danger Doll is a renowned Christchurch performer, teacher and model, who loves to pass on her skills through a variety of classes such as; Burlesquercise a regular dance fusion fitness class, and group burlesque tutorials. Recently a slew of gorgeous ladies graduated from her Fan Dancing course, excited to showcase what they learnt from the “Aphrodite in Fishnets” they took to the stage for the Burlesque Collective. Expertly choreographed and executed, the Fan Dolls fluttered fabulously, performing classic fan routines with their own sassy twist. The chance to see a group fan performance only comes around once in a blue moon and the Fan Dolls made this rare occurrence seem effortless.
Following the Fan Dolls was a real treat from Bex Barrett and Co, the halftime band. A voice with presence, Bex and Co serenaded us with their own renditions of classic and popular music, adding to the intimate setting of the Halo Lounge. After the halftime show, the MC Dan Bain came back to the stage to introduce the next acts and do some tequila fuelled knife work. Those in the VIP section got a close up view of Dan artfully juggling the rusted blades and were perfectly positioned for the next half of the show.
Amber Dextris was up next with her Movie Night act. Clad in a cosy dressing gown and accompanied by a glass of wine, the angelic vixen stretched across her sofa. Finding nothing worth watching, the cheeky honey made her own fun for the crowd, showing off her insane legs and graceful yet down to earth burlesque style. Bubbly and beautiful, Amber teased and tormented the audience beautifully without spilling a drop of wine.
Sci-fi and fantasy nerd, Heaven Z’dor brought her favourite things to the show: rayguns and spaceships! The intergalactic bombshell showed off her lust for the retro and shiny with a sexy and hilarious space act. With her performance set to stun, Heaven Z’dor proved that the beauty has landed and even may have awoken something inside the MC Dan Bain. Lighting up the stage and the skies, her act was out of this world
If you’re looking for a creative storyteller, look no further than the next performer, Constance Maehem. Known for her larger than life performances and unique use of props and costumes, it’s no wonder that her last performance in Wellington crowned her as the DIY Burleskiwi Queen for 2016. Showing us that anything can be sexy if you use it right, Constance took to the stage with her hilarious and ingenious SWAT act. Chaos is her game, and Miss Maehem, despite utilising insect spray, attracted and amused all at Halo with her chaotic creativity. Definitely an act to see in the future, just be ready to be amazed.
Her name is Mythical but her booty is legendary! With an act that has won People’s Choice awards twice, Mythical Haze invited her bootylicious alter-ego Nicki Minassles to the stage for her renowned Anaconda act. Adorned with snakes, Mythical Haze shook her favourite things for the audience and showed us an ass that won’t quit. Bringing her unique brand of burlesque to the stage, our penultimate performer channeled the bold and the blunt leaving us with no questions why she’s always one of the crowds favourite things.
Polishing off the star-studded cast was the Burlesque Collectives most special guest. Blowing away punters and judges alike, Miss Bonita Danger Dolls list of awards and credentials is far too long to list here. One half of Tease and Trouble Productions, this showgirl has many fingers in many pies, performing all over the country and even overseas multiple times. The “Queen of Classic” proved her name tonight with an act new to Christchurch. Fluttering about the stage, a Bonita transformed into a stunning pink butterfly before our eyes. With ballerina like grace and slow piano, Miss Danger Doll had all enthralled and captivated as ended the night with a bang.
You can see how picking a favourite act could be difficult. Each performer bringing their favourite performance to the show created an infectiously fun atmosphere and showed all in attendance how much passion they have for their art. The Collective threw a perfectly balanced show, with just enough sass, comedy and grace. With hilarious MC work from Dan Bain and the great work of the Collective this show was one of my favourites so far.
Don’t forget to get your tickets now for the next show from the girls at the Burlesque Collective. Bling It On is group burlesque competition featuring eight fantastic parties of performers competing for the price. Featuring MC Constance Craving and set at the intimate Halo Lounge this is set to be a night you don’t want to miss.