The Miss Burlesque Finals 2016, my dirty martini review.

The missing slipper had been found!

Her majesty 2015 and moi.
Well it’s July 2016. Who would have though half the year is gone already along with Game of Thrones and the new Harry Potter is out soon! And I have two subjects worth of semester’s work to squish into around a week, days, yesterday … I could claimed Drogon burned it… 

So I’ve been caught up in a lot Adelaide’s and SA’s burlesque coverage for the festival, partly because I miss dancing or being a musician again and partly because there is a strong artistic community there. So while the tension and stress in other areas of my life have seeped in this project, this has been a great gig for the winter!

I’ve tried many relaxation techniques and going I hate yoga, meditation and swimming and sand…an archaeologist’s worst fate: the ingredients for quicksand oh no! So I’ve been going to live performances constantly since the Fringe in Summer and this is the final post of my burlesque series for 2016 sadly. I do apologise as I do not believe I will be allowed to use any legitimate photos from the event I’m covering in this post though I’ll try to do it and the ladies justice.

One of the causes as fundraisers for Miss Burlesque SA 16 was MIFSA is an organisation that supports several of the invisible mental health conditions I suffer (I could name them all here but we haven’t got adequate supplies to last all day without beanbags and delicious foodstuffs like peanut m&ms while I finish the list of my defects). While the funds on the DSP are great compared to the rest of welfare, they are limited resources (those peanuts aren’t cheap, Darling). So to me, every bit of mental health awareness is just as valuable in that it helps others with mental health to just become more than just another an illness or dis/Ability but to lead to recovery and wellness. 

Lately, I have a diagnosis of PTSD, the return of my OCD  from too much stress and suffering a lack of human solitude induced by agoraphobia (but that’s a guess I’m alone too much).  It’s like dreaming under water to have to work myself back into a place recovery in my the world again. And just like Ariel, the little mermaid, after the famous Disney’s storm sequence where Eric’s ship sinks,  I am just wanting to be part of our world and my life again but I feel like a freak without my crab and seagull and bent up fork. MIFSA is trying to help people like me who try a best fake smile and take up hobbies to be part of that world even if you don’t really feel you belong. I applaud the burlesque community for embracing this cause that so many other people like me have to live with. I am not just the Lonely Archaeologist, but some days I feel broken. 

I don’t know if I’ll ever manage a new normal after my trauma or use a service like MIFSA but I do try for the best version of me, that’s why I’m trying to cover the art of burlesque which is a very positive safe space to try different versions of yourself. There are many great local academies and studios in Adelaide though’ll be opting for a different dance style but I have found Peaches ‘n’ Gin Burlesque to be particularly positive, supportive and professional. Sapphire Snow is a remarkable young woman. 

When  I am waking up from the storms of depression and rain most winter mornings and discovering the pain in my feet (excruciating pain, way too much to walk) and it seems the witch’s price of walking on knives as well as the loss of my voice,  like the little mermaid,  I’m going going to take the deal every time. I won’t let my every step painful step from my condition stop me from getting out on my obscure hobbies. Maybe I went overboard in my fandom of a certain dance studio here because that was the step too far. But I’ve learned a lot about the difference between cabaret and  burlesque from Anya Anastasia and saw Dita von Teese’s show. Boylesque is a thing Jett Adore has set my heart on fire with and we will cover in next year’s season in 2017 I hope.

A huge  congratulations to the Miss Curvella as the state 2016 champion and a congratulation to the organising committee as I believe they ran this event raising two thousand dollars for  MIFSA. I encourage you all to get out as someone suffering several invisible diseases individually. For me, invisible illness is the worst when you are told you look well and your feet feel like waking on fire and knives and your skin crawls if someone bumps into you! 

Disclosure: I had to leave early due to a friend having a personal emergency but this is everything I did see while suffering high functioning depression that night. This is the quick and dirty review of the Miss Burlesque SA 16 show and we will start with the glamour gown parade. In this section, there were two gowns that caught my eye in particular – the old Hollywood class of Rosetta Vendetta who stood out in shimmering red old fashion and Lilly Evelyn, whose blue and Asian themed modest slim-flit gown gave me an impression that we were getting a lady cut about the rest who belonged in a tea house with servants coming to her as empress. Dita, in her final act perhaps!

Then there were the classic routines of  Moisty Magic, Venus de la Rosa and Viola Verve all performed but I felt Lady Cara dominated this and was a hoot with her great attitude and infectious humour. This was followed by the Neo-routines section, where with a sense of honesty, humour and grace, Porecelain LaBon performed a cute number that played to her mintuae height, clever costume changes  and ginger colouring. It was a lot of fun in my opinion and she always has a smile that’s catching in the audience.

Another favourite performance alongside, Mlle LaBon’s Thumbelina, was Miss Lilly Evelyn’s Tchaikovsky transformation from Odeal bespelled by the evil count with designs on the swan princess for all eternity. Lilly Evelyn transformed effortlessly into Odette  but possibly would have had a stronger performance if her parter as von Roth Bart was more dominating. Once she is a more experienced as a burlesque artist and forms a stronger partnership, the fusion of ballet and burlesque will be stunning as Dita Von Teese established early on in her career as a ballerina in a jewellery box concept.

The personal prize winning dance of night for me was from the solo/original  acts in Viola Verve’s dance created off the dance off fireflies: a shimmering translucent cape; studed with blinking fairly lights. The dance alone was mesmerising, the choice of music was haunting and the cape was truly enchanting. I hope to see some more work log that caliber that at the burlesque events I do choose to attend in the future. I undertook most of this project at my own expense (no comps, guys so don’t ask) such as full price ABF Shakeorama or Dita Von Teese – in place of volunteering for history or archaeology projects. 

This blog about the local culture industries might be a hobby to some but I’ve put as many journalistic core values into it (though I slip up time to time as I’m new to the world of divas and they to bloggers with time lines and master degrees competing with their passion of writing). I write and support the arts at my expense because I don’t want live in a city with a summer beer festival and lose the culture industries the Fringe and arts festivals bring in. 

The Fringe, festivals and competitions are the training ground for growing mature and professional bloggers performers, these little blogs are the blooding ground for us critics as we develop our skill at negotiating your world. We have schedules and lives too but I’m glad and excited to be back in popular culture literature and archaeology where I belong for the rest of the year.

Clara Rosetta Santilli 
















Author: lonelyarchaeologist

I'm an archaeology grad student with an interest in gothic archaeology, tragedy tourism and dark sites. Most of my friends don't appreciate my interests so I've taken it into my own hands and I'm going I've established this blog to chronicle my solo adventures and hopefully give you a look behind the scenes at cultural heritage and the local arts.

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