Burlesque is about empowerment says performer ahead of Trinity Park shows
- Credit: Archant
A cabaret and burlesque show with international award-winning performers and live jazz band heads to Suffolk. Ellen Widdup speaks to its director to find out how showgirls have gone from seedy to sensational and are making an artistic – and feminist – statement.
Nadia Hussein – also known as Luna Rosa – was born to be under a spotlight. Heads turn as she moves through the crowd with a wiggle and a wink.
While she wears very little on her body, it is her confidence and charisma rather than her state of undress that keeps her audience transfixed.
For some time now, burlesque has had something of a cult following in the UK. In the past few years it has exploded into the mainstream and Nadia has been at the forefront of this.
“Burlesque has shed its strip club image and evolved so much in the last decade,” she said.
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“It’s always evolving in fact. Women have embraced it as a way of promoting empowerment – it’s now a feminist statement. It’s very much about owning and loving your body, no matter what your shape and size, and celebrating what it can do and having complete control over that.”
Statistics show that at burlesque events, 80% of the audience tend to be female.
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“Women go because they feel empowered,” Nadia said.
“They leave feeling courage within themselves. “We live in what is still a very patriarchal society and women have a lot to deal with. Burlesque is about being strong, powerful and unapologetic. It’s a celebration.”
Nadia is one of Britain’s leading burlesque performers and she is somewhat in demand at the moment.
This summer she has taken on the direction of three events at Trinity Park, Ipswich, organised by the promoter Mister Jack.
The first of these – An Evening At The Blue Fez - will be held on May 5 and is set to be a spectacular affair with jazz, blues, belly dancing, a contortionist and the support of celebrated jazz blues pianist Pete Saunders from Dexy’s Midnight Runners.
Like an old-style nightclub, guests will sit at tables, watching the non-stop entertainment while enjoying a taster menu of North African food.
Nadia said: “I’m hugely excited about introducing this concept and the very best stars in the industry to Suffolk.
“If you thought burlesque was, like stripping, seedy and a bit grubby, then walking into this event will dispel that in a flash.
“We are hoping to transport the audience to another world and show them some real magic.”
The event brings together elements of escapism and romance with an Arabian night twist.
A spokesman for events company Mister Jack said: “The broad appeal of burlesque is undeniable and this will be the first event of its kind in Suffolk.
“It will bring together engaging, diverse and multifaceted dance with incredible musical talent and fabulous acts which are going to transport the audience to a different time and place.
“I can confidently say they will never have seen anything like this before.”
An Evening at The Blue Fez will be followed by A Night at The Red Riviera on June 9 and then Until Dawn at The Eldorado on July 14.
Visit www.mister-jack.co.uk for ticket information.