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Sassy Students – The Perth Voice – 4 April 2024

Posted 5th April, 2024 by

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IT’S a graduation show with a difference.

On Sunday night, a flamboyant and perhaps slightly nervous bunch of burlesque performers will take to the stage at the Charles Hotel in the Fresh Faced Follies Grad show.

All recent students from the Sugar Blue Burlesque Academy, there will be glitter and mascara everywhere as they power their way through a number of dances including burlesque, chair, broadway, chorus line and the good old Charleston. 

The Academy was founded by burlesque performer Melanie Piantoni (aka A’dora Derriere), who also produces the Mx Burlesque WA competition and is executive producer of Mx Burlesque Australia.

“The Fresh Faced Follies Grad Show goes for two hours with a break in the middle,” she says.

“We have the student groups from all our different studio locations around Perth and Mandurah showcase what they have been taught over the past six weeks. We also have feature performances by some of our teachers.”

Once viewed as a bawdy seaside postcard-act, in recent years burlesque has crept into the mainstream as society’s take on gender and sexuality has become more fluid.

Piantoni started the ball rolling in 2007 with Sugar Blue Burlesque, the first official burlesque troupe in WA.

It went down a storm and they were regularly booked for variety shows and private events across the state.

After continually being asked about lessons by audience members, Piantoni founded the Sugar Blue Burlesque Academy in 2008.

Offering a wide range of courses including tassels and tease, fan dance, neo-burlesque and broadway, the academy now has several venues across the Perth metro area and one in Mandurah.

“Our burlesque dance courses are the most popular,” Piantoni says.

“We run these courses for all levels from beginners to advanced. They are fabulous way for adults to learn to move confidentily.

“The courses promote body confidence and a great way to meet new friends. 

“They also allow the students to express themselves in a creative environment and have the opportunity to perform as a class group at the Fresh Faced Follies Grad show which is held at the end of each six-week term.”

Piantoni says the art form is constantly evolving with new sub-genres emerging.

“We are really excited to see an increase of drag-based performers also performing burlesque,” she says.

“This new style of burlesque is called draglesque and combines the two creative performance arts into one very entertaining and supremely visual style.”

The Sugar Blue Burlesque Graduation Show is at The Charles Hotel in North Perth at 6pm tomorrow (Sunday April 7). Tix at or on the door.


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