–Lourens Loki Corleone
So, readers, last Thursday night was quite epic.
Let me start at the beginning, though:
Roxanne, sister of Mr. Nick Frost, is quite the talented dancer. Besides being a professional belly-dancer, she is also an expert at side-stepping making me breakfast on my birthday and can make platters of snacks disappear into her car with the grace of a ballet dancer. All these qualities are why we love the famous Miss Roxanne, and she is definitely like a sister to me.
In any case, recently Roxanne entered the “Black Orchid’s Best of Burlesque” competition in Cape Town, and approached me to help her brainstorm on the idea in general.
Not too much later, and Roxy De Light was born…and the world held its breath in anticipation of what will happen. All except Mr. Frost, of course. He skillfully avoided ever having to talk to his sister about the competition (except for perfecting the song that she was going to dance to) and it took even more convincing to get him to go along for the event…which is fair enough, haha!
I am getting ahead of myself though, so let me start with what burlesque is. As a genre, Burlesque (aka Travesty) is a theatrical parody associated with the risque nature of a striptease. Imagine a mix of cabaret, bawdy humour and a good touch of the macabre. This translates fantastically onto the stage and while being quite racy it stays classy. Apparently, female empowerment is a dish best served in gothy lingerie.
I. Am. Not. Complaining. (For another description, probably a better one, go and read the fantastic Tenille Lindique (Lady Magnolia)’s description on her blog, here.
Now, its important to remember that this isn’t a strip show…there is no actual nudity involved, and the rules only state that 2 items of clothing have to be removed. Even gloves count! The idea is to be sexy, but to be strong and empowered on stage, leading the audience along by a string.
So on this particular Thursday we gathered some of the troops, and headed towards Gothams, in Observatory. Attending was myself, Nick Frost, Andrea Chapman [Frost], Ian K and Cara. We took Cara’s car, as my clutch cable snapped earlier in the day, luckily not on the way to Observatory.
We arrived at the venue somewhere between 9 and 10pm, and discovered that for R40 (or R20 for girls) we could get a glass and then the bar is OPEN. Yes. R40.
We knew…this was definitely going to be a long night.
We entered Gandalfs first (which is right next to Gothams) and I felt at home instantly. I can’t really explain it, but standing in Gandalfs I can’t help but feel a little thrill of excitement. The creatures of the night come out and play and the people that frequent this particular establishment are quite colourful indeed. The music is always fantastic, and I don’t think I’ve been there a single time when I haven’t walked about with my neck sore (too much headbanging) and my throat hoarse (too much screaming), my wallet empty and my face smiling.
When we arrived, we met up with brethren Richard Kuiper and Marc Frost, as well as Nikita, Tracey, Tessa, Claudine, Pierre and Tazz.
With a drink in our hands, we were ready for the night and we headed towards Gothams. The show was about to start, and the boisterous announcer…well, he announced, now didn’t he? Interesting how “Shut the fuck up!” goes down well in Observatory. Hmmmm.
We also regrettably heard that there were 6 drop-outs from the competition due to stage fright. Go figure!
In any case, as an opening we were treated to a duo dance number by ‘Diva DisaStar’ and ‘Scar-Lit Hearts’, two professional burlesque dancers. Shortly after, the competition started.
The first girl did quite well, but didn’t seem to capture the audience as she would have wanted. Girl number two did a very brave cabaret-esque piece, but she was so nervous her legs kept shaking. Third up was Roxy De Light and the crowd went wild. Absolutely wild. Even Nick, who was adamant that he was not going to watch his sister’s performance, was clapping and cheering as she was REALLY that good. Her skit was “Red Riding Hood”, and she danced to “Teddybear picnic” that was made slightly more haunting, by Mr. Frost.
The fourth girl performed “grotesque burlesque”, and was quite different. Imagine Tom Cruise’s Risky Business dance, but with a cute little blonde girl that can spin her boobs in different directions. Entertaining, but I coudln’t help but be disappointed that she didn’t follow the similar style as the other girls. It just seemed to trashy.
There was a short intermission afterwards for the judges to decide on the two finalists, so we refilled our drinks and headed back to the stage. It was at this point that myself, Marc and Ian met Hai, a gorgeous Gandalfs regular and all-round cool person…and a Roxy supporter, so all was good.
The first runner up was the first girl that danced (I can’t remember her stage name), but the clear winner was Roxy – and the crowd exploded with cheers and applause! She was a very good sport, and seemed to console the other girls who didn’t make it to the next round. Oh, and Diva DisaStar did a short number with some feather fans. Gorgeous girl, that.
We all knew one thing though: It was time to celebrate.
Oh, and did we celebrate. We all hit the dancefloor like bats out of hell, and way too soon it was almost 2am in the morning. I started gathering the gang together, and we decided that it was a good time to leave. I sneakily stole a poster off the wall (see second pic above), and it now graces our memory wall at the Eiffel Tower (aka home).
Ladies and gentlemen, I could tell you more about those few hours of partying but for the most part it was generic Gandalfs partying. Many drinks, many cigarettes and loads of dancing…but that pretty much summarizes it. Don’t let that fool you though – it’s the vibe that gets you.
All I know is, I had a fucking fantastic time.
I hope to see you all coming Thursday for the final, where Roxy will be competing against the other finalist for a chance through to the big leagues!
Oh, and I would like to thank Nikita for taking pictures – too bad the lighting was terrible to work with, we will make sure to get better quality ones next time! Oh, and even better: Go and check out the blog post and pictures on Roxy’s page as well, for more detail on her outfit, and how she felt the night went.
All I know is, I am definitely a fan of the whole scene now – burlesque is the new black.
Lourens Loki Corleone