While we wait in anticipation for the Queen of Burlesque to grace the stage, our compere for the night, YouTube comedian and singer Jonny McGovern, warms up the crowd with his flamboyant fan moves and sexy Barry White-esque tones. Four of Dita’s signature acts await us with some of the best in burlesque handpicked by Dita in between.
With excitement thick in the air, the curtain rises to reveal a stunning and sultry Dita Von Teese in all her golden bejewelled glory. Standing in front of a giant crystal-encrusted martini glass (comprised of 150,000 Swarovski crystals to be exact) she gracefully commands our attention with her mere presence. Perfectly coiffed jet black hair, flawless skin and red lips, she is as stunning in the flesh as she is in the media. The crowd is wide eyed and already under her spell.
The sparkles from the set and costumes are almost blinding as Dita moves about the stage, teasing her way into the soapy martini glass where she splashes about and showers herself with a water-filled cherry. This was a new version of her iconic ‘Martini Glass’ act straight up and it sets the tone for what is to follow. Clearly this is no budget performance. No detail is going unnoticed, in true Dita style.
Her next act is called ‘Lazy’, and is an Australian first. Dita swathes herself in a glamorous dressing gown and drapes herself over a chaise longue. Her “Vonterage” (aka her two male eye candy dancers who are clearly well versed in untying corsets, gathering gloves and adding to her overall fabulousness) circle around her attending to her every need while she lip-synchs into her jewelled vintage-style telephone, cheekily telling her suitors on the line she only has eyes for them but simply feels too lazy to leave the house tonight. The glittering phone is a standout prop in this vignette.
Next is the all-new ballet-themed act called ‘Swan Lake Stripteese’. Appearing in a black feathered tutu and dancing impressively en pointe, Von Teese floats gracefully around the stage to the music of Swan Lake. Her crystal encrusted costume is stripped off and replaced with impressive lavish feather fans which – with the help of the vonterage – moves with Dita in an impressive dance across the stage.
The eclectic, hand picked supporting cast appears in between each of Dita’s acts and begins with Ginger Valentine performing one of Dita’s most loved signature pieces ‘My Heart Belongs to Daddy’ which features a huge red filigree heart prop.
Our very own Zelia Rose shifts gears with her incredible high-energy dance performance. In a Josephine Baker-style tribute she Charlestones and impressively gyrates across the stage in her bright yellow headdress and banana belt.
Gia Genevieve – a voluptuous former playboy cover girl – takes on another of Dita’s classic performances in the gold claw-foot bathtub. Soaping herself up all over with suds then slowly washing them all off with her hand held showerhead (leaving the hardest to reach places until last), she certainly leaves some eyes wide.
Dirty Martini wows us with her breastifying tassel tricks while riding Dita’s famous crystallised carousel horse. Praised by Dita as the best in the business, Martini’s impressive assets have the crowd cheering for more.
Completing the assorted support mix is the male boylesque performer Jet Adore who appears onstage as a cape-swirling masked Zoro. He comedically strips his way down to an hilariously oversized heavily bejewelled cod piece. Jonny our compere is clearly a fan, calling Jet back to the stage another two times and asking him to flash.
Dita’s final performance of ‘Rhinestone Cowgirl’ is the longest and most erotic of the four and completes the show. Starting the performance dressed in pink bejewelled high heel boots, cowboy hat, holster belt, chaps and gloves it isn’t long before these are lovingly discarded, and Dita is mounting a pink crystal-horned mechanical bull. She has the crowd glued to her every move as she straddles, arches and poses on the back of the rotating bull. Confetti bursts from the ceiling on top of her and then out onto the audience in a spectacular finish.
The ‘Art of the Teese’ is a feast for the eyes and is filled to the brim with glamour and talent. The sets and costumes are lustrous, the performers perfection. The music is artfully chosen, and the MC utterly hilarious. Dita von Teese remains a flawless, snow white Burlesque Queen, enrapturing the crowds with just a wink and a perfectly placed pose. The Art of Teese delivers everything it promises; a night of subtle seduction, titillating old world sophistication and more than a touch of Teese.
IMAGE (c) Frank Rodrick