As winter draws in and the nights are getting colder, it can only mean one thing for Love You Burlesque tutors and students – time to brave the cold in our frilly knickers and head down to Harlow for the 2018 Love You Burlesque Cabaret. This year, each and every class across the UK came together to perform for family, friends, Love You Burlesque lovelies and anyone else who could make it for the night’s excitement!
Upon arriving at the venue, Harlow’s Great Parndon Community Centre, the audience were met by a sea of burlesque lovelies decked out in all their finery. From flower crowns and multi-coloured hair, to frilly knickers (and knockers!) and sky-scraper stilettoes, one thing was certain – the Love You Burlesque lovelies were here to impress… and impress they did! Once the audience was settled with their tipples (and performers with their nerve-steadying drinks), the night could begin!
Opening the show with fantastic style were the Colne Valley Vixens! Taking to the stage in top-hats, circus-style jackets and armed with canes, these vixens showed us some va-va-voom with their performance of ‘The Greatest Show’, from blockbuster movie, The Greatest Showman. This toe-tapping performance started the night with showbiz flair and, as the ladies’ acrobat-style pyramid closed their performance, the audience went wild!
A change of pace came next with the Stevenage Sassies performance of ‘Peaky Blinders’. Taking to the stage in seductive black corsets, black lingerie and with a crop in hand, these gorgeous Love You Burlesque ladies absolutely sizzled their way through their performance and left the audience hot under the collar and raring to go for the next dance on the bill.
If you dance with Love You Burlesque regularly, then you’ll know about the exciting residential weekends that are hosted throughout the year. If you’re reading this as a Love You Burlesque virgin, then you can click here to find out more about these fabulous burlesque-filled weekend trips.
In fact, the next act had attended the All That Jazz residential and, to much applause, performed their Broadway-worthy dance to ‘Big Spender’. With a scaffolding-like ballet barre to set the scene, these scantily-clad ladies of the night teased and enticed everyone watching. With impeccable comedic timing, wonderful characterisation and a hint of debauchery, this performance left the audience wanting more!
Up next were the stunning Harlow Harlots with their performance of ‘Sing, Sing, Sing’! With an upbeat rhythm, brooms, and duster jackets, these gorgeous ladies used improvisation to let their personalities shine through. Improvising three themes: can’t be bothered, lewd & crude and hopeless romantic, the hot hot hot Harlow Harlots showed how we are all different, yet are united within the wonderful world of the Love You Burlesque family.
Another of Love You Burlesque’s additional workshops, for those who can’t get enough, was up next! The Sweet FX Performance Troupe with their performance of ‘Minnie the Moocher’ transformed Great Parndon Community Centre into a 1920s Speakeasy. Complete with frills, tassels and the Charleston, these LYB ladies shone with cheeky style up on stage and the audience thoroughly enjoyed the big reveal. It’s never easy to get up on stage and shimmy what your Mumma gave you, even more so when you’re baring all. But it’s all in the name of body confidence and burlesque and we salute you for that!
Speaking of Salute…
The annual Love You Burlesque Cabaret night gives all of the classes across the UK the chance to come together and showcase their acts. This year brought with it something extra special – Salute.
Warming-up in burlesque is incredibly important, and the LYB warm-up track is fierce, sassy and packed with attitude! With all performers taking to the stage, we performed Little Mix’s ‘Salute’ in unison. Being a part of this and dancing with so many astounding ladies of all backgrounds, all ages, all shapes, sizes, attitudes and styles means so much and every lady who took to the stage could feel the love as we shimmied our chests and strutted our stuff – bringing Act One of the night to an attitude-filled close!
Welcoming the audience back from the interval was another performance from the All That Jazz Residential ladies. This routine was inspired by a scene in the film Sweet Charity. It explored the rise of pop in Evangelical churches in America during the late 1960’s. Playing on these themes, the performance focused on how someone would appoint themselves as a leader, find a warehouse and by default, they would have a church! Undeniably entertaining and a little off-the-beaten-track where ‘traditional’ burlesque is concerned, this performance showed the diversity of burlesque and where I can go if you want it to.
From saint to sinner, the next performance enlightened us what goes on ‘After Dark’. Joining forces, the fabulous Maldon Minxes and Ipswich Idols thrilled us with their seductive chair and crop routine. Entirely wrapping the audience around their little finger, the two classes sizzled their way through the performance and were left hot and bothered by these crop-wielding queens.
Following the Maldon Minxes and Ipswich Idols, another performance with double trouble. The Chelmsford Chickadees and Basildon Bitches also joined forces to present us with ‘A Whole Lotta Woman’. If I had to describe this performance in three words, they’d be; empowering, sexy and fierce. I challenge anyone to watch their performance and not have their inner Wonder-Woman begging to be released – and release her, you should!
The penultimate act of the evening were the Colchester Bombshells! The fabulous Aretha Franklin had just passed away when tutor, Lizzie Lovelace, was planning this course so, it only seemed natural to choose a song from this inspirational lady’s collection, ‘Think’. In this song, Aretha sings about the struggle women have making themselves heard in a man’s world. So, adorned in yellow gingham pinnies, yellow scarves and packed with 1960s inspired moves, the Colchester Bombshells took to the stage and proved that there is no woman in the world who should put up with any negativity. It’s time we put our foot down, and the Colchester Bombshells did just that in fabulous style!
Last, but by no means least, the Reveal Appeal troupe took to the stage. A course run specifically for ladies who would like to practice a big reveal, you may expect glitter, frillies, seductive faces and the kind of classic Dita Von Teese burlesque that we’ve become accustomed to. But when these lovely ladies bravely took to the stage in day-wear and performed from the bottom of their hearts, there wasn’t a dry eye in the audience. Their performance proved that burlesque dancers don’t have to take their clothes off in a sassy and seductive way to have you in the palm of their hand. It can be a meaningful commentary on what it feels like to be a woman in the 21st century; empowered, capable and a force to be reckoned with.
Which really, is everything that Love You Burlesque stand for.
The 2018 Love You Burlesque cabaret shimmied to a close with an open dance floor where many a tail feather was shaken! The night also included a silent auction with fabulous burlesque prizes! If this year was anything to go by, then the 2019 Love You Burlesque Cabaret will be one not be missed!
If you’d like to find out more about Love You Burlesque’s classes, then click here!
PS. We are in the process of editing the fabulous DVD of the event – to pre order yours please email firstname.lastname@example.org