Berlin Burlesque Week has been top-to-bottom glamour with its varied and captivating events throughout the week. On Thursday 10th May at the Forum Factory in Mitte, an array of talent, fashion and seductive stripping took to the stage for the event Der Grüne Engel, with an array of aesthetics and movements to please the eye and entertain the crowd.
With a fantastic, big venue to provide space for the performers and to make sure everyone in the crowd can see each delight, our first act and host was Martini Cherry, a drag come burlesque dancer, with cheerfulness and gorgeousness she gave us the opening act, and in-between-acts comic charisma. Martini gave the audience a unique
Parisian flair, gave us tease, dance and song with an entirely new outfit every time she introduced a new act, showing her dedication and love for the art.
First, we had a fashion show and performance provided by Berliner Miedermanufaktur, a Berlin shop for all things lacy and pretty. The fashion show included lace up and bridal bodices, waist girdles, corsets, girdles, and flirty lingerie made of lace, leather, and other delicate materials that looked sensual, romantic and sexy. Models performed varying burlesque routines with hula hoops, strip teases and throwing roses at the audience, showing the audience the full outfit in creative ways. They did two mini-shows in between the acts to keep the crowd’s appetite sated.
The next act was Sakura Cyanide from the UK, performing a kinky, horned and glittery performance. She had Maleficent-like glitter horns, a glittery muzzle, X-taped nipple covers and a flying black cape that kept the audience enchanted. She was dark and alluring on stage with flawless choreography and sensual stripping.
Ben Noir from Australia was up next, dressed in a black-tie suit and extremely masculine, but as he showed his really powerful and delicate opera singing, his performance and real-life partner wearing black leather underwear and long leather stiletto boots came out with two shopping bags and dressed him up as a beautiful queen-come-opera-singer with high heels, gloves and a glorious, gold gown, all while Ben sang his heart out. It showed true gender-bending at it’s finest and was such a unique spectacle to see.
Next up was La Fée Verte from Berlin, a Midsummer Night’s Dream with her spectacular glittery green outfit, fairy wings and sparkly makeup, she did a partly comical act, part magical, where she brewed a green absinthe cocktail on stage and set sugar cubes on fire to create it. Flirty dancing and a little silliness, she really impressed and wowed the audience.
Lilou Frou, another Berliner burlesque performer, made a marvellous follow-up act that was like a traditional magic act with top hat and blonde bombshell hair. She did some small card trips while dancing, and transformed a handkerchief into a pole to use as a prop in her dancing.
What had at first seemed like a stage assistant, sweeping the stage with a broom and traditional cleaning lady wear, Rosie Riot transformed into a sexy burlesque, aerobatic queen in a comical manner. She swung from the ceiling via a hula hoop contorting and entertaining the crowd with a perfectly sequenced routine.
In a costume resembling an explorer of the wilderness, Fíne Mâri Seufzer, another fellow Berliner, performed an act that consisted of a pole and manipulation of such through her outfit with invisible strings so that the pole can levitate, fly and dance around her, using some intense skill and concentration.
Infamous Fifi Fantôme from Canada brought blue hair, robotic movements and chains to the stage to perform a really political and contemporary piece, indicative of the problems with women’s rights today. She ripped the chains off but still had ‘hidden chains’ as she strangled herself and grabbed her vagina as she made reference to the Me Too campaign and drew black lines on her body.
The organiser of the show – Bana Banana – an award-winning burlesque dancer and singer, sung and moved elegantly, while a counterpart all in white danced around her in a moving piece where each of them coordinated with each other beautifully on stage.
Next came a non-burlesque act, Juan Migama from Spain, who was a bit of a comic clown, coming out on roller skates and diving around the stage, falling over pieces of fruit on the floor, trying and failing to pick them up in a slapstick manner that made the audience giggle.
Alexander the Great Aerial King from Austin Texas, a drag king, performed a dark, Harry Potter, death-eater act with a slow build-up to an aerial performance with chains from the ceiling, moving and contorting with ease and much
Last but not least, was Lindsay Dunn from New York who did a marvellous Batwoman inspired piece, including bat nipples, cape and Batwoman headpiece. She started her piece with a huge winged cape and gradually teased the crowd into revealing more and more.