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Humour Makes Light
of Sexy Kind of Tease

northern dolls

Northern Dolls -
Little Black Book

Whangarei Old Library Arts Centre

I was a burlesque virgin until recently and very unsure of what I was about to see. The atmosphere purred with sexiness and excitement, but not in a seedy type of way. I was intrigued after hearing a mixture of opinions, from an amazing form of art to bare booby comments. After a quick drink at the bar, I was in the mood ...

Back stage the girls were preparing for their second Whangarei show. It felt like we could have talked all night as girls do. Costumes sparkled; legs stretched and lippy had been generously applied. “Burlesque is not what people think,” they assured.

Here, casually sitting on the floor of the dressing room pulling up her tights was Charlie Chapstick, who quickly became one of my favourites. “Big hair, big heels, big booty, big laughs,” read the programme.

The girls agreed there is a sense of empowerment to the dancing and burlesque provides a complete show, each woman being there for completely different reasons.

Burly granny Gladys, also known affectionately as “Glad-ass” re arranges her wig as she proceeds to tell me about audience ages and ticket sales. Interestingly, the most common amount of ticket sales goes to couples between 50 and 60.

“Little Black Book” follows the hilariously tragic tale of the lovable burlesque granny Gladass’s discovery of her late husbands box of “memories”.

The shows are run off hilarious interaction and crowd reaction. “The more from the crowd we get, the better it is,” the girls agree.

As I looked around the mixed room of ages and backgrounds we were a fairly quiet bunch that night and at times I thought I should be whistling or yahooing more? Burlesque dancing is a classy form of tease that uses humour and acting to break down the tightest of opinion.

I enjoyed the story, these girls are very talented and the atmosphere at the Old Library was intoxicating. I will definitely be going to see a show of theirs in the future ... maybe even learn a bit of the art one day? Just maybe.

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