I’ll admit I had never been to a burlesque show before so I was a burlesque virgin! I’ve seen some cabaret in the past but nothing like this. I’m not exactly sure what I actually expected but it undoubtedly exceeded it. It’s not a question that Nalen was a great backdrop for the event. It embodied that burlesque and cabaret feel in its style completely.
The entrance was a bit anti-climatic. Stepping into the event you expected a bit more of a livelier and more extravagant mood that wasn’t really there. The decorations were simple and because Nalen is such a gorgeous building it seemed fine but it would have been even better if there was a bit more there. What I did love were the enormous posters that were placed on the mirrors in the main room. They were old Swedish advertisements and they were perfect for this kind of event. Unfortunately this seemed like this was their only real attempt to decorate the space.
The turnout was great. It was full by the time the shows had started so the atmosphere was buzzing with a crowd of people in wonderful costumes. I loved how many people got into the theme of the night! It left me wishing I tried to play burlesque dress up myself. I got some great shots of attendees of the event and it just goes to show the popularity of the burlesque scene in Stockholm.
The tassel twirling championship was a brilliant idea to start the show off and was both comical and impressive. The girls were great sports and between their costumes and their faces, they were incredibly entertaining! A well deserved win to the champion and some recognition for the humorous “jogger” costume!
The shows were great and very individually unique. The performers included in the festival were chosen perfectly. The coordinators did a great job at having an arrangement of unique burlesque stars from across the world that all brought a different element to the show. Some acts to watch out for in the future that really wowed me: Strawberry Siren, the lovely redhead named Australian Entertainer of the Year; Akynos, the US star who had skills in both booty shaking and grabbing the crowd’s attention; and the gorgeous Miss Banbury Cross, the UK blonde bombshell with a Marilyn Monroe persona.
The only other critique I can say is about the smaller room that was showing the slideshow of John Paul Bichard’s photography. The slideshow was absolutely stunning – John Paul is clearly an amazing photographer and the images were a great addition to the festival that night. The only thing that was wrong was the atmosphere that was created in the room. There was none. It was a bit dull with soft music and not much liveliness. Maybe it was done on purpose to contrast the other room for those who wanted a bit of an escape but it didn’t need to be that low-key. It would have been very effective if more effort went into making it a “chill” vibe and creating a small room with those really lovely lounge/cabaret club qualities that were clearly missing.
Overall, the festival was a great hit. The performers were loving it, the guests were loving it, the staff was loving it! Complete success? Yes! Burlesque made a great name for itself at Stockholm’s Festival this year. I can’t wait to see what and whom is in store for the next one!
Words and Photos by Angela Markovic