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Noir Revue: Steamier than a sidewalk after summer rain…

Heather Wallace

In classic Hollywood films the femme fatale is always bad news.

That’s not the case though when Sarina del Fuego returns to Canberra with The Famous Spiegeltent after 18 months touring in Australia and overseas.

Sarina returns with a new version of Noir Revue, a steamy burlesque murder mystery that she first performed in 2010. The changes include a new and original score and black and white video vignettes introducing scenes. In true classic noir form, each scene is set with the voice over of a world-weary private detective hot on the heels of a mysterious woman. You know exactly what he’s thinking when he says, “There was voodoo in her hoodoo and it was raising the dead in my lower district.”

Sarina has a strong connection with HerCanberra, being one of our Women To Watch in 2013. She has been performing in the Perth Fringe Festival where her other touring show, Burlesque Idol, was nominated for the hotly contested Cabaret Award. We caught up via Skype before she hit the highway for Adelaide Festival, and the grace and elegance she brings to burlesque shines through as she speaks.

“The great thing about burlesque is the variety of styles, mine is very European,” she explains. “I’ve been performing for around 15 years, and I was one of the first girls in Sydney to perform. I’d been collecting vintage costumes for years and watching MGM musicals since I was little. I was performing rockabilly and swing dancing professionally and started teaching myself burlesque.”

Aerial artist Paloma Negra

Aerial artist Paloma Negra

Only intending to do a one off show, she was soon hooked. “I found a mentor, an old stripper in Sydney, and worked on my style. My first performance was with feather fans and they’re still my favourite,” she says. Watching Sarina swirl cascading layers of feathers around her body, teasing and revealing a promise of pleasures to come, is very sexy.

It’s not just feathers she transforms into an art, her favourite segment in Noir Revue is a new piece called Bullet. “It’s a classic femme fatale ‘smoking’ piece, set to original lyrics. Film noir was usually summed up as ‘a girl, a gun and a cigarette’ and here the girl’s own body is the gun, and her intoxication with her cigarette makes her the weapon as layer after layer of desire is exposed.”

Performing with Sarina is her talented troupe: Paloma Negra (aerials) Kelly Ann Doll (burlesque) Lola LaBelle (burlesque) and a live four-piece band. Michael Wheatley, who has written all original music in the show also plays in the band. Lust and loneliness vie in a night of jazz, heartbreak and dames you don’t want to miss.

Vicky_Butterfly_JUDGE_Canberra (1)

Vicky Butterfly

Along with Noir Revue, Sarina is also bringing to town Burlesque Idol, a competition supporting new performers in the field. It features Vicky Butterfly, who Sarina describes as the best burlesque performer in the world. Vicky judges the competitors and also performs her own stunning displays, drawing on the glamour of Moulin Rouge and turn of the century theatre.

Idol is a great chance to see the different burlesque styles, from the elegant and sensual to the cheeky Betty Page inspired routines. Talent and raw energy are as much on display as the sublime form of the performers’ bodies.

the essentials

What: Noir Revue
When: 24 February at 10.30pm
Where: The Spiegeltent
Cost: $45 (general admission), $40 (concession)
More information: canberratheatrecentre.com.au/show/noir-revue

What: Burlesque Idol
When: 12 March at 10.30pm
Where: The Spiegeltent
Cost: $45 (general admission), $40 (concession)
More information: burlesqueidol.com.au/canberra-1


Heather Wallace

Heather’s career in arts and heritage PR spans 15 years, with highlights including working for Sean Connery at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and promoting Australia’s World Heritage places. Her blog, Myths and Misadventures, (http://mythsandmisadventures.blogspot.com.au/), is about life lessons we can learn from the Romans. You can follow her on Twitter @Missmythology. More about the Author

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