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Bringing burlesque to the BOP

Tauranga performers EmJay Lacy and Michelia Rose taking part in a burlesque show.

A Mount Maunganui instructor is aiming for burlesque performers around the Bay of Plenty to have regular paid opportunities.

Kirsty Carter of The Studio says burlesque shows are receiving great national attention and she would like to start regular shows in the region.

“I’ve travelled all around and in all the larger centres there is just so many opportunities but here there was not a lot going on, so I was like let’s just get something going.

“I co-produced with a Wellington performer a show in December and it did really well for the first time out and I’m doing a second show on April 6.

“I want to make burlesque shows a regular thing, and as the budget grows to have aerial rigging so that aerial performers can apply to perform.

“At the Wellington show all of the performers got paid their fee as we sold enough tickets last time and it was really good for a first time out.”

Kirsty says she has received a lot of attention from potential performers, but she needs to gain interest from the public to attend the shows.

“I’m in the process of getting in touch with people about shows with free entertainment at community events.

“I want to build awareness. There are a whole bunch of performers here in the Bay available for a wide range of events.

“I have a massive list of local and national performers who have approached me since I’ve started advertising the second show.

“I’ve had performers from Hamilton and Auckland hearing about it. I want to have national performers as well, but I would like to keep giving the opportunities to our bay performers.

Kirsty’s second burlesque show on April 6, ‘Opening Night Royale’ has attracted more performers and she’s pleased with the responses she’s had.

“I’ve been overwhelmed by how much interest I’ve had. I’ve started a database of people who want to perform and what their acts are.

“I’m hoping to put another show on in September. I haven’t secured a date yet, I already have around half a dozen locals that are super keen to get something together on stage.”

Kirsty says she has gathered a strong group of both local and national performers.

“I have a burlesque and hoola hoop dancer, a pole dancer, and there’s a bit of comedy thrown in there.

“We have a belly dancer who is a local Tauranga performer.”

“I was lucky to get Miss Burlesque Aotearoa to come over, who is Huntly based. She is going to perform and be the MC.

“I’ve been overwhelmed with the support. I’ve had performers sending applications through from as far as Christchurch saying they’d love to come up and be in your show, so it’s been great having that support.

Kirsty says all people can become involved in burlesque, not just performers.

“The Studio teaches pole and aerials and has done burlesque on and off in the past, but we’re looking to get more burlesque classes going, so more fitness style classes rather than performing but also having the option for people wanting to perform to develop and learn.

“It would be fun and a different fitness activity, and others can explore what it’s like to get on stage.”

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