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A band of protean, antipodean women bridled, saddled, and ready to pounce. This isn't your grandpa's burlesque.  In Flagrante's hyper athletic cast turns the tradition on its head with a frontal assault on female sexual stereotypes.

Vault, Q Theatre, Auckland

From the Promo:

A band of protean, antipodean women bridled, saddled, and ready to pounce - they quickly set the stage for an evening of skin and sass.  This isn't your grandpa's burlesque.  In Flagrante's hyper athletic cast turns the tradition on its head with a frontal assault on female sexual stereotypes.

In a series of highly sexualised and deeply satiric comedic pop art vignettes the cast act out prevailing fantasies and fetishes embedded in the popular imagination.  And heads really turn when they flaunt their leather bridles, marching gear and traffic girl uniforms.

The result is an exhilarating and provocative show of female empowerment and high impact dance theatre.

In Flagrante is the audacious creation of legendary local choreographer MaryJane O'Reilly.  Touting an extensive career, O'Reilly choreographs and edits dance on screen, stages large sitespecific public performance events, curates dance festivals, and teacher her unique brand of cabaret.

In Flagrante embraces this eclecticism in fascinating and at times wickedly funny ways.  With a rich, borderless movement vocabulary to draw from and the cryptic satiric eye of the contemporary dance choreographer, O'Reilly weaves tango influences with touches of vauderville, slapstick with cabaret, jazz dance with standup comedy.

The Dominion Post's Greer Robson puts it perfectly:

"If you're a contemporary dance fan, you'll adore the captivating choreography and precise physical and cerebral execution.  Be prepared to be surprised if not a little shocked.  If you're not a dance fan, you'll love the gorgeous sculpted dancers, the humour, music and daring minimal costumes, in all its slick, naked darkness and glory."

Dancers:

Maria Munkowits

Molly McDowall

Sofia McIntyre

Georgie Goater

Julie VanRenen

Choreographer's Notes:

From the toxic utopia of ‘Our Day will Come’ ….

To….

Whip solo, parodying the contradiction of the perfect wife and the whore. Words drawn from a 1950’s treatise on marriage and domestic bliss.

Horses – satirising the sexuality of being in the saddle and bondage.

Green Girl – Based on martial arts video game: Combat girl Tekken duking it out Xiaoyu fighting style, meets…Suzie Wong fighting for street corner superiority in Old Hong Kong.

Group Bondage – a gratuitous parody of bondage – satirising the bimbo blonde – the coquettish woman.

Blindfold – inspired by Freda Stark the ‘40’s Golden Girl, Erte magazine covers and the Spirit of Ecstasy on the bonnet of the Rolls Royce.

A North Korean Traffic girl solo with an attitude problem explores women in uniform, as signallers and authority figures who subvert and override the male construct.

The ex Great Redondo–A magician’s assistant turns the tables on the great man himself.

Addiction solo – Eve as a cigarette girl addicted to her apples as a metaphor for knowledge? sex?

Black and Blue – has imagery inspired by the ’70’s Clockwork Orange movie, a dance that satirises the capacity for bullying and violence.

Make my Day – a solo inspired by the 2nd World War Bomber Nose Art, Vargas Girls and Pan Am Air Hostesses. The glamourous, neurotic world of women in the air. Finally evolving into a 21st Century Woman in control of her own physicality.

Marching Girls – White Knights, marching girls redux – a 21st century take on a great kiwi icon.

Nurses –  an excursion into deep fetish, from colonics to inoculations. A tribute to nurses as sex objects, Bond Girls and custodians of bodily functions.

Pikelet – a wholesome recipe from the Edmonds cookbook for a satisfying life, from the deeply sexist annals of Aunt Daisy and her home cooking wisdom.

Punk Cancan where it started out; raucus, raw and raunchy.

Summertime is performed by the full cast. Tennessee Williams meets gym bunnies. A saga of sweat, sex and satisfaction.

Franciska's Review:

The Vault ~ situated beneath Q Theatre ~ was the perfect venue for a burlesque show.  Below street level, dark, and intimate. 

There were about a dozen tables ~ each seating four.  We were fortunate that our table, being at the back, was slightly elevated (which is a bonus when one is vertically challenged such as myself!).

Upon arrival we were greeted by a hostess who felt the need to sales pitch the benefits of our table.  Including the dessert platter that was awaiting us.  Unfortunately, the couple we were sharing our table with had opted for the cheese platter.  The smell of which was rather off putting.

The show itself wasn't quite what I was expecting.  Not that I know what it was that I was expecting as such, but this wasn't it.  Perhaps I was expecting something a little more traditional?  (Clearly I hadn't paid much attention the promo!)  Going into a burlesque show I certainly wasn't expecting contemporary dancing.  But this wasn't what I know contemporary dance to be either.  Nor was it what I know burlesque dancing to be.

Knowing the choreographer's notes prior to the show would have helped me better appreciate what I was watching.  Without such knowledge, it was an erotic dance show in which some of the themes weren't to my liking or completely lost on me.

But as Greer Robson put it, I admired the gorgeous bodies clad in provocative clothing, so beautifully complimented by just the right amount of lighting, hitting in just the right spots, and at just the right angles.