Interview: Lila Luxx, Headline of the Australian Burlesque Festival 2015
Charlotte Robert | On 04, Jun 2015
Sparkles, elegance and charm; for its 6th edition, The Australian Burlesque Festival will once again present a non-stop representation of glamour and sexiness across all the country between the 11th of June and the 5th of July.
The perfect occasion to discover the burlesque universe with professional performers. The Creative Issue has met â€œThe Sparkiling Sweetheartâ€ – or Lila Luxx – the elegant, extravagant and eccentric performer from Brisbane.
The Creative Issue: How long have you been in the burlesque world?
Lila Luxx: Apart from dabbling in a few classes beforehand, I really started engaging with burlesque as an art form in 2010.
TCI: When and why did you decide to choose burlesque to demonstrate your passion of dance and on-stage performance?
Lila Luxx: I have performed for my entire life with extensive experience and training in dance and theatre but I took my first burlesque class in 2008, just as something fun to do with a friend. It’s not something that I sought out to do as a profession, but it seemed to like me and the feeling was mutual! After performing in a couple of student groups, I was asked to perform a solo by my teacher. I’m a people pleaser, so I said yes, and here we are!
TCI: What do you like in performing burlesque? And why?
Lila Luxx: As a burlesque performer, it’s a very DIY culture – it’s all on you. It’s up to you to create your acts, find your inspiration, create your choreography, design your costumes, instead of a traditional theatre situation where you’d have a director and a choreographer and a set designer to help create a combined vision. This makes burlesque very risky business because if it fails, it’s 100% you taking the fall, but when it works, the payoff is beyond thrilling.
For me, with an acting background, I love creating character pieces with a strong narrative.
TCI: Youâ€™ve been recently voted People’s Choice Queensland 2014 at The Australian Burlesque Community Awards. What was your first reaction after this nomination?
Lila Luxx: I was beyond thrilled! The Australian Burlesque Community Awards are awards voted by our peers, and that means more to me than any billing I could achieve. For me, it was an acknowledgement that others were noticing and approving of what I was creating in burlesque. The fact that the people that I look up to, looked back at me and approved made my year!
TCI: You perform at the Australian Burlesque Festival and the Perth International Burlesque Festival as well as the Gangsters Ball and Vamp and Burn. Do you only perform in Australia or have you been travelling abroad?
Lila Luxx: Up until this year, my focus has been on performing in Australia and growing my school, The Bombshell Burlesque Academy, in Brisbane. International performances are on the cards in the very near future!
TCI: As the Director of The Bombshell Burlesque Academy, what is your first motivation in teaching? What do you like to share with your students?
Lila Luxx: My aim is to share the art of burlesque with the next generation of burlesque performers, with a focus on developing their individual strengths and a respect and acknowledgement of the past. Iâ€™m privileged to be part of the artistic development of new performers from their first class to their solo debut, whether they become a professional performer or can just stand a little taller in everyday life.
TCI: What kind of units can we find in The Bombshell Burlesque Academy?
Lila Luxx: We try to vary the content from term to term but youâ€™ll find a range of burlesque styles â€“ Classic, Neo, Lyrical, Bump & Grind, and Fan dance – technique classes, vocals, bellydance, 1960s gogo, theory and history courses, costuming classes, vintage hair and makeup and vintage pinup posing classes. All of our tutors are professional performers themselves so I encourage them to draw on their own strengths and share what they love with their students.
TCI: What was your best experience?
Lila Luxx: Iâ€™m lucky enough to say that there has been so many itâ€™s hard to keep track! One of my favourites was performing with a live band as part of Vamp and Burn. It was the first time that Iâ€™d performed with a live band and the first time Iâ€™d professionally presented improvisation as a performance style. The adrenaline was everything!
TCI: If you have one word to define burlesque, what would it be? And why?
Lila Luxx: Tease! Itâ€™s a key element to burlesque and separates it from other forms of variety or cabaret performance.
TCI: What are your projects for the future?
Lila Luxx: I aim to continue to grow The Bombshell Burlesque Academy, including our very first pinup pageant â€˜Miss Bombshellâ€™ this weekend, I also have several new acts in the pipeline to be revealed after the Australian Burlesque Festival and after thatâ€¦ well youâ€™ll just have to wait and see! Iâ€™m a professional tease, after all!
What: The Australian Burlesque Festival
When: 11th June â€“ 5th July 2015
For More Information: http://www.australianburlesquefest.com/performer/lila-luxx-brisbane/
Image Credit: Lila Luxx and The Australian Burlesque Festival