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Finesse Burlesque shoots for the stars

Natalie O’Driscoll | September 16, 2021

Glamming up the stage at The Star Gold Coast this weekend is Finesse Burlesque, a dazzling new cabaret show created by artists, for artists who were hit the hardest by COVID’s impact.

Conceived and choregraphed by South East Queensland sibling entertainers Amber and Maddison Ivers, written by local performer and long-term friend Aleisha-Rose, and featuring the crème de la crème of Gold Coast entertainers, Finesse Burlesque is the ultimate tribute to the showgirl experience.

Finesse Burlesque brings together a cast of world-class local performers with an impressive credit list including The Moulin Rouge, Tokyo Disneyland, Universal Studios Singapore, Lido de Paris, Palazzo Variete in Germany, and various cruise ships, who were all forced to return home from their thriving international careers at the start of COVID.

Amber Ivers describes how the show was developed.

“I was working in Paris at the Lido on the Champs-Élysées, and my sister was dancing on a cruise ship in America – she was stuck at sea, and was on one of the last flights back.

“We both had to come back to Australia unplanned and we were like ‘oh my goodness, what’s going to happen? We don’t have a job’. And nor did all of our friends in the entertainment industry.”

The sisters quickly got to work collaborating on a new type of cabaret show that would combine both their years of experience with the world-class talents of their Gold Coast friends and fellow performers who also found themselves out of work, and so the bones of Finesse Burlesque were put together.

At the same time, South East Queensland dancer, actor and writer Aleisha-Rose finished up her job in Tokyo in order to come home. Having taught Amber and Maddison at their local dance studio when they were kids, she was familiar with the duo and encouraged the project.

“I took a gamble and came home and there was no work at all, and I’ve worked the last fifteen years non-stop but then COVID happened,” says Aleisha-Rose.

“Right when we all got home [Amber and Maddison] were mulling over this idea and I was like ‘Do it, do it! All your dreams can come true if you try’.”

And so they did. Once the dance numbers were formulated, the sisters approached Aleisha-Rose to write the show and stitch everything together.

Finesse Burlesque

“It was great, they’ve created these incredible routines that are very showgirl, very Moulin Rouge, very much a cabaret feel,” explains Aleisha-Rose.

“I had a character in mind – the idea of a life of a showgirl and the drama that ensues.

“Without giving too much away it’s about the dreams that can happen and then can fall completely apart. It’s a world that’s so beautiful and perfect from the outside but there are actually so many imperfections behind the scenes.”

Finesse Burlesque, having already received rave reviews, features a cast of 13 dancers that were pulled together from a pool of extraordinary homegrown talent on the Gold Coast.

“The talent on the coast is so immense,” exclaims Aleisha-Rose. “It is world class, and I think with shows like this coming to town again it’s giving everyone the chance to see that kind of international work that normally they’d have to fly overseas to catch.”

And as for Gold Coast audiences, they’re in for a little bit of a surprise, Amber thinks.

“As well as traditional burlesque and cabaret, the show has a comedic element which people do not expect at all,” she explains.

“You’re going in thinking you’ll get this one-level show of beautiful girls and showgirls and you’re actually getting a much bigger range – one minute you’re laughing, then it’s commercial then modern, the next minute you’re laughing… a lot of depth and range from the show is the main feedback we’ve gotten.”

Like all productions right now, the future of Finesse Burlesque, following its upcoming South East Queensland run, is uncertain. But Amber isn’t afraid to keep dreaming big.

“We would love to share the Finesse Burlesque magic with the country. We’d love to take it on a national tour – especially straight after this coronavirus pandemic – just to bring some sparkle and magic into people’s lives, and also to continue with our core value of creating more jobs for artists in Australia.”

Finesse Burlesque lights up the stage at The Star Gold Coast on Saturday 18 September for one night only. Tickets via Ticketek.

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