Shaking up burlesque at Mercury

Once viewed it takes a lot to get it out of you head, the Harlem Shake. Or you can find a completely different, and a lot sexier, new association with that name at Mercury every other Thursday night. At least that’s what I’ve done with Vava Voom Entertainment’s Harlem Shakes. 10574524_10152560565619731_5434339310498834788_n

For a venue specialising in rock shows dripping with sweat, Mercury cleaned up quite well creating a sultry speakeasy vibe, with tiny tables arranged around the stage, ideal for the sparkly burlesque girls.HarlemShakesMissBhave

Harlem Shakes is part of Mercury’s Bluestown Sessions with two 20 minute performances during the blues’ intervals. The performance was slightly raunchier than their usual repertoire with Miss B.have provocatively slapping her ass while cheekily staring down the audience. Miss B.have made the only (inadvertent) nod to the evening’s namesake with a wolf mask in her Little Red Riding Hood routine.HarlemShakesMissB.haveAnother risqué break from the norm was the inclusion of a pole dance set by Sapphire Flex. I had serious doubts about this set as I watched Sapphire Flex clean the pole during the break, it just makes it so much tougher to convince people that burlesque is NOT stripping. However, together with the fact that the act focused on Sapphire Flex’s crazy flexibility and moves on the pole and not on peeling off any clothing, any fears of the dreaded ‘S’ word was extinguished.HarlemShakesMissBhave2

Last time I saw Bon Bon she was an adorably naughty demure air stewardess, this time around she was closer to one of the witches in the new series Salem, a look she nearly pulled off until we saw her in her next costume after the break – a yellow and black showgirl inspired number that did her justice.

At R40 entrance, Harlem Shakes is a taster, a mere tease if you will, of the Cape Town burlesque scene. A perfect gig for burlesque newbies.

* All images by glanskind

* Catch the next Harlem Shakes on 14 and 28 August.


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