Trash Cabaret’s Carnival of Dreams was the most body positive event I’ve been to in a long time. People of all shapes and sizes were dancing, singing, swinging through the air (one from her ponytail), making the jocks wish they played oversized brass instruments in high school, singing Spider Pig and playing with fire (hoola hoops).
Trash Cabaret is “a multi-cultural circus cabaret extravaganza”. Dancers from different burlesque troupes pealed and revealed side by side and the house band played as one. Along with the band Master of ceremonies Riaan Smit (the sexy raspy voice behind Crimson House and one of the organisers of the event) was the lynchpin keeping the flow between all the different acts. With few exceptions such as the excellent Nameless Dance Crew, who used an eclectic mix of Rihanna*, Drake and other treffers, the music was live.
Not all the acts worked but it really didn’t matter because the pumped up house band, a fusion of The Nomadic Orchestra, Ann Jangle and Crimson House, provided constant stream of fun with their stage antics.
In jest Smit proclaimed that Trash Cabaret is like AfrikaBurn only they have grass and credit card facilities. Trash Cabaret is no AfrikaBurn, but that’s not a bad thing. Trash Cabaret is something AfrikaBurn could never be, inclusive. At R100 – R150 a ticket, Trash Cabaret is an affordable outing even in the middle of the month, and you don’t need a 4×4 to get to Hillcrest Quarry**.
While I might have moved up my inevitable deafness by 4 years, I didn’t feel too fazed. I also didn’t mind the speck burnt on my pleather jacket. It’s the price you pay when you stand right up against the speaker with sparks flying from St. Fox’s Mad Max grinder guitar while a selection of the most beautiful burlesque dancers twirl their tasselled nipple caps with dirty smiles. Dancers with my body shape, deemed ‘plus size’ by mainstream media, with the confidence that make Victoria Secret models look mousey.
People danced with careless abandonment during The Nomadic Orchestra’s set. The sound from the 5-piece orchestra bounced off the high walls of the quarry, swished around the countless top hats in the audience and swept me off my feet. I now fully understood the name of the name of their new album, Love. Dancing was the only option to keep from falling over.
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*Rumour has it that Riri signed up to Trash Cabaret but got caught up last minute with the business of retrieving her money from bitches.