Catch Jazida, live burlesque show @ The Courtyard Studio, Canberra Theatre. Friday 10th February 2023.

Review by Morgan Quinn

Jazida catches our attention!

I’ll preface this review by mentioning that, before attending “Catch Jazida”, I had never seen a burlesque show and my knowledge of the form’s history was cursory at best. If Friday night’s performance is anything to go by, I’m certain I’ll be going out of my way to see at least a few more burlesque shows before I shuffle off this mortal coil.

I had vague expectations for this show: “Aww yeah, maybe a bit of salacious dancing, some colourful outfits and bombastic music then on my merry way”. 

What a fool believes.

A master of movement

The audience was treated to a full-length performance which featured incredibly refined choreography, playfully designed costumes, and a suitably energetic and modern electro swing soundtrack with accompanying light show. Jazida is a master of movement and is clearly at ease making clever use of every part of the stage, and at times the auditorium. There are moments of nudity throughout, but they are so tastefully ingrained in the choreography that it shouldn’t concern even the most erotophobic of attendants.

Who is Jazida?

But who is Jazida? And why must she be caught?! Well, I don’t want to spoil too much for you, but I’ll say this much – there are donuts involved. DONUTS

The show’s narrative is what allows it to sustain itself for its hour-plus duration. Jazida is a thief who has been the cause of strife and mischief all about town of late. And there is one particularly maniacal detective, Artemis Seven, who is relentless in their pursuit of Jazida – the full reasons becoming clearer towards the show’s end.

Jazida’s mesmerising moves are offset wonderfully by the detective’s wacky, awkward slapstick antics. If you’re a fan of sharp wordplay, absurd character-work and the occasional self-referential jibe then you’ll be spoiled rotten. 

Keeping the production flowing nicely are the pre-recorded video segments – faux news updates, morning show discussions – these segments, as well as welcomed moments for audience participation, break up the show nicely and elevate Catch Jazida to another level. Yet another memorable moment comes with Jazida’s emotional piano ballad, which showcases even more arrows in her quiver of mastered crafts.

That there are only two on-stage performers during the entirety of the show and the audience remained enthralled throughout is further testament to the talents of everyone involved in the production.

My vague expectations were transformed into pure delight and pride in what our city has to offer. I’ll be sure to Catch “Catch Jazida” next time she breaks in to steal our hearts away.

You can find out more about Jazida over at Jazida Burlesque

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