Shortly competitors from all over the globe will gather together in London to compete in the toughest battle of feathers and rhinestones that the world has ever seen.
The World Burlesque Games returns this December for 2 spectacular nights, from the most outlandish neo burlesque, to the ultimate classic showgirl, all genres of burlesque and cabaret will be honoured. In the run up to the event, Burlesque Magazine decided to catch up with some of our favourite past winners in a series of exclusive interviews to get the real low down on one of the industries most prestigious events. In Part One we catch up with International Crown Holder 2013, the shimmying showgirl herself, Bonnie Fox.
Bonnie Fox, Australia *International Crown Holder 2013*
-How did you get involved in the Burlesque industry and what does burlesque mean to you?
I saw my first Burlesque show in 2006 on a trip to Sweden, and it was love at first sight. It combined everything that I’ve always been drawn to – glamour, jazz, dance, sensuality, history, community, girl power, body love. When I got home to Perth (Australia) there was zero burlesque to be found. So Adora Derriere and I formed Sugar Blue Burlesque and we built a community. I studied the history of burlesque and travelled to the USA to meet the legends and see the shows. I took classes with Michelle Lamour and Jo Boobs Weldon, and went to all the festivals. I completely immersed myself. It’s been a compulsion since day one. Burlesque for me is a joyful celebration of womanity and life.
-What led you to apply for the World Burlesque Games?
I moved to London in 2012. I was so excited about the burlesque community here. The quality of professional performers in this city is deeply inspirational. The bar has been set so very high. I knew this is where I needed to be! The World Burlesque Games was the perfect opportunity to meet other performers in the UK and European community – it brought me together with my tribe!
-Tell us about your experience as a competitor.
It’s exciting to be backstage at WBG. There are so many performers, from all around the world, crammed into one greenroom. You hear different languages, there are feathers and sequins and glitter everywhere, all colours of the rainbow! It’s a bit chaotic, but everyone is so kind. Helping each other, swapping makeup tips and industry anecdotes. Burlesque folk are always kind, that’s always been my impression. You get a lot of inspiration at WBG – so many acts, so many different influences and styles.
-What did it mean to you to win a WBG title?
I was so surprised! I laugh when I watch the video, my face is so shocked I look like I’ve been punched in the jaw. It’s not really about the competition, I didn’t enter looking for a crown or to beat out fellow queens. For me it’s an opportunity to showcase my art, and a reason to push myself. But I was very grateful to win the title! As an artist I create my acts for myself. It’s my art, not for anyone else’s approval or by anyone else’s standards. But as an entertainer, on the stage, I am giving everything to my audience. Winning a title at WBG lets you know that other people support what you do, both as an artist and as an entertainer. I do my burlesque for me, but it sure is gratifying to know that other people like it too.
-What have you been up to since your win at WBG?
Since winning World Burlesque Games I have been performing all around the world! I also went to the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas and won two titles there – Best Debut and Most Dazzling Dancer. It’s been a thrilling few years!
The 5th Annual World Burlesque Games 2016, 9th & 10th December.
Presented by the London Burlesque Festival. Please see
Words – Betty Rose Royal
Photo credits – Reportage Photography, Honey Beavers