This week we’re heading down under, to celebrate one of the southern hemisphere’s greatest and most inspiring burlesque queens. With over 20 years experience onstage, the 2012 Burlesque Hall of Fame Queen of Burlesque crown on her mantle, performances in over 20 different countries under her belt and an energetic, passionate edge to her performances that has seen her named as Oz’s very own Queen of Burlesque, she is of course, the incredible Imogen Kelly.
Who is Imogen Kelly?
Australian burlesque superstar Imogen Kelly has been one of the biggest burlesque stars in her home country for many years. In 2011 she won Best Debut at the BHoF and the following year, she took the main crown (see her winning performance below), helping to cement her place as one of the 21st century’s new queens of burlesque. In 2013, she launched her own show ‘Herstory’, which toured Brisbane and Melbourne.
How did she get into burlesque?
Imogen earned degrees in performance and directing before commencing an international stage career that would go on to span over two decades (and which is still going strong!) Travelling around the world, past credits include: Tokyo peep shows, kick lines at the Moulin Rouge, a multitude of international festivals (including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Toronto Burlesque Festival, NYBF and many more) and time spent working as an aerial artist. A key figure on the Australian burlesque scene, she has appeared several times at the famous Sydney Opera House.
What style of burlesque does she perform?
Imogen is known for her flamboyance; visually dazzling, she likes nothing more than to have fun with her acts and give the audience a damn good show while she’s at it. One of her best-known pieces is her Marie Antoinette-inspired act ‘Let Them Eat Cake’. Quite simply the epitome of burlesque, the number incorporates comedic poetry, lavish costuming, striptease, bawdy humour and a wonderfully slapstick finish.
Also notable, is her BHoF winning routine, ‘Flamingo Go’. A technical based piece, apparently it was a work in progress for eight years before being fully-realised in all of its ostentatious pink fluffy glory, as the piece that took the crown in 2012.
Some interesting facts about Imogen
*In addition to burlesque performance, she is also a historian in her local area, helping to create walking tours which take a peek at the naughtier side of life. From showgirls to gangsters, nothing is taboo!
*A well-educated ecdysiast, Miss Kelly holds several degrees and can speak a number of foreign languages.
*On top of all of the above, and international touring and shows, Imogen is also a mum. As our own Viva Misadventure will tell you, juggling motherhood and a burly career is quite a feat in itself. Imogen Kelly: we applaud and salute you as a pioneer and inspiration for the modern day burlesque community.
If you’ve enjoyed this week’s spotlight, do take a peek at some of the other fabulous burly queens in our Superstars series: