Paul Gehring’s fabulous show in Halle, Westfalen, conjures up the spirit of the golden age of cabaret and variety shows
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An audience of some 1,500 coiffeurs were in for a thrill at the last ‘Show Burlesque’ for ALCINA in Halle. A sumptuous gala dinner perfectly orchestrated to evoke the magical aura of a Parisian Soirée du Cabarét or the variety shows of 1930s Berlin made for an evening of spectacular entertainment. The choreography, the lighting, the costumes and make-up, and above all, the hairstyles and headdresses – in other words: a bodacious scene – took a spell-bound audience on an imaginary journey to the bygone age of ‘Burlesque’. Naturally, the breathtaking performance showed distinctive influences and elements lifted from two brilliant musicals of recent years, namely ‘Moulin Rouge’, starring Nicole Kidman, and ‘Burlesque’, which featured Cher and Christina Aguilera.
The spectacular ‘Show Burlesque’, conceived by Paul Gehring for ALCINA, was an elaborate production, with a total of 26 performers on the stage, including five agile hip-hop dancers who offered an impressive interpretation of the rhythm and the pulse of the most beautiful and characteristic ‘Burlesque’ songs. The 1,500-strong audience were spellbound by the film-like atmosphere, marvelling at 21 models in seductive lingerie, garter belts and corsets made of the finest lace, whose tantalizing curvaceousness and nonchalant elegance brought the spirit of cabaret to life. Still, the main object of fascination were the hairstyles – inspired by the typical ‘Burlesque’ style and yet consummately contemporary, truly befitting the occasion with a modern, awe-inspiring look. One highlight was the hairstyling feat performed live on stage by three international coiffeurs: Three perfectly synchronized pairs of hands created a spectacularly styled wreath of hair in just five minutes!
The surprising grand finale came as a real bombshell: Four stunning brides dressed in decidedly pure, entirely white ‘Burlesque’ outfits conquered the catwalk in classy corsets, garter belts, stockings, tulle and ever more tulle. The finale’s crowning moment was the entrance of a dazzling, short-haired bride with a bridal hairstyle made of real hair which had been worked into her dress – something never seen before! Five stylists had spent several hours backstage to incorporate various hair textures and extensions into the dress. The bride stepped onto the gorgeous scene wearing pinned-up hair, only to open it to reveal intriguing volume and shapes which had the audience rising out of their seats in amazement. The ‘Burlesque Show’ closed with fireworks and lighting effects while the participating stylists, clad in tails, took to the stage to receive a rousing standing ovation. An ecstatic finale to complete a marvellous hour-long journey through an age of magic, fashion and seduction.
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