- John Lombard
Exotic Hypnotica - Jazida Productions
Updated: Feb 12, 2022
Since winning Burlesque Idol Canberra in 2015, burlesque artist Jazida has gathered accomplishments like rhinestones, including a trip to Vegas to perform at the Burlesque Hall of Fame and establishment of chic performing arts hub Flazéda. Earlier this year, 21st Century Burlesque Magazine ranked Jazida at 32 in a worldwide list of influential burlesque performers, recognising the Canberra-based artist’s growing profile.
Exotica Hypnotia is Jazida’s second narrative-driven act showcase, following 2020’s noir-themed Catch Jazida. Exotic Hypnotica explores the label ‘exotic’, with Jazida taking a hypnosis-driven Alice in Wonderland tumble into her subconscious in search of authentic identity.
Jazida performs an impressive range of acts including burlesque, fire eating, aerial hoop, fan veils, poi dance, and rap, showcasing her considerable poise, strength, and dexterity, as well as omnivorous creative ambition.
Between acts, Jazida sketched her personal history and defiant quest to discover her queer identity, interrogating the complex relationship between the real woman and the empowering but suffocating persona/brand Jazida.
Jazida is notorious for extravagant burlesque props, such as the stage-sized inflatable shoe slide in her Imelda Marcos routine, but here the performer deployed intimate acts that showcased her control as a dancer. Although Jazida has a cosmopolitan repertoire, including belly dance and sword dance, she opted not to include these acts, even to subvert the idea of the exotic. Instead, she explored her personal response to cultural labels in movement, fusing the grace of classic burlesque with convulsions of agitation and vulnerability.
Exotic Hypnotica is a burlesque where the intimate reveal is not the dancer shedding their clothes, but a woman taking off their make-up and dropping their smile.
Filmed interludes with performer Artemis 7 as bland but sinister spokesperson of a whitewashing wellness clinic added a delightful anarchic creepiness, and Jazida's performance troupe the Fabulous Fan Dancers performed group ensemble interludes.
Catch Jazida was a party bag of eclectic delights. Exotic Hypnotica better develops a personal story, with Jazida in top form as a dancer and artist. While the narrative that connects the show is undercooked, Jazida’s performances are highly polished, and her affability and sincerity ensure the goodwill of the audience.
In Exotic Hypnotica Jazida dives within to reevaluate her art before now, to emerge renewed with boldness and confidence.