by Ebony Bandini
Bloody awesome doesn’t even come close to describing the magic that was Halloween Heaven held on 6 October at North Sydney Leagues Club. This unique aerial comp run by Miss Fit was truly a night of extravaganza and audience participation.
Lyra and Pole were beautifully united in a competition setting that went above and beyond to create an atmosphere that had the crowd savouring up every moment. It’s the first time Sydney’s had a combined lyra and pole comp and the effect was nothing short of spectacular!
The show opened with a killer Thriller routine featuring the talented Miss Fits that harked back to the days of vaudeville and circus performance. Every stage element was perfect in transporting the audience to the dark world of the dead. The Grim Reaper appeared during the opening act and disrobed to reveal Chilli Rox – a vision in dazzling white and more hilarious than ever with her razor sharp tongue. Chilli played Mistress of Ceremonies along with Auslan interpreters and had great fun translating words like “Titanic”, “Lucifer” and “Octopussy”.
The evening featured 25 competing acts across four categories (Pole Solo, Pole Group, Lyra Solo, Lyra Doubles), and although this was an amateur competition, the contestants were nothing short of bloody professional in everyone’s book. They owned that stage in a venue with impressive stadium-seating that offered an eagle-eyed view of every movement and facial expression. Everything was brought to the table including mind-blowing special effects, elaborate props, a fantastic selection of songs, and of course, a delightful array of tricks and treats. What was especially endearing about this year’s competition was the open interpretation of Halloween and influences from Hollywood, mythology, exotic dance and pantomime that shone through in the performances.
The wonderful winning shows included Savannah’s portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow who delighted the crowd with her charisma and commitment to her character. Her mum was in tears and so was I when they announced her as winner of Pole Solo. Runner up in Pole Solo was the Amazing Grey Ace who thomped the stage as a dinosaur and killed a park ranger that looked a bit like Steve Irwin.
The Pole Group division featured two very different shows – ShowPony Pole and Burlesque Troupe were up against Miss Fit’s Diamond Dolls. ShowPony won with their ensemble freak show complete with a bearded lady, while Diamond Dolls were runner up with their bad-ass Black Sabbath routine.
Drama came alive in the lyra division, and while pole speaks of the heart, lyra speaks of the soul. Rachel won Lyra Solo with a super-flexible marionette performance that reminded me of a tortured Frida Kahlo, while runner up KittyHawk was a heart-stopping White Swan in all her elegant glory. It was a nail-biting finish between these two lovely ladies.
Lyra Doubles was won by Duo Emarella who completely convinced the crowd that they actually are creepy twins, perhaps even conjoined at some point. They also won audience choice for Most Entertaining Performance. Runner up was Kiah and Yasmine from Pole Athletica with an enchanting story of Peter Pan fighting his own shadow, using impressive acro-dynamics to bring this unique concept to life.
Honourable mentions in pole goes to muscle-bound mother of four Lisa Ebrahim who actually levitated in her performance, and Mini Monroe who put a spell on the crowd with her beautifully bubbly burlesque routine. Tiger Lily got her roar on as she railed against the madness of suburban life, while Bianca was a super-slinky cat showering herself in milk. Magda Miss Carrot meanwhile devoured the heart of her unsuspecting victim after pulling out every seductive trick in the book. In lyra, Gaybie showed us corpse-bride-in-drag complete with UV balls, while Annie Lou made her debut as a demented toy wrecker. Hoopsy Daisy showed us the wildest trick on the night as one girl flew backwards into the lap of another, and Katantha stared us all down with ‘resting psycho face’.
Special guest artists featured the Dark Prince of Pole, AnDre Le, who floorplayed his famous signature style and finished with a smattering UV-lit orgy on stage in 10-inch heels, while the stunning Shaunah Johnson, fresh from winning Miss Lyra Australia, showed us an eye-watering contortion-style routine that left the audience gasping.
Treats were aplenty for winners including $3000 in cash and prizes and audience awards for trivia, lucky door raffle and Best Bloody Costume. Chilli indulged in a bit of Sashie-Porn after winning the inaugural ‘Sashie Award’. Perhaps Chilli could do an opening act to the song ‘You Can Leave Your Sash On’?!!
The final note goes to Sarah Thompson, owner of Miss Fit and ultimate boss lady who we’d all kill to work for. She was so calm, cool and collected throughout the evening which ran to pin-point perfection, and her team of Miss Fits did an incredibly outstanding job of putting on not just an event, but a truly magical experience for all.
About the Author
Ebony is a Sydney based pole performer known for her love of flexibility and unique routines. A passionate student, performer and writer, Ebony has been learning pole for over a decade with some of the most renowned pole studios in Sydney. She currently teaches at Pole Athletica in Surry Hills where she loves sharing her tips for nailing hardcore tricks and splits.
Before pole dancing, Ebony worked for 3 years as a life model in Sydney and France and studied theatre acting for 1 year at the Actors Centre in Surry Hills.
When Ebony is not poling, she likes to experiment with making her own costumes and enjoys the adventurous side of freelance work.
You can find out more about Ebony at www.ebonypoleartist.com