Founded in 2002, Hi Ball Burlesque was Australia’s first burlesque troupe and has been at the forefront of the Australian burlesque revival ever since. Hi Ball is renowned for their glamorous, authentic brand of tease, which is inspired by the golden era of Fifties burlesque. QueensOfVintage has caught up with Hi Ball to talk about glamour, shopping on eBay and their amazing vintage stage outfits.

 QueensOfVintage: Tell us a bit more about Hi Ball Burlesque. How did you meet and what made you set up the troupe?

Hi Ball Burlesque: We all met and became friends through our love of vintage clothing and music… In fact, Rusty Nail and I became friends through swing dancing, which has come in very handy with choreography! There was six of us originally, and we formed the troupe back in 2002 after a few of us had been to the States and seen the burlesque revival firsthand.

We knew it was just a matter of time before someone started doing burlesque in Australia, so we thought, why not us? Hi Ball was the first burlesque troupe in the country, and we’ve helped build the burlesque scene here, particularly through our club, Red Door Burlesque, which just celebrated its fourth birthday.

QoV: What do you make of the burlesque revival – some people are quite critical and think it’s commercialised burlesque too much. Would you agree? We love the fact there’s a burlesque revival going on. When we first started, hardly anyone in Australia knew what burlesque was, which made it tough to put on shows. We’d call up venues and ask if we could put on a burlesque show, and the response was usually, “Burlesque? What’s that? Is it like stripping?”.

Hi Ball: So we feel really grateful that burlesque now has mainstream appeal and we can focus on performing instead of working so hard to sell ourselves and the concept of burlesque itself. So from our point of view, we find the more people who know about burlesque, the better!

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