Bummed over burlesque

Bummed over burlesque
CANCELLED: The two-hour SuicideGirls Blackheart Burlesque show was meant to be the troupe’s first-ever performance in Asia.

An American burlesque act scheduled to perform tonight at the Hard Rock Hotel Singapore has its performance called off.

Local organiser Live! Empire made the announcement of the cancellation last Friday, more than a month after it had started selling tickets.

The R18-rated show was meant to showcase the SuicideGirls Blackheart Burlesque, known for scantily-clad female dancers.

The organiser wrote on its Facebook page: "With utmost regret, we are announcing the cancellation of the SuicideGirls show.

"Fans who have bought tickets will be refunded through (ticketing agents) Sistic and Peatix. Further details will be coming soon. We thank you for your understanding."

When The New Paper asked for the reason the show was cancelled, Live! Empire managing director Rudy De Rozario said: "We had to cancel the show due to a couple of factors. Mostly licence-related.

"We worked with the Media Development Authority (MDA) closely for about four months to get the licence. There were restrictions placed by MDA and we complied as best as we could."

Mr De Rozario added that as he had not received the permit with just a week left before the show, he decided to change the venue.

He said: "After advising MDA of this, we were told that it was actually going to approve our permit and give us the licence. But this was way too late.

"SuicideGirls have been waiting for a confirmation from us for months. And with just weeks to go, they needed confirmation which we could not give until we had the licence from MDA.

"It was a waiting game. But SuicideGirls couldn't wait any more because they had to plan their tour schedule."

An MDA spokesman said: "The organiser had made enquiries last December and submitted an application for an arts entertainment licence on Feb 25.

"As the submission was incomplete, materials and clarifications were sought from the organiser up till March 26 to enable MDA to assess the application properly.

"On April 13, the applicant informed MDA that the performance venue would be changed. Given the new location, MDA highlighted that the new venue's suitability had to be assessed.

"MDA got back to the applicant on April 15 to inform him that the new venue, being an existing police-licensed premise with its own licensing conditions, did not permit nudity.

"We were prepared to issue the licence for the original application. The applicant said he would consider and get back to us on the venue.

"When we did not hear from him, we contacted him on April 21. He then informed us that he had decided to cancel the performance."

Formed in 2003, SuicideGirls Blackheart Burlesque have toured North America and performed at music festivals in Europe and Australia.

They are known for sexy dancers - who wear only bikini bottoms and pasties on their nipples - performing racy routines and stripteases to rock tunes.

The two-hour show in Singapore was meant to be their first-ever performance in Asia.

The Coliseum at Hard Rock Hotel can accommodate 3,000 people and tickets went on sale on March 13 at $68, $98 and $108.

DISAPPOINTED

Mr Sheng Xue Tan, a 22-year-old engineer and tattoo-lover who had bought a $98 ticket through Peatix on April 10, told TNP: "I was shocked and seriously disappointed.

"I was really looking forward to seeing them live as I did not expect them to ever come to Singapore. It would have been something special out of so many performances here."

His feelings were echoed by Miss Ili Yasmin, a 19-year-old student who was planning to go for the show.

"I have been a fan of SuicideGirls since I was 13," she said.

"In what industry do we revere heavily tattooed female models?

"They put their bodies on display and are still respected. It is just more refreshing than your average runway models."


This article was first published on April 25, 2015.
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