Miss Burlesque SA 2018 – Luna Eclipse
She’s saucy, silly and sweet, not to mention one of Adelaide’s most celebrated and renowned burlesque performers. The name Luna Eclipse has long been one of first that comes to mind as one of Adelaide’s top burlesque performers and her fourth time competing in Miss Burlesque South Australia proved to be no different. A foundational member of the Adelaide burlesque scene, Luna Eclipse was one of the co-founders of Peaches ‘n’ Gin in 2009, as well as the Director of Adelaide’s premier swing dancing school – Swing Out Adelaide.We first became acquainted with her comedy infused classic style when she first competed in Miss Burlesque Australia in 2010. Since then she has gone on to receive numerous titles and accolades over the years including being nominated People’s Choice SA at the Busties – not once, not twice but three times. From classic glamour to slapstick comedy – there’s no eclipsing this celestial body of Australian burlesque.
Alyssa Kitt caught up with newly crowned Miss Burlesque South Australia to talk about artwork, motherhood and hitting those MBA floorboards one more time!
You’re an established performer, so established that in fact you were one of the few in the 2010 grand finals. How many times have you competed in Miss Burlesque Australia?
This was my fourth time competing in Miss Burlesque Australia. I competed the very first year in 2010 and placed 2nd (in SA), in 2011 I placed third (in SA) and in 2013 I won the SA title and “Entertainer of the Year” at the finals. This was my first time back in the competition since 2013 and I’m so glad I put myself back in the running!
You were on the production team for South Australia, what prompted you want to get back in the running?
I’ve had a bit of time off from burlesque over the last two years and I decided I wanted to start getting involved in the scene again, so entering Miss Burlesque Australia seemed like a great way to make a comeback! Plus I find deadlines very motivating for creating new work. After producing the comp in 2014 and 2015 with Peaches ’n’ Gin it gave me so much insight into the work that goes on behind the scenes to make the competition happen. It’s a lot of hard work and it’s not very glamorous! I know all the producers work so hard to make it a rewarding experience for all the competitors so I knew I could trust that I would get a lot out of competing, regardless of whether I placed. I was very excited about the changes to the competition format and just had to be involved.
You’ve been in burlesque for a number of years – how long have you been performing? What was your first experience of burlesque? You’re an amazing bellydancer as well, tell us about your dance upbringing.
I’ve grown up in a family of dancers as my Mum was a professional bellydancer for most of my life. We had a family studio which is where I basically grew up – nights doing homework in the corner while my Mum taught classes, often abandoning it to get up and dance myself. I began teaching bellydancing to kids when I was about 12 or 13 and have been teaching dance ever since. My first encounter with burlesque was through another bellydancer who was also a burlesque performer (her name is Prue and she is still bellydancing in Melbourne), and I was immediately intrigued. I started checking out some local burlesque shows which where put on by A Wink and a Smile Burlesque, who were, as far as I know, the only ones doing so in Adelaide at that time. Some friends (aka Sapphire Snow and Galaxy Fox) and I decided to put together a burlesque routine for fun, and Peaches ’n’ Gin Burlesque was born. We didn’t really know what we were doing back then and taught ourselves as we went. Peaches ’n’ Gin grew to a large company teaching classes and producing shows. It’s still going strong today of course under Sapphire Snow.
What do you think is your most identifiable aspect to you as a performer? What is Luna Eclipse famous for?
I think my tongue-in-cheek style of performing is what I am most known for, as I can’t help but bring a little bit of silliness to every routine, even my classic striptease routines. I like to have a bit of fun on stage and make the audience laugh. Not that I haven’t tried being sultry and serious – but I always end up pulling silly faces anyway!
You’ve recently been busy with your work as a visual artist. Tell me about it!
I never considered myself an artist as I felt that was always my Mum’s domain – she has always been amazing at any medium she turns her hand to, but after my son was born I was looking for a creative outlet that I could easily do at home, between feeds and singing the same darn lullaby over and over again. I started drawing silly pictures about my experience being a Mum and found a passion for it. My style has evolved since then and I now work mostly digitally with a bold colour palette and thick lines. I’ve done a lot of work around body positivity but am also trying to do some more editorial work too.
Etsy shop: www.lunagodfrey.etsy.com
You have been a producer, teacher and prolific Australian performer, you’ve even performed at the New Orleans Burlesque Festival – tell me, what are some of the other highlights of your career so far?
Performing in New Orleans and New York were definitely highlights for me – it was an incredible experience and very inspiring. I hope I can travel overseas again to perform at some stage! I’ve also had the pleasure of producing some shows I’m really proud of such as Big Band Burlesque, my solo show Adult-ish and Naked Girls Reading at Adelaide Fringe. And although I love being on the stage, I adore teaching and I am incredibly proud of some of my students who have gone on to do incredible things on stage. Seeing your students succeed is the highest honour for a teacher.
How did you prepare for the competition? What was your game plan/ goals?
My goal for the competition was to create some new work that I could be proud of and to show the world that I’ve still got it, even after a baby and a long absence. I tried not to focus on placing as, although I am thrilled to have won, I try and approach competition with the mindset that you are competing against yourself, not others. In the two or so months leading up to the night I had weekly rehearsals and lots of nights sewing and rhinestoning.
Tell me about your routines:
Can you describe your traditional for me?
I wanted to return to my bellydance roots and perform a traditional routine that took utilised some of those skills. I used a piece of music that has a long history for me, Miserlou, as I have been dancing to versions of that song since I was a kid. I particularly wanted to think about how to make my costume more than just clothing I take off, so I covered myself in silk veils that I could use for lots of different tricks and reveals. I’m really proud of the routine and I’m relishing the opportunity to keep working on it in preparation for the final.
What did you do for your unique and how do you think it will set you apart going into the grand final?
My unique is probably the most ridiculous routine I have ever performed. It is a tribute to my favourite movie, Jurassic Park, and starts out with me dressed as Dr Grant as he first arrives on the island. Then, shock! Horror! Dr Grant is slain and the velociraptor reigns supreme, although not in a way you’d expect. I wanted to take the deadly portrayal of a velociraptor and turn it on its head, presenting instead a “Glamouraptor”.
What was the first thing that came into your head when you were announced you Miss Burlesque South Australia?
Shock! The competition was so fierce on the night that I couldn’t tell at all where I had fallen. Those who know me know that I don’t take praise very well (just give me a small compliment and you’ll see me start blushing and stammering) and so whilst I was thrilled I also felt a little embarrassed on stage and not sure what to do with myself. My husband said I looked quite awkward haha!
Did you enjoy your 2018 Miss Burlesque experience and would you recommend entering this State Final?
Absolutely! I think if you enter with the mindset of topping any work you’ve presented before the sky is the limit. It’s also an excellent way to connect with your fellow performers and meet new people. The feeling of community backstage at the MBASA final was like nothing I’d seen before – everyone was going out of their way to help each other and lift each other up. I felt incredibly proud to be a part of that group of wonderful performers.
Luna Eclipse will be flying to Perth for the Miss Burlesque Australia Grand Final on the 28th July 2018! Follow her journey to the Final on her socials: