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Milena Straczynski

5 minutes with the Blanc de Blanc star. 

When Blanc de Blanc came to the Coast during Bleach* Festival earlier this year, it was met with rave reviews. Now, the Aurora Spiegeltent and the shows’ cast of extremely talented (and unfairly good looking) performers are back for a second round and you should all buy tickets right now.

We sat down for a chat with one of the (many) stars of the show, Milena Straczynski, about what we can expect this time around (which is all the amazing things). 

Welcome back to the Gold Coast, what do you love about performing here?
Upon my return to Gold Coast the first thing I saw from the window of my hotel room was dolphins in the water, just doesn’t get better than that. The weather is beautiful and reminds me of my home in Miami, Florida. Being on the road with Blanc de Blanc makes me a little homesick and this is the next best thing!

Have you had any time off to explore and if so, what’s been your favourite place?
I did indeed get a little time off! I spent it with my “partner in crime” from Blanc de Blanc, Hampus Jansson. We indulged in simple pleasures and swam in the ocean.

For those who haven’t seen Blanc de Blanc yet, what can they expect from the show?
I believe that laughter is the best remedy! For anyone who hasn’t seen Blanc de Blanc, this is their chance to drink a glass of champagne and let loose. They will have fun, they’ll laugh, weep and they will definitely want to get up and dance!

How does this show differ to the last one we were lucky enough to have here?
This season we have some exciting new artists to join in the fun with us. One of them is Zelia Rose, who was a winner of the Burlesque Hall of Fame and just finished a tour with Dita Von Teese herself!

What’s your role in the show?
I do a bit of everything in Blanc de Blanc – a little dancing, a little singing but mainly aerial acts. I perform an aerial duo act with my other half, Hampus, which is my absolute favorite moment in the show, as well as my very first aerial soloist act, created, conceptualised and choreographed by Masha Terentieva on a flying hotel cart.

How did you come to be involved in Blanc de Blanc?
I met Scott Maidment about two years ago in New York, when he was working on Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour and looking for artists for a show called Fear and Delight. Since then, this company has become my family.

What do you love most about performing?
What I love most is entertaining people and giving them a chance to escape reality and touch them in some way. To me, being a performer is being able to give someone an experience. In Blanc de Blanc, the intention is pure entertainment and joy.

What’s the best piece of life advice you’ve ever received?
The best piece of advice I have ever received is to have the courage to live the life true to yourself, not the life others expect of you!

Blanc de Blanc

After an epic introduction to the Gold Coast earlier this year, Blanc de Blanc is back in the Aurora Spiegeltent at Broadwater Parklands from the October 5th to November 5th.

A bubble-filled world of fantasy awaits with the burlesque, circus-style show bringing the finest cabaret and acrobatic talents from around the world.

Every act in the show is inspired by champagne and includes elements of comedy, audience interaction and giant balls flying through the air. Think pumping music, acrobats twisting high above the crowd, dancing, singing and a little bit of skin.

The round, circus-style tent is filled with mirrors, a stage placed in the middle of the room and the audience up close and personal.

It’s a giant party like nothing you’ve ever seen before – illuminating and exciting.

Directed by Scott Maidment, who recently worked on Madonna’s Rebel Heart tour, and choreographed by Kevin Maher (of Justin Bieber and Britney Spears fame), Blanc de Blanc has sold out around the world due to its wild, risqué moves.

In reality, words are inadequate to describe the wonder that is the world of champagne cabaret.

Without giving too much away, Blanc de Blanc is a must-see. Particularly if you need a little more excitement in your life. Tickets available here – get in quick!

LOCATION: The Aurora Spiegeltent, Broadwater Parklands
COST: From $55

Bleach* Festival 2017

Bleach* Festival recently launched their 2017 program.

We chat with Festival Director Louise Bezzina about what’s new and the Commonwealth Games inspired theme.

What’s unique about the 2017 program?

The Festival explores and interrogates the relationship between sport and art, and the playful moments of collaboration where these experiences collide, merge, interact, conflict and complement.

With much of the Gold Coast’s daily life and identity closely related to the outdoors, active lifestyles, sport and recreation, these expressions already form strong associations for the people of the city.

In 2017, in the lead up to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Bleach* Festival and many of our collaborating artists will take inspiration from these concepts, with a highly physical and highly visual program that encourages celebration and expression, as the city comes alive over three weeks.

Any particular show or exhibitions we should look out for?

I’ve been wanting to present Fun Run for a while so I’m thrilled we can present it in 2017 as it works beautifully with this year’s festival theme. Fun Run will see artist Tristan Meecham run a gruelling 42.2 kilometres on a treadmill in the heart of Surfers Paradise in homage to the Greek messenger Pheidippides, supported by hundreds of community performers and athletes.

I’m excited to be working with The Farm and Co3 to present Frank Enstein, a world premiere work commissioned by Bleach* Festival which brings together two of Australia’s boldest contemporary dance companies, Gold Coast/Berlin based The Farm and Perth based Co3 for the retelling of the classic story.

How has the Gold Coast’s cultural scene in general changed since the launch of Bleach* Festival?

There has been a considerable growth in the City’s cultural scene since the festival launched in 2011. There are many professional companies now based here and working from here, some of these include The Farm (the first professional Contemporary Dance Company on the Gold Coast), Everybody Now (Professional Company that specialises in participatory and site specific contemporary performance) and The Walls (Contemporary Gallery Space in Miami) just to name a few.

Why is it such an important thing for the Gold Coast?

The vibrant cultural scene changes perceptions and transforms the city.  There is such an incredible depth to the city that the arts and cultural scene is pivotal in shaping.

Anything else you want Inside Gold Coasters to know? 

Bleach* Festival is truly unique in that it is a festival of place. The Gold Coast’s spectacular physical surroundings provide a distinct backdrop to present a variety of performances ranging from installation arts to music to world premiere theatre works. This year the Festival will visit 23 Gold Coast locations and take over 60kms of the coastline from Coolangatta to Helensvale.

The Gold Coast has a growing, youthful and energetic arts community who aren’t afraid to take risks, so it’s a really exciting time to be part of this developing industry, particularly in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games.

Check out the full program here.

Experience the magic of champagne cabaret

A world of fantasy is set to grace the Gold Coast with the premiere of BLANC de BLANC, a sizzling circus show direct from London’s West End.

From the creative minds behind Madonna’s recent Rebel Heart Tour, this brand new production will have audiences immersed in a world of overflowing champagne bottles, sparkles and glimmer, the perfect treat for those who love a little glitz and glam.

Selling-out its critically acclaimed seasons at the Sydney Opera House, Brisbane Festival and London’s West End, BLANC de BLANC will serve up titillating acts to both excite and delight.

The show brings the finest cabaret and acrobatic talent from around the world into a wild, shimmering night – expect big moves, great tunes, lots of skin, and more than a few surprises!

Director Scott Maidment says, “I wanted to create a new circus show, which I like to call ‘champagne cabaret’ that transports the audience into a heady, bubble filled overflowing, crazy party. Every act in the show is inspired by champagne, with giant bubbles, foam, a human champagne fountain and lots more surprises!”

It’s a beautifully unique addition to 2017’s Bleach Festival and a definite must-see.

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