Glitta Supernova, our bizarre queen of cabaret
YOU think Lady Gaga is bizarre? Well, think again.
Fairy godmother of bent burlesque and self-described 'sex clown' (a term she coined in the 1990s), Glitta Supernova is one of Australia's key queer culture makers.
Ms Supernova (yes, it's her real name) has been creating and producing shows for over 20 years, disarming the imbalance of power in a sexual, camp and humorous way.
But little is known of the young girl that moved from Lennox Head in the 1990s.
Formerly known as Sonja Bijl, this daughter of Dutch emigrants came to the Ballina shire in the 1970s.
Ms Supernova said her family moved here from the western suburbs of Sydney.
"In the 1970s, my family made the pilgrimage here following the hairy people," she said, referring to the alternative lifestylers influx during and after the Aquarius Festival.
"They took to the road as hippies and they pitched a tent in East Ballina,then we moved to Lennox Head.
"So I grew up in Lennox with a bunch of hippy kids, and went to Lennox Head Primary School and Ballina High" she said.
Ms Supernova was 17 when she moved to Sydney looking for adventure.
Not long later she legally changed her name to Glitta Supernova.
The performer is back to the Northern Rivers for the Guilty Pleasures Burlesque and festiuval this weekend, after she brought her solo cabaret show for the first time to the area as part of the Tropical Fruits Festival 2015.
Ms Supernova said her shows are not typical cabaret gigs.
"(They are) a hybrid of burlesque and cabaret, a type of bent burlesque through laughter and chaos," she said.
"It's not recreating feathers and fans and 1950's pin ups, it's about making a parody of where we are right now as society.
Ms Supernova opened Australia's first burlesque club in the late 90s well before it became an 'in' thing and quickly established herself as a pioneer of the art.
"It was only until seven years later burlesque started to take off in Australia," she said.
"Then it was very underground... it was kind of a cult club. Everyone came and it was it was all crazy and dark and mysterious," she said.
"We were actually recreating burlesque as it was meant to be in the modern age, we were making satire on society and politics, our bodies, and sexuality... in the dictionary the word burlesque is to parody culture and society in a vulgar and humorous way."
Since then, her club has been nominated for two Green Room awards, one of Australia's most prestigious stage performance accolades.
- At the Guilty Pleasures Cabaret and Burlesque Festival this weekend from today.