Sukki Singapora, the first international burlesque performer from Singapore, is a global star who has performed in world class shows around the world. She has been recognised for her efforts and achievements worldwide, having been nominated for London’s Asian Women of Achievement Awards for being a role model to all Asian women and men in the Arts scene. Sukki has been featured on FHM India and Esquire Magazine, and was the first ever Burlesque performer to receive a Royal Invitation to Buckingham Palace. SimplySxy takes this unique opportunity to interview Sukki on her amazing costumes, her role as the founder of The Singapore Burlesque Club and the Sexhibition cinema commercial.
SimplySxy: Hi Sukki, we are really pleased to have you on SimplySxy. We have watched a number of your splendid performances on YouTube and are intrigued by the eclectic mix of indie Bollywood that you have injected into the classic Hollywood glamour that is synonymous to burlesque acts. Who and where do you draw your inspiration from?
Sukki: When I first found out about burlesque, it was via the old American stars—as Asian burlesque performers were few and far between!—so much of my inspiration came from that old style “bump and grind.” However being the first burlesque performer from Singapore, I felt it was important to portray my heritage in my acts, and pay homage to Bollywood and Chinese performers such as Barbara Yung, so as time went on I began to develop my own style. Much of my inspiration comes from my cultural upbringing—I literally wear my heart on my sleeve when it comes to my costumes!
SimplySxy: You have some of the most amazing stage costumes! Do you work exclusively with any designers in particular?
Sukki: Every stage costume starts with an idea or an emotion which I turn into a sketch on paper. I draw out how I imagine the pieces to look like, and then work with different people to help turn those sketches into a reality. Most of my outfits are created with the incredibly talented Kiku Boutique, from the UK, who are the best in the world at turning my dreams into reality!
SimplySxy: What are the common stereotypes in burlesque and in light of your recent victory in legalizing burlesque in Singapore this week, do you think the Asian community in general is ready to accept burlesque as a mainstream performance?
Sukki: I think many people expect every burlesque performance to be a carbon copy of the American style—there’s a stereotypical Hollywood silhouette in burlesque, and as an Asian performer, although I do hark back to traditional burlesque costuming, I like to challenge it, and put my own twist on it. In terms of acceptance, it’s never going to be easy to go up against traditional values and ideas, however I think the more understanding there is for it being an art form, the more countries will follow the example of Singapore this week.
SimplySxy: As the founder of The Singapore Burlesque Club, can you share with us more about it as well as the type of burlesque events and workshops that are conducted?
Sukki: I founded The Singapore Burlesque Society in 2012 when I was approached by many other Singaporean women (and men!) who were interested in burlesque, but were too afraid to try it or didn’t know how to go about it. It started out as a community to support each other creatively, and then workshops and shows were introduced when it grew to become The Singapore Burlesque Club. Until this week, however, full burlesque performances and tuition in Singapore were a legal grey area, and so many of the workshops were conducted in secret or outside of the country by my incredibly brave members—those were some pretty challenging times for me! All of the shows also had to be held internationally, however members and students knew that if ever they wanted to make a career out of burlesque, that the Club would always be there to support Asian burlesque talent.
SimplySxy: I am sure our readers are very interested in your upcoming projects. Could you share with us some of these and also let us in on the sexhibition cinema commercial?
Sukki: Of course! This August, I’ll be headlining my Henna Diamonds burlesque act at Sexhibition—The Erotic Event of the year—and in the run up to that I’ve just finished filming my debut UK cinema commercial for it which comes out on Friday 13th February. This year I’ll also be returning to New York to co-produce my 3rd annual run of the largest Asian burlesque event in the world, The Asian Burlesque Spectacular on May 30th as well as returning to Singapore for some extremely special events, which I’m both emotional and excited about, I can’t say any more than that! But if you want to see me sooner, I’ll be debuting the first peek of my Henna Diamonds act in London at the Café de Paris on Saturday 21st and 28th February this month, which is going to be my biggest, most elaborate act yet. I can’t wait!
SimplySxy: Burlesque is associated with sexiness, performing hot dance moves with alluring outfits. Do you have any tips for our readers who wish to bring burlesque into the bedroom to spice things up but have no clue how to start?
Sukki: Burlesque is all about body confidence and feeling sexy about you. Instead of thinking what will the other person like? I think it’s important to ask: what do I feel great in? Because at the end of the day, if you feel sexy and confident, then you will exude sexiness.
SimplySxy: One last question before we sign off. How do you define “sexy”?
Sukki: For me sexy is a mindset – feeling confident in your own skin. There’s nothing sexier than a person’s smile when they’re feeling great!
Visit Sukki Singapora to find out more about her at http://www.sukkisingapora.com/
All images courtesy of Sukki Singapora
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