The Ruby Lady's Harem: A Boylesque Showcase

Playhouse Theatre, Dunedin

19/03/2014 - 23/03/2014

Dunedin Fringe 2014

Production Details

The Ruby Lady is a professional belly dancer based in Dunedin and Christchurch. Having studied Oriental style belly dance for over ten years and armed with a wealth of experience across the areas of teaching, performance, improvisation and choreography, the Ruby Lady’s career continues to flourish at the top of the industry.

Her style draws heavily from Egyptian belly dance with a modern cabaret twist. Her signature style utilises the aesthetics of improvisation, even in choreography and combos, through continually referencing the music in her dance. Her dynamic style fuses high energy, athletic movement with a calm grace, a peppering of intricate foot work, internalised muscle locks and lashings of fun, flirty accents. Her technical skill and precision provides a flawless visual experience, while her love of the dance is evident and intoxicating to the audience.

The Ruby Lady dances regularly in restaurants, markets, stage productions, and festivals, but her most notable successes to date have grown from her foray in event organisation. The Ruby Lady has produced and performed in several productions throughout the South Island, including the hugely successful ‘Boylesque’ which has morphed into a nationwide harem. She is a regular tutor at New Zealand belly dance festivals and is often booked for intermediate to advanced level workshops throughout the country. She has learned vivaciously from visiting international tutors in advanced workshops, including Melusina (Oz), Darshan (U.S) and Ashley Lopez (U.S) in most recent years, and names Oriental greats such as Daria Mitkevich, Saida and Randa as her artistic inspiration. She plans to continue her studies in Oriental dance by attending Belly Dance Evolution in Sydney and Belly Dance China in 2014.

By all appearances, The Ruby Lady seems to have it all; beauty, talent and the respect of the community. But she has one terrible weakness. A weakness for hot, talented men. A weakness she has kept hidden from the world…until now!

The boys of The Ruby Lady’s harem are just too talented and gorgeous to keep locked away. With a network of male burlesque performers all over the country specialising in music, dance, circus and comedy, The Ruby Lady has finally released them upon the unsuspecting public.

Any package offered by The Ruby Lady can be made extra special by inviting her harem as well, but is particularly well suited to hen’s parties. As the only belly dancer in New Zealand to offer such a unique entertainment package, make sure you experience it today!

60 mins

Bawdiness and gloriousness

Review by Hannah Molloy 21st Mar 2014

A very cheerful crowd in the tiny Playhouse Theatre always bodes well for a show that invites audience participation. Ruby Lady’s Harem most definitely invited audience participation with its less than subtle (think brick through window …) innuendo and double entendre! The audience lapped it up and partook cheerfully in the Advisor’s instructive demonstrations.

The opening scene, with the Ruby Lady herself in a long ruby red velvet dress and her harem disporting themselves on the stage around her was a little underwhelming. It was hard, at the beginning, to tell if they were being tongue in cheek or simply feeling a little awkward. I decided by the end that it was a little of both.

The Ruby Lady’s belly dance with her two henchwomen was, however divine. Balancing a three-armed candelabrum on her head while performing dainty and ever so sultry steps was clever and a tiny bit alarming. Her expression throughout was one of complacency and complete awareness of her own sensuality and general gloriousness – entirely appropriate. The belly dance was clever and colourful, with taffeta wings, dissolving the women’s bodies in perfect spirals. Belly dance really is an utter embodiment of women’s beauty, sexuality and sensuality. It seems to disseminate a sense of empowerment and joyousness, all the while ostensibly evolved to please a male-centric culture.

The male performers seemed to have been chosen for their ‘other’ talents, which ranged from dance to cirque, from David Bowiesque glamour to baton twirling, from comedy to ah… other physical attributes. Their strips ranged from quick and efficient to saucy, from sassy to slightly awkward with some clever tricks and comedic episodes thrown in here and there – the broom twirling was my favourite.

The Ruby Lady’s Advisor drew the show and its story together neatly and with quick wit and not too much respect for his audience or the occasional small technical glitch – they all seemed to be a choreographed part of his performance – and the audience lapped it up with bawdy encouragement.

In all, I would have been pleased to see more of the Ruby Lady herself, as she really was the lynchpin of the show and exquisite to watch.


NB any double entendre is purely accidental erhem…


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council