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Local burlesque icon marks a milestone

Long-time Redfern resident and celebrated burlesque dancer Mia Mortal is celebrating 40 years in show business. Her lithe, expressive and sensual dance technique has been enjoyed by audiences throughout Australia and across the world.

Mia’s dance pieces often contain themes, ranging from the importance of inner peace to the appreciation of the individual body. “Burlesque has quite a range, from light to dark, and my dancing leans towards the lighter side”, Mia said.

Mia began her career in 1981 during the halcyon years of Kings Cross at the Barrel Theatre. She then travelled to London, where she performed at renowned Soho venues The Windmill and Paul Raymond’s Revue. From there she went on to perform in Israel, Portugal and throughout South East Asia.

Upon returning to Australia in the late ’80s Mia resumed working at various Darlinghurst, Surry Hills and Kings Cross venues as well as interstate. For a number of years she collaborated with celebrated local jazz and blues musician Jimmy Vargas.

In recent years Mia has continued to perform at a variety of venues around Sydney, including iconic Surry Hills art gallery and performance space, Tap Gallery. Manager Lesley Dimmick said, “Mia is part of the heart and soul of Tap Gallery”.

Come along and see Mia’s next performance at Tap Gallery in the Red Hot Retro Cabaret Show on Saturday May 29. For details go to

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