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Striptease at tech event attended by SA Premier prompts walkout

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Email Burlesque striptease performed by Anya Anastasia at tech dinner prompts walkout A corporate event attended by South Australia's Premier has come under fire for including a striptease performance, which led at least one audience member to walk out and another to lodge a formal complaint The gala dinner for the ADC Global Blockchain Summit — an event focused on blockchain technology and its applications — was held at Adelaide Oval on Monday night, with entertainment provided by award-winning Fringe performer Anya Anastasia

In her final routine, "I don't do burlesque", Ms Anastasia removed items of clothing, taking off gloves with her teeth and kicking off her shoes, in front of an audience of tech industry leaders In recent years, there has been increased scrutiny on the global tech industry, and Silicon Valley in particular, because of perceptions it is dominated by a so-called "bro culture" Ms Anastasia has defended her act, describing it as a "tongue-in-cheek … parody strip routine" which "speaks to that feminist perspective on comedy and burlesque" But Adelaide businesswoman Sonya Weiser was among those in the audience who found the performance "icky" and "uncomfortable", and said it was "totally inappropriate for a corporate event" "A leotard was the last thing she ended up with," Ms Weiser said

"She started by peeling off her gloves, then she took off the corset that was on the outside of her dress, then she started peeling off her stockings "She leant over and waved her backside at the audience so we could see her knickers "She was playing the piano meantime with her hands behind her head Ms Weiser, who has several decades of experience in the IT industry and is principal consultant for Wiser Technology Advice, wrote a formal complaint to the event's organisers "The men I spoke to at the conference the next day were also disappointed," Ms Weiser said in her email

"They were sharing messages on a social media platform on the night such as, 'what is this sh*t?' "What started out as a classy looking act ended up being a burlesque striptease for the boys to enjoy" The summit's organisers tweeted a photo of SA Premier Steven Marshall, saying he attended the gala dinner to announce the winners of an innovation challenge The Premier and the event's organisers have been contacted for comment But Ms Weiser said organisers told her "they did not know" that the performance would include a "burlesque number", and have since apologised She said the controversy highlighted the ongoing "boys club" culture, which she said was still dominant within technology companies

"The problem is when there's unconscious bias that 'everyone will enjoy what I enjoy, so let's all have something that's geared towards the boys'," she said Routine an 'empowering' parody, performer says Ms Anastasia said she was "surprised" by the fallout surrounding her performance, which she said was intended to parody the attitudes it has been accused of endorsing She said the routine was one of five songs she performed on Monday night, adding she does not consider herself to be a burlesque performer "Burlesque as a genre can be really degrading for women and this is my take on it and I find this perspective quite empowering," Ms Anastasia said "I'm singing 'I don't do burlesque' and it's like saying, 'I hope you didn't come here to see me undress, I don't do burlesque' and it's very silly

" Ms Anastasia was recently named the Adelaide Fringe's best female comedy cabaret performer She intends to keep the routine in her act, but said the controversy "highlights some discussion that's worth having" "That is something I'm going to keep performing and it's up to organisers of events whether they feel like my work is appropriate for that context, it's not up to me I was booked to perform, I turned up and I performed," she said "I really feel like it's a shame it wasn't taken in the spirit that was intended, but always I take comments on board

"Sadly, it's a time when people will sometimes only remember or comment on how many articles of clothing have been removed" The State Government-sponsored ADC Global Blockchain Summit concluded on Wednesday

Source: Youtube

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