Canberra burlesque performer and producer, Rachel Reid – aka Jazida – is deeply passionate about the alternative arts scene and the confidence she sees in her artists which grows with every performance.
“What I noticed running Jazida Productions was that the experience was having a significant and profound impact below the surface,” she says.
“What I discovered through observation and case studies was that the people who come to this artform are looking for something, or they want to reconnect themselves, or rediscover themselves.
“A lot of people start coming to class because they want to do a form of dance, but they become more and more confident with themselves. It’s been amazing to see – it makes a much bigger impact than just dance.
“We run dance classes, performance workshops and produce vibrant, fun variety nights and burlesque shows that showcase all kinds of people in fabulous celebrations of body positivity and diversity.”
Rachel is now on a mission after successfully graduating from Mill House Ventures‘ GRIST program. She is opening an alternative arts hub, Flazéda, in Belconnen, where the focus will be on fringe artforms outside of the mainstream, such as burlesque, drag, comedy, belly dance and circus.
“Flazéda will be a space where we can run more classes, more workshops, link artists up with mentors, and provide a performance space where new and established artists can perform and audiences can enjoy those performances in a safe and supportive environment,” says Rachel.
Fitting out a new alternative arts hub is an expensive business, particularly because it will be both a performance space for artists and a dance studio. Rachel and her artists will be holding a performance at The Abbey Function Centre, on Saturday, 19 December, to raise money to complete the fit-out of the hub.
Rachel says she intends to fit the hub with cameras so performances can be livestreamed, and classes can be captured for online access. The hub will be in a commercial space at Emu Bank, overlooking the waterfront, and the funds raised by the performance will help complete the venue.
Mill House Social Enterprise Accelerator program manager Irene Lemon says the hybrid business model Rachel is using to fund the hub will achieve a significant social and cultural impact for the Canberra community.
“Rachel’s work with Jazida Productions, especially in the successes she has earned during five years of delivering incredible performances and classes is the perfect foundation for a launch in social entrepreneurship,” she says.
“We have asked a lot of Rachel throughout the Mill House program, and she has risen to very high expectations to launch her new space, Flazéda.”
Flazéda will be a boutique, curated environment in which Rachel will be helping people feel comfortable with themselves, removing barriers that prevent alternate bodies from being seen and celebrated.
She says the focus for the hub will be to elevate alternate performance art, and artists, through professional development and performance opportunities.
The fundraising performance will be held at 8 pm on Saturday, 19 December, at The Abbey Function Centre, O’Hanlon Place, Nicholls.
You can book tickets to see this special performance of alternative arts through Eventbrite.