Lola The Vamp has become the first dancer to perform the art of burlesque for her PhD in a project lauded as 'showing real bravery and originality'. Her acts, famed for referencing both burlesque history and high arts, were an integral part of her degree submission,'working at a very advanced level and developing practice skills with originality and sophistication'. She graduates with no revisions required - a rare coup in academia. 'By going beyond the exploitation/empowerment binary and placing her work in the aesthetic discipline required for a number of traditional forms (mask, ballet, bodily inscription, the manipulation of fetishes, the candidate moves the discussion about burlesque along and places it deep in our growing understanding of performance as a dynamic interplay between communicative craft and audience expectation'.
Her course comprised a written thesis and creative component, both of which were assessed by independent academics. It is relatively new within academia to include creative components in research degrees such as a PhD.
Lola's career has seen her introduce burlesque to Australia as a pioneer of the revived performance form. Since her debut as an auditionee for Dita Von Teese in 2002, Lola (lolathevamp.com) has become internationally recognised for her performances, regularly headlining major burlesque events and supporting Nick Cave and Grinderman on their 2007 Australian tour, much to the delight of the musicians!
Of course, now the central question is, what DID she west beneath her graduation gown? Winkeyface.