Kloset Kase Blog

Voguing was and still is about opulence
October 22, 2008, 8:30 pm
Filed under: culture, dance | Tags: , ,


Above is Part 1 of 11 of Paris is Burning (1990)
(click on more at bottom to view the rest)

Paris is Burning
(1990) is a riveting documentary on how “Voguing” came to be. Then, upper middle classes of a more privileged upbringing were convinced “Voguing” caught flight when in was first featured in Madonna’s 1990 music video Vogue, aired on MTV. But let me correct this thinking by sprinkling some understanding upside some heads-of the importance of Opulence for these then endangered NYC urbanites. This film is a terribly sincere behind the scenes look of the underground stories of poor gay minorities (mostly African Americans and Latinos) who perfected the art of mimicking “the great white way of the rich and decadent,” as seen in Dynasty, an American prime time television series based on a wealthy oil family, aired throughout the 80’s on ABC.

Ground breaking “Voguing” is a dance style integrating poses made up of Egyptian tuts, gymnastics and awkward moves.  This phenomena unravelled in what were called “drag balls.” In these, New York youths infatuated with fashion from broken homes, tuned out daily prejudice, struggles and acted out their fantasies in partaking in raucous celebrations of grandiose self expression, boasting with dignity and personal pride. The name “Voguing” was inspired by Vogue magazine, because the poses used in the dance were borrowed from endless alluring spreads of many an issue. For these dancers playing up the escapist role of images of high couture fashion-status and wealth became an affirmation of love, acceptance and joy within the drag ball culture. Before”Voguing” there was “Shade,” that’s when one person casts shade at someone they don’t like, and before “Shade” there was “Reading,” which is what many of us do when we size down a person we’re not feeling the least bit. In an instance where all the aforementioned issues became a problem, there was nothing else to be done, but to take the realness of the beef to the dance floor and watch those two tear each other apart (figure of speech of course). That’s how “Voguing” first flourished amongst many transsexuals, trans-genders, homosexuals and women within this particular community from the 80’s to the 90’s, and up to the present. After watching this documentary you may not be able to censor yourself, from letting loose in your own fantasy next time your romper is on a dance floor. Revolutionize the person that is you and let yourself go. Now shut up and strike a pose. Dixie Rose Fernandez

In this clip below we see Willie Ninja, Mother of The Ninja House (RIP).


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