Friday 24 February 2012

First Dance Friday: Strikes A Pose

My best friend and her betrothed love house music, and that's all there is to it.

In case you hadn't noticed, there are no slow songs in house. There is no techno Everlong. It's all above 118 bpm (mostly way above), and it doesn't let up. So what do you do for your first dance?

Baby, you vogue.

Vogue is not just a Madonna song. In fact, forget that shit RIGHT NOW. Voguing is a form of dance that came out of Harlem and the drag-tastic LGBT ballroom scene. Balls are a sort of fantasy contest, organised by close-knit 'families' known as Houses (eg. The House Of Ebony, The House Of LeBeija, The House Of Extravaganza) where members get to parade as part of a runway competition.  Voguing is a form of display that sets each pose to a strong house beat in a kind of face-off between competitors who wish to out-style each other. Most of the moves come from glamming up (putting on gloves, applying makeup etc) but cut it sharp, make it into dance, and the effect is devastating.

That famous Madonna video really is just the commercial tip of a very fabulous iceberg. If you're still in any doubt, check out the award-winning documentary Paris Is Burning, the film that brought this art to the mainstream in 1990.

There are still voguing competitions now, although the "new way" seems to owe a bigger debt to street-dance and (I think) is not as jaw-dropping as the starkly precise and symmetrical "old way". Whatever, I think this would be a VERY impressive first dance, gay or straight. Whether we can persuade Catie's fiance of this is a different matter....

Anyway, onwards and upwards to a very fabulous weekend. The House Of Penny is open to all applicants who wish to out-vogue the competition, so strike a pose, girls...

No comments:

Post a Comment