Thursday, January 31, 2008

Passionately dancing on a stage, and invoking of a runway

Since I started this blog, I have found myself really inspired whenever I come across a dance performance on the Internet that shows creativity, artistic progression, and professionalism among dancers. Here is an example of such an inspirational dance performance.

Entitled "Passion Dance Runway," this dance performance was choreographed by Julianne Diaz. In this dance number, I appreciated the use of the stage, so that all five dancers could have the space to dance. The music is great ("SexyBack" by Justin Timberlake), and the ladies dance with a powerful confidence.

For more information about these talented dancers, please visit the official Myspace page for Passion Dance Company.


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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Giselle Xtravaganza: Working the Runway

I came across a Ball personality, Giselle Xtravaganza, on YouTube. Appearing in a compilation video of her runway work, Miss Giselle is seen here showing her modeling talents.

While there is no dancing in this video, I selected it, because it represents another positive dimension of the empowerment that can be achieved by members of the Ball community.

Miss Giselle, who is the Mother of the House of Xtravaganza, is recognized for her accomplishments in the categories of: FemQueen Runway, FemQueen Realness, FemQueen Face, and FemQueen Body. When combined, you can imagine how these qualities about Miss Giselle contribute to her confidence on the runway. Take a look:

For her contributions to the Ball community, and for her work in opening the door to inspire others to take their talents outside the Ball community, Miss Giselle was featured in the documentary How Do I Look.


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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Underground Dancing: Inspiration for Developing New Dance Moves

I found a few dance videos on YouTube, which show dance students demonstrating their dancing talents. What I like about the Internet is that you can find so many sources of inspiration about dancing.

The name of the dance company performing in all three videos is the Underground Legendz Dance Team, which is a dance troupe from North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina.

If anyone has examples of new forms of dancing choreography, especially "underground dancing," I invite you to post comments with links.


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Saturday, January 12, 2008

1989: The year 'voguing' began to reach the mass media

I have created a list of newspaper and magazine articles, which document the early history of voguing. These articles make it clear that 1989 marked the critical year when news about the vogue style began to spread across the United States. I hope you find this historical information useful and educational. This post only contains reference information that can be independently verified by visiting a news website. On the Squidoo page for How Do I Look, I assembled a list of music videos (based on an interview with Willi Ninja conducted by the filmmaker Wolfgang Busch) that chart the artistic progression of voguing in pop music. Please leave comments to this post, if you know of other links that record the early history of voguing. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Thierry Mugler took 'voguing' to his Paris fashion show

In 1989, Paris fashion designer Thierry Mugler invited two vogue dancers* from New York to perform at his Parish fashion show, so reported Time magazine.

With background training in ballet dancing, Mr. Mugler was one of the first fashion designers to incorporate the vogue dance style into his runway show.

Read the Time magazine article that refers to Thierry Mugler's 1989 fashion show.

* Note: I promise to try to identify who were the dancers who performed in Mr. Mugler's fashion show. If anyone knows who these dancers might be, please leave a comment to this post.

The New Yorker magazine features a sketch of 'voguing'

According to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, even The New Yorker magazine was able to recognize a national trend forming around "voguing" when it featured a sketch about the dance style.

Read the news digest that refers to The New Yorker magazine's sketch.

In May, the New York fashion industry organized the "Love Ball," an AIDS benefit, featuring a 'voguing' performance

The Design Industries Foundation for AIDS organized a fundraising event at the Roseland Ballroom on May 10, 1989. According to The New York Times, the event was to have featured "an extravagant presentation of 'vogueing,' a stylized version of runway modeling based on poses from Vogue magazine."

The Love Ball featured a rising star in the voguing dance movement: Willi Ninja. "The average person can do it, just using the hand movements," Willi Ninja, a top voguer, told The New York Times.

A couple of years later, The New York Times looked back at the original Love Ball and noted:

"The original Love Ball in May 1989 introduced voguing to a wider public and featured the spectacle of poodle-walking voguers from Barneys New York competing against staff members of Metropolitan Home magazine dressed as telephone tables and --setees. The event raised $400,000 for the Design Industries Foundation for AIDS."

Read the benefit's teaser and the recap, which were published by The New York Times.

Time strikes a pose

Following the success of the Love Ball, Time magazine reported about the role of Patricia Field in helping to spread the success of voguing:

Myra Christopher, a salesclerk in designer Patricia Field's New York City boutique, helped vogueing flourish after she went to a ball in the winter of 1987. Says she: "Here were these kids getting prizes and trophies for things they get made fun of for in the real world." She persuaded her boss to start a vogueing group called the House of Field.

The article also noted that:

... Teens are getting glimpses of vogueing in a music video playing on MTV, singer Taylor Dayne's Tell It to My Heart. The craze has already spread to Chicago. Predicts New York City video producer David Bronstein: "I see a lot of choreographers who could be influenced. I see a big crossover there for stage, for TV, for film."

Read the complete Time magazine article.

Voguing goes to Kansas

Word about voguing reached readers of The Wichita Eagle before the end of May 1989, in an article that reported that voguing was New York's latest "in" thing.

Read a digest of The Wichita Eagle article.

In June, the St. Louis Post-Disptach published an article on the new 'voguing' trend eminating from New York

Read a digest of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch article.

In July, The New York Times published an article about Malcolm McLaren's dance hit

Before Madonna released "Vogue," Malcolm McLaren had created buzz for his dance hit, Deep in Vogue.

"An exercise in dramatic stylistic juxtaposition similar to Fans, Waltz Darling blends sweeping symphonic waltzes with jagged pop-funk rhythms, and was partly conceived to accompany the fad called vogueing, in which dancers parody the poses of runway-fashion models. Mr. McLaren has been touring Europe with a five-member vogueing team recruited in New York City. And Deep in Vogue, a single from Waltz Darling, is the most played 12-inch single in dance clubs around the country." **

Read the complete article in The New York Times.

** Note: If anyone knows who the five dancers were, who toured with Mr. McLaren, please leave a comment to this post.

In September, the Chicago Sun-Times reflects on the latest dance craze

In an article, the reporter Richard Roeper reflected back on the summer of 1989 as the "summer of dweebs, Batman and Vogueing."

Read the news digest of the Chicago Sun-Times article.

Vouge dancers performed in St. Louis

Vogueing was performed by the Willie Ninja Troupe.

Read a summary of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch article.


And in late 1989, Madonna began recording the song, "Vogue."


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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Poses on the Runway: Another early example of voguing: 'Deep In Vogue'

Willi Ninja was featured in the music video for the song 'Deep In Vogue'

"In 1989, [Malcolm McLaren released] the album Waltz Darling, a funk/disco/vogueing inspired album. Waltz Darling ... helped to spread the news about the previously underground practice of vogueing" (see the Wikipedia page for the complete, unedited information about Malcolm McLaren).

The music video for 'Deep In Vogue' (from the album Waltz Darling) featured the dancer and choreographer, Willi Ninja. In this music video, dancers paraody the poses of runway-fashion models.

Ballet Neo dance company also performed 'Deep In Vogue'

The dance company BalletNeo performed Malcolm McLaren's hit with a troupe of 6 dancers, using vogue choreography, in an undated video posted on YouTube.


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Saturday, January 5, 2008

Awesome spontaneous voguing, including a brief attitudinal "Umbrella face-off"

"Clashing egos" demonstrated by dance

Supposedly, some interpretations of voguing can take the form of throwing shade. Here, you can see some of that attitude among dancers during a public gay pride event in Jersey City, NJ. (Look for the acknowledgement of the audience to the flashes of attitude in the dancing.)

Look for a brief shoulder/arm/hands dance movement that is highly reminiscent of a trademark of Willi Ninja's (at 3:13-3:16).


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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Jumpstyle tutorial video: how to jump to the beat of the music

Searching on YouTube, I found a great video that is a tutorial of a style of dancing called Jumpstyle. I wish I could dance like this, it looks so exciting.

I also found a nifty blog that is dedicated to posting dance video tutorials. The Dance Tutorial Blog promises to show you how to learn to dance different styles, such as breakdance, hip-hop, and freestyle.


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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Early example of voguing: Queen Latifah's music video for 'Come Into My House'

I found the music video for Queen Latifah's hit song "Come Into My House" on YouTube. The music video for "Come Into My House" was released before Madonna's music video for "Vogue," according to the dancer and choreographer Willi Ninja. Queen Latifah's music video features Willi Ninja and some early examples of vogue dancing.

Unfortunately, embedding of the video was disabled, so the only way you can watch the video would be to open the link for "Come Into My House" in a new window.


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