Cheap Glam tackle Paris Is Burning

I’m popping up in Bristol next week as one half of a performance duo with Leiza McLeod. We’ve been through various incarnations, and this time around it will be as Cheap Glam that we take to the stage at The Cube Microplex.

We one of the acts preceding classic gay film Paris is Burning at one of the Beacons, Icons and Dykons nights run by that master-mistress of laconic mischief, Tom Marshman.

photo by Oliver Rudkin

Tom Marshman, photo by Oliver Rudkin

The Paris is Burning film documents the Black and Hispanic vogueing scene in 80’s New York, and it’s a feast of costume and reinvention with an arc which skillfully brings out the joy of defiance against a never distant backdrop of tragedy.

Leiza and I will be doing our best to warm-up the audience for the film, without dropping any spoilers, although spoilers has possibly acquired a new meaning in our attempts at vogue dance moves….

You can find out more about the night here on facebook, as well as on the Beacons, Icons and Dykons wordpress page.

To give you a taste of how it should be done, here’s vogue’s real deal, Willi Ninja. I was going to embed his Deep In Vogue video for Malcolm McLaren, but I just came across this fun appearance from the late 90’s where he brings on some other extraordinary dancers to join him on stage. The video quality isn’t great, but a decade after Paris is Burning, it shows something of the evolution and diversification of the vogue style, it’s appropration by others, and maybe hints at the reasons why wide audiences are still attracted to the Paris Is Burning film today. One being, I think, that vogueing has become too organically big to be claimed by any one group I think.

If you’re in Bristol next Thursday night, come along for an interesting night. Leiza and I will do our best to entertain you in our little segment!

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