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WERK: INSIDE VOGUING CULTURE

First introduced to mainstream culture via Madonna’s eponymously titled single “Vogue” and the documentary “Paris Is Burning”, Voguing is a form of dancing and dance battling originating from New York City’s gay black & latino house music scene. Re-appropriated into mainstream dancing and runway couture, the form of dancing grew strongly throughout the 90’s, centered around DJs like Junior Vazquez who threw legendary parties where the dance battles took place on a near weekly basis.

The art form, and the music associated with it, saw itself being revived outside of NYC once again in recent years when dance music labels like Night Slugs, Mad Decent & Fade2Mind (and their associated DJs) began supporting some of the modern scene’s key songs and DJs in their sets. The music associated with voguing is known as “Ballroom”, and is mostly centered around samples from a song called the “Ha Dance” by legendary NYC House Music duo Masters At Work:

Featuring a distinct, reverbed soaked whipping metallic crash, the samples pulled from this song have continued to anchor a majority of Ballroom beats produced to this day. The modern day leader of this scene is none other than New Jersey’s own MikeQ, who has become a defacto ambassador for the scene, cross pollinating Ballroom beats with modern electronic dance music, and seeing his music released on labels like Fade2Mind, Mad Decent & others. Below is an excerpt from the XLR8R feature which discusses the history of Vogue culture & MikeQ’s role in it’s current revival;

“Now a member of the House of Ebony, MikeQ went to his first ball at the Globe rental hall in downtown Newark in 2003, and made his first track a year later. (He started out with an Akai MPC1000, but currently uses a variety of sound programs and a “voice changing box.”) His Qween Beats Productions company is a revolving collaboration between himself and various vogue MCs, known as commentators. As for his musical style, his quiet, reserved manner in interviews belies an artful canniness that makes room for a wicked sense of humor: His recent hit, “I Whip My Ha,” closes the Willow Smith-Masters at Work vogue loop, and the just-released “Maurica” jumped on a comedy routine internet meme almost before it materialized.” (READ MORE via XLR8R)

On Friday, November 7th until Monday, November 10th Celebrities Nightclub will celebrate its 30th Anniversary as one of the crown jewels in our city – remembering three decades of history, community, celebrity & more as a heartfelt thank you to the city of Vancouver for contributing decades of iconic culture into this legendary venue.

Our very own James Steck swung by with others to discuss the #CELEBS30YR on Global News Thurs, Nov 6th.

Join us this Sunday for a VERY special showcase of Voguing culture & Ballroom beats for the #CELEBS30YR anniversary when MIKEQ provides the soundtrack to battles from Vancity’s finest dancers:

Butch Realness

Androgynous, hairy, too dirty to clean your act up!

European Runway

High end couture, far away from being BASIC!

Drag Queen

Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the most ferocious queen of them all!?

Sex Siren

Fierce, cunty, make all the basic bitches fall to their knees. Bring that sex appeal to the runway.

Vogue

The House’s come together to to battle on the runway, bringing the old way, the new way and the five elements of vogue fem.

– Matthew Owchar + Matthew Nicholas

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