“Strike a pose! ... Magical, life’s a ball, so get up on the dancefloor, Vogue!” sang Madonna in her 1990 hit, first presenting voguing to a mainstream audience. The same year saw the premiere of the documentary film Paris is Burning. Influenced by the magazines, runways, and models of the glamorous fashion world, voguing, part of New York’s gay, transsexual, African- and Latin-American subculture, has its origins in the Harlem of the 1960s and 1970s. Since then, so-called “ballroom communities” have sprung up worldwide, from Germany to France to Japan. Voguing is queer, loud, expressive, and more than just a dance style. Marginalized from white, heteronormative, and privileged society, members created so-called “houses” with “ballrooms”—their own spaces where they could pose as stars and imitate a glamorous world—and that as opulently and naturally as possible. Here, Vogue Balls merged into competitions, with a jury choosing a winner in each category.
Inspired by Irving Penn’s countless covers for Vogue, the dancers will gather at C/O Berlin and translate the fashion shots, portraits, and still lifes of the photographer of the century into the movements and poses typical of voguing
Photo: Roza Ahmad