Last Tuesday, the categories and world-class music acts appearing at Australia’s biggest vogue ball, Sissy Ball, were revealed. Presented by Sydney Mardi Gras and Red Bull Music, Sissy Ball will take to the Carriageworks runway on Saturday, February 23.
Originating from 1960s New York, voguing is a style of modern dance and self-expression that came to represent the socio-political struggles of the LGBTQIA+ community, and offered an alternative family for LGBTQIA+ youth. Asia-Pacific’s LGBTQIA+ vogue talent will continue this tradition as they compete in various houses, including House of Slé, House of Luna and House of Iman, and strut down the runway to the exuberant beats and performances of various international talent. The categories for this year are Hand Performance, Runway, Face, Sex Siren, Female Figure and Vogue Fem, which will combine all of the talents into one.
Legendary New York DJ MikeQ offers his impressive experience in the ballroom scene to curate music that will energise the runway performers as they dance-off for Sissy Ball’s Grand Prize. Accompanying MikeQ will be fellow New York underground ballroom icon, Byrell The Great. Rising up the ranks from the Kiki party scene to become a renowned producer and DJ, Byrell the Great’s modern ballroom tunes will have audiences feeding off the contagious energy of the vogue talent. Of course, what show is complete without hype verses, which 23-year-old Brisbane-via-Fiji rapper Jesswar will perform in her infectiously bold style. Another New York rap legend, Precious, will not only provide some killer verses when she performs alongside MikeQ and Byrell the Great, but is set to co-host the runway show with the charismatic hype man and United States vogue dance sensation Dashaun Wesley. With a resumé that includes dancing alongside Rhianna in her 2016 Anti World Tour, Dashaun will clearly know a thing or two about how to captivate an audience, as he commentates the dynamic vogue creatives.
Added to the mix is US vogue icon Leiomy Maldonado who will be head judge of the show-stopping runway performances. Also with an impressive resumé that includes having worked alongside Rihanna, FKA Twigs and Icona Pop, Leiomy is sure to recognise talent when she sees it.
All of this wouldn’t be possible without Sydney-based interdisciplinary artist and House of Slé mother, Bhenji Ra, who is responsible for curating Sissy Ball. Bhenji Ra unveiled the six categories of Sissy Ball on Tuesday. These categories explore all things movement, through various themes that range from national and cultural exploration to the performance of sexiness and invigorating dance battles.
Sissy Ball takes place on February 23 at Carriageworks and you can purchase your tickets here; http://www.mardigras.org.au/events/sissy-ball