Guest Writer: Jonathan Smithee
The Vogue Ball makes you feel alive.
If you have never been, it is a visual feast. The scene was famously popularised by Madonna in her 1990 hit Vogue, and more recently in Ryan Murphy’s TV drama Pose.
But host Rikki Beadle-Blair opened up with a history lesson; voguing and the ballroom scene comes from the queer black and Latino communities.
He then tells us that none of us are too black or white, too fat or thin, too gay or straight. We are all beautiful – it’s an empowering message, and one that sets up what The Vogue Ball is all about.
The artistry of everybody involved in the Ball comes together and elicits screams, gasps, finger snapping and sends everybody home astonished.
The theme is disco – perfect for an event of such inherent fabulousness. There was so much glitter, the soundtrack was perfect. It was pure Studio 54. Given the background of the Ball scene itself, it would be easy to shrug the theme off as somewhat lazy.
The Ball moves so fast that it can be hard, as a reviewer, to keep up with everything that happens. But every single House brought it and then some. This cannot be overstated.
It was evident immediately in the first category; Fantasy. Watching the House of LIPA strut down the runway with an alien bursting out of someone’s stomach was hilarious, surprising and spectacular.
And so it continues. Each House in each category (Solo, Group Choreography, Lip Sync and Sex Siren) gave the judges – including Joanne Anderson, the first black female Mayor of Liverpool, which led to some amusing asides from Beadle-Blair – some difficult decisions.
There may have been winners in each individual category and an overall winner for the night, but that’s not really what it’s about. Each and every house deserves their due. So, we’ll close by sending our heartfelt congratulations to all of them.
This is one of the very best events in the entire North West. Hopefully, the House of Suarez will be staging the Manchester Ball in the February. If you missed this one – go to that one! I can guarantee that you will leave feeling invincible.
Photo Credits: Gary Dougherty