Along with learning the sexual soap opera lives of the Muxe in Oaxaca, Mexico and reading a lot of Butler and Foucault, one of the many movies we watched that semester (no I will not focus on The Crying Game) was Paris is Burning!
That shit was great! I knew gay men were fantaboulous, but this just took it to the next level. Paris is Burning explored the underground lives of gay men in the NYC area in the late 80's and early 90's who participated in these grand balls and battled the different houses they were all associated with. Llike in fashion, except instead of designing for the House of Chanel, you would compete for the House of Xtravaganza or for the House of Ninja. Think of these houses like ummm... gay counter culture frats? idk?
The way the they would compete would be by this dance/pose fusion called Voguing. If you were thinking it then yes, Madonna got the idea for Vogue by once viewing some of these houses battle. She even had some of them participate in the video as dancers.
If any of you are ANTM freaks, you my have noticed that in the later seasons they brought on Benny Ninja (from the House of Ninja, he was also highlighted in the documentary Paris is Burning) as a posing expert for the model contestants.
Ok so I was not expecting to write a culture lesson because all I really wanted to do was post this:
If you watched America's Best Dance Crew on MTV last season, you may remember Fysh N' Chicks did the Freakum Dress dance (FF to about 45:00 min) and at the end of the mix they played this track that was singing "leyomi on ya girl..." and were dancing similar to the way these guys perform and then the girl in the middle fell out in Leyomi fashion.
Well Leyomi is this hott bitch (man lol) in the red wig killing it. (and yes after hearing that song and seeing FN'C perform, I did scour ytube looking for some chick name leyomi and I find it was a fierce dude! haha)
I guess even nearly 30 years later that Voguing underground culture is still alive and well.
Get it Bitches!
house of M.J♥MMY