Montreal Vogue

Let’s Have a Kiki | Montreal Vogue is a growing scene

by • August 24, 2017 • Made in MTL, Village VibesComments (0)334

Montreal is notoriously loud and proud, and this year’s Fierté Montreal Pride 2017 celebrations were nothing short of a rainbow explosion of love and awesomeness.

For myself personally, two things stood out to me at this year’s Fierté Montreal Pride celebrations.

While walking in the Pride Parade on Sunday, standing in the moment of silence with my 8-year old drag queen son, fist raised, tears flowing. It was one of the most profoundly powerful experiences of my life and I feel honored to have been there to witness it. It’s a feeling I will carry with me forever and is a constant reminder to keep moving forward, no matter what.

The second was the Kiki Ball on August 13th at Bain Mathieu.

The Montreal Vogue and Ballroom scenes are up and coming, and worthy of note.

Montreal Vogue

Photo by Alison Slattery Photography

Before we delve into that, it’s always good to have an understanding of its history, its importance and why ballroom culture is still relevant and celebrated.

When most people hear the word Vogue, their first association is Madonna circa 1990 but its origins run deeper than the mainstream pop music icon that popularized it. Vogue and ballroom culture was created by African American and Latino Americans in Harlem, NY in the 80’s. Primarily out of the necessity and need for safe spaces for queer black and Latino youth, but also as a defiant way to express its art and culture and fashion scene.

Vogue, as a dance style, started out as primarily modelesque posing, angular forms, and linear body movements, effectively battling it out on a runway. Vogue, as a dance style, has obviously progressed since then but the fundamentals remain the same; Old way, New way and Vogue femme. The ball room scene was and still is a vessel of creative expression, dance and music.

The need for that creativity is reflected in the rise of the Kiki scene,  an LGBTQ youth initiative that works to keep this scene alive and thriving by giving the platform to the next generation.

I’m proud to say that Montreal has a growing Vogue Kiki scene!

The In Deep Kiki Vogue Ball was a nautically themed dream!!

Montreal Vogue

Photo by Alison Slattery Photography

Last February, dancer-choreographer Gerard X Reyes organized the first Kiki function in Montreal at Espace Sans Luxe, which saw about 110 attendees and essentially left people wanting more. FYI for those still wanting more, Gerard X Reyes offers Vogue classes too!

June 3rd, 2017, Montreal’s Elle Barbara and Toronto’s Twysted Mugler hosted the War of the Elements Vogue Ball at Sala Rossa, which sold out, and solidly established Montreal as not only a serious contender in the Ballroom scene but to also introduce some incredible local talent.

This year with Fierté Montreal Pride, Gerard X Reyes turned out the In Deep Kiki Vogue Ball. It was a HUGE, the event saw hundreds of attendees and was one of Montreal’s most successful Balls, so far, in my humble opinion.

Hosted by Bronzé and Amazon Wayne, this event was graced by DJs Skyshaker(Qween Beat NYC), Jaymie Silk and Ativan Halen. Judged by Legendary Chi Chi Mizrahi(NYC), Twiggy Pucci Garcon(NYC), Legendary Snoopy Disney(TO), Founder – Danger Constantine Agamotto(TO) and Amazon Miyoko(To).

In Deep Kiki Vogue Ball included categories such as Commentator vs Commentator, Virgin Runway, Virgin Vogue, Bizarre, Sex Siren, Non-Binary Best dressed, Runway and Vogue Femme performance.

Vogue, my friends, is alive and well in our city. Although it would be a little far fetched to say the Montreal is Burning, I can solidly say that it is starting to smolder and I look forward to watching it take flame.

Montreal Vogue

Photo by Alison Slattery Photography

 

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