The Manchester Academy
I watched Paris Is Burning about a year ago now, and it completely transformed my perception of drag, made me feel honoured and excited to be part of the LGBTQ community, and left me mourning for those who are no longer fortunate enough to be with us. The Vogue Ball at Manchester Academy, as part of Queer Contact, took me on a similar journey. An emotional whirlwind from start to finish, I left feeling elated and so proud of the performers and of Manchester as a whole.
The Vogue Ball was the perfect blend of club culture and high art, reminiscent of 1970s/80s New York and celebrating vogue culture. This was my first time attending a Vogue Ball and I absolutely loved it.
The ball was split into six categories: fantasy, solo, realness, lip sync, sex appeal and choreography. For each category, a House would have to compete in an extravaganza of costume and drama. The competition was fierce and each of the Houses was fantastic – I was blown away by the standard of the costume, the skill of the dancers, and the humour of the lip syncing (got to love a good lip sync!). A special mention has to go to House of Krip, the first disability-led house at the ball – bringing fantastic performances that had them almost constantly at the top of the competition – winning them Best House of the night.
The structure of the show gave time to the past and the present: remembering the roots of the ball scene, while celebrating the now. It felt as though we were part of a monumental movement – and the crowd was fantastic – a proper Manchester crowd sharing the love, cheering at the top of their voices and bringing a feeling of joy that was incredibly empowering.
I left the ball buzzing – and three days later I still feel honoured to have been able to attend. This event is worth travelling for, and I know that I’ll be booking a ticket next year.
©Megan Holland 2018
This event has now closed. Visit Contact’s website for details of future events.