The tenth anniversary of the House of Suarez was an event like no other. An amalgamation of competitive dance, lavish costumes, and an atmosphere more raw and energetic than any night club, the only word that truly comes close to encapsulating the experience was, well, ‘iconic’.
Now if, like me, you have no idea what the words ‘Iconic Vogue Ball hosted by the House of Suarez’ mean when strung together, don’t worry, it’s not as intimidating as it sounds. The House of Suarez did an incredible job of hosting the event, from giving a history of the Vogue scene, to explaining the rules of the competition; every aspect was professional and thoroughly entertaining. Vogue is a form of competitive dance, born in the glamour of 70’s New York, in which the dancers (or athletes, considering their jaw dropping strength and physiques) use a runway to pull off routines with highly stylised, model-like poses inspired by the eponymous magazine, though that description could never do the night justice. It was so much more.
In terms of the competitive aspect of the event, dancers compete in groups known as houses, each with their own overarching theme or motif, from the Ancient Egyptian House of Lipa, to the self-explanatory House of Horrors. With around ten of these professional dance troupes performing for hours on end, there was never a dull moment. Everywhere you turned some impressive display of flexibility or choreography filled the stage with dramatic performances ranging from Barbie and Ken’s wedding being interrupted by Action Man, to a phenomenal battle between two rival pharaohs with over 20 flawlessly synchronised dancers.
Not wanting to be overly critical, but having visited the Tate Liverpool for the first time only a few hours earlier, in which a small pile of litter in the corner was considered gallery-worthy art, my first foray into the world of competitive Vogue has introduced me to an undoubtedly more impressive, both atmospherically and visually, form of art that deserves to be far more recognised not only in Liverpool, but around the globe. It’s reliance on perfection in every aspect of the performance, in costume and choreography as well as character and sexuality, meant that even if, like me, you had no understanding of the technicalities of Vogue or professional dance, it was impossible not to appreciate their skill and marvel at each and every spectacle before you.
Vogue events such as the Iconic Vogue Ball are truly eye opening experiences and I would urge you, whether you are a complete outsider like me, or someone quite familiar with the Vogue scene, to go to one of these events: nights such as this are not to be missed. I can only congratulate House of Suarez on ten years of success and wish them ten more to come, though they will surely have a difficult job on their hands producing something more iconic and fantastical for next time!