Photo: Bryony McIntyre

Various Artists

Respect the Runway: The Red Carpet to Mastery

The Masters Ball focused on the work of 50 individuals designated within the scene as ‘masters’ in their respective performance categories, which include Vogue (Old Way and New Way), Runway, Butch Queen Sex Siren, Female Figure Best Dressed and Fem Queen Face.  Imagined as a ‘pedagogical ball’, the event was a combination of competition and master class, as the participants address how they learn and teach their skills and discuss the significance of their creative work in the history of the Ballroom scene. 

The event foregrounds twined notions of mastery—namely, virtuoso artistry and the labors of teaching and learning—by engaging with the history of the Ballroom community. To walk the runway is to engage a tradition and announce terms for the ongoing project of the community. The dialogue between runway and community, unlike the conventions that govern most relationships between performance and audience, weaves a thread of debate, influence, and inspiration that is the living memory of the scene.

The event was conceived and organised by Twiggy Pucci Garcon and Pony Zion, with Chi Chi Mizrahi. It was MC’d by Jack Mizrahi and Selvin and DJ’d by Vjaun Allure. Commissioned video Interviews of Masters including Pony Zion, Tyra Ross Allure and others, and made by Anika Gibbons and Kia Labeija were screened as part of the day and are available to see below. The event was introduced by Michael Roberson and Robert Sember who gave essential context and framing to the event.

Ballroom Throwbacks, who dilegently and consistently lift up their community by documenting all the balls and functions, filmed the event. A selection of their videos are below. To see the full documentation of the event, check this playlist.

 

  • Video

  • OPENING @RED CARPET TO MASTERY BY MICHAEL ROBERSON

  • IN THE MIX @RED CARPET TO MASTERY WITH LEGENDARY PONY ZION GARCON

  • RUNWAY@RED CARPET TO MASTERY DOMINIQUE,DURELL,KEITH

  • TWIGGY PUCCI GARCON LSS @RED CARPET TO MASTERY