Voguing has gone from an underground movement to a celebrated art form, without losing any of its mystique. The opera masks, the suggestive costumes, and the dance moves are cultural nomenclature slapped on a TV. Despite the mainstream interest, voguing still lies behind a thin veil of exuberant mystery.
The producer and singer duo Purple Crush's 8-minute long video "Vogue Opera" (directed by Ash + Bone) is a miniature Vogue exhibition indebted both to the art, and a celebration of their own Banjee Ball. Divided into four separate performances, individual dancers and teams compete by exchanging sensual spins and poses before color-filtered cameras. Joining them is Purple Crush's singer Isla Chanel, herself a competing (and Grand prize winning) voguer in the house of Chanel. Make no mistake when we say this is some of the best voguing we've seen in a while.
Soundtracking the performances are cuts from Purple Crush's corresponding Vogue Opera EP with Chanel's angelic voice hovering over low bass-grinds and the erotic vocal thrall of MCs Kevin JZ Prodigy and Kage Prodigy, Enyce Chanel, Ja Ja Rodeo, Miss Barbie Q, and Shay Ebony. Isla also contributed vocals to the single "Wherrk" with Ballroom DJ/producer Vjuan Allure.
"My husband and I (Purple Crush) built the skeleton of the music a year ago," Isla Chanel told THUMP over email, "and over the last year we collected recordings of legendary members of the community at the "Sin CIty Ball" and Devine Chanel's "Legends Ball" in LA. The two most prominent people featured in the music is Kevin JZ Prodigy, who is the commentator on the East Coast, and Enyce Chanel, who is the commentator on the West Coast."
Watch it above and keep an eye out for Enyce's debut EP which Purple Crush's own Crushed Records will release later this year. The next Banjee Ball will take place on February 23 at the Los Angeles venue Los Globos.