Photos by Mel D. Cole for Villageslum and Okayplayer.
Dance may never be the same after the Ballroom Clash that went down during NOLA Jazzfest this past weekend. For those that came late, NOLA and NYC dance styles met head to head in an event curated by New Orleans Airlift in conjunction with the One Million Square Feet of Culture project (or 1MSQFT for short–the vast survey of cool culture sponsored by Windows, which partners with the crews and creators already wrecking shop in film, music, food, art, dance and fashion to curate new creative works–all towards the eventual ambitious goal of rolling out the titular one million square feet of culture). You already knew Team Okayplayer was going to be there to witness the epic meeting of NOLA Bounce and NY Vogue firsthand–and document it for the history books. Okayplayer’s go-to photog Mel D. Cole immortalized the revelers in this fantastic gallery (above) and music scholar and creative OG Vivien Goldman (her resumé is far too long to list here but suffice it to say she ain’t no joke. Actually, among many other accomplishments she literally directed the video for Eric B & Rakim‘s “I Ain’t No Joke.”) was on hand to record the momentous occasion with her pen. Read her first impressions of the night below and stay tuned for video footage and Goldman’s full-length feature piece to come soon on Okayplayer.
It was an evening of extravagant fantasy at New Orleans Wax Museum the night that NY Vogue met/embraced/got its wiggle on with NOLA bounce for the very first time, at an event titled Upstairs at the Wax Museum: A Meeting of the Courts of Bounce and Vogue. Dancers strutted and swanned–or shook the cheeks their granny never kissed–all to bounce music’s hyperactive throb. Our judges, the statuesque divas of bounce Katey Red and Big Freedia, had a blazing array of creativity to pick from, like the Voodoo Queen, smeared with blood, as scary as any of the Museum’s exhibits, or the boldest dancer, who got his bounce on while hanging upside down from the ceiling. From the moment our magical Fabergé-egg coach, festooned with gold lace and flowers, appeared at the door of the Wax Museum, guests were greeted by a giant green papier-mâché goddess and partygoers were whisked into a one-night-only extravaganza that set imaginations flying as high as the guests spinning on the twirling chandelier-cum-swing which adorned the space. Emceed with sublime wit and style by voguing maestro Jack Mizrahi, the crazysexyhot style of New Orleans ensured that the mating of vogue and bounce birthed a night of dreamlike glamor.