REVIEW: The House of Suarez Sugar Ball | Camp & Furnace | 10.10.15

The House of Suarez Sugar Ball
photo credit: David Munn Photography

On Saturday 10th October 2015, Camp & Furnace played host to an evening of dance, decadence and divas with a capital ‘D’ when the House of Suarez Vogue Ball was back in town. The Sugar Ball was this year’s theme, and there were plenty of chances for people to indulge their sweet tooth on the night. Mari Jones reviews.

I’m a big fan of dance and I only recently discovered the art of voguing – an incredible style of dance that incorporates the perfect lines of the performers’ bodies with fast movements and attitude, as well as an almost acrobatic ability. Having only ever seen voguing performed on videos online, I was eager to get a look at it first-hand. As introductions go, the House of Suarez Vogue Ball was certainly one of the most enjoyable I’ve ever experienced.

From the moment the event kicked off with a creepy yet mesmerising opening number from the House of Suarez, the energy of the night never dissipated. Performers and audience alike were enthusiastic to the end, even in the early hours of the morning. This was down to the electric atmosphere, but also it was thanks to the impeccable host Rikki Beadle-Blair, who set the vibrant mood and guided the audience through the evening, keeping things going in between rounds of the competition. Rikki also taught the audience about the rich history behind voguing – that it originated in the 1960s in the poorer areas of Harlem, how young gay kids used it to express themselves and that vogue ‘Houses’ became like their own families. He also explained how voguing is so much more than just a dance; it’s a statement – a declaration of who you are. Learning about this all added to the rich experience on the night, and by the time I left I truly was a vogue convert.

The Ball itself was separated into various rounds, such as ‘Fantasy’, ‘Sex Siren’ and ‘Realness’, in which each of the Houses put forth contestants to represent them. Seeing the dancers perform in the flesh (almost literally in some cases!) was incredible, some of the dances almost mesmerising to behold as each one took total charge of the stage and captivated both the audience and the judges (who were Councillor Gary Millar, Liverpool’s sassiest drag queen The Vivienne and famous Swedish Voguer, Benjamin Milan). The most exciting moments of the night came when these very judges called for battles between the contestants so they could make their final decision, the contestants performing impromptu dances against each other.

However the real highlight for me was the choreography round, each House putting forth a perfectly practised routine that incorporated vogue and other exciting forms of dance. These were also the moments the audience got to see the personality of each of the Houses, and in which they truly gave it their all. It was the local House of LIPA who got the biggest cheers during this round, and who impressed with a highly energetic dance. Yet it was House of Cards who won this part of the competition with a perfectly performed number that incorporated faultless technique and that sugary theme of the evening.

The House of Shoqlat were the overall winners of the Vogue Ball 2015 – a well-deserved win for a brilliant team who showed the best voguing skills and talent throughout the show. And the cheers from the crowd lasted well into the after-party next door at Camp & Furnace’s Blade Factory, everyone eager to carry on the evening and the spirit of the event.

With the next Vogue Ball taking place in Manchester on Saturday 5th March 2016, the House of Suarez Vogue Ball really is the most vibrant, camp, fun atmosphere you’ll ever experience, and one that I highly recommend. I certainly know that I’ll be going to the next one…and I’ll be bringing my inner Diva with me this time!

Written by Mari Jones

One Comment

  1. Pingback: REVIEW: The House of Suarez Vogue Ball | Invisible Wind Factory | 15.10.16 | Liverpool Live TV

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