Voguing Didn’t Die, It Got Fiercer

Rashaad Newsome brings his glamorous dance performance, “Five,” to New York Live Arts.

Rashaad Newsome is the kind of artist who cannot be contained in any one medium. He has created pieces in collage, performance, video, and (seriously) Xbox, always with an eye for African-American cultural tropes and LGBTQ themes. In his newest work, the Brooklyn-based Newsome takes on the art form of voguing, the once-underground gay dance style created in the 1970s that rose to mainstream prominence with Madonna’s 1990 song “Vogue.”

Rashaad Newsome
Rashaad Newsome

On May 4 and 5, the Brooklyn-based Newsome brings Five to New York Live Artss Live Feed workshop, a creative residency program that helps develop NYLA-commissioned shows before they hit the big stage. Combining performance, sound, and computer programming, FIVE explores the evolution of voguing as each of the titular five performers demonstrates a different element of the glamorous, competitive dance form (tip: do not try the “duckwalk” at home)

Rashaad Newsome

While the Internet is awash in vogue-inspired lingo (remember that every time some “fierce” person “throws shade” your way), the origins of this subculture aren’t as well known as they should be, but Newsome’s show celebrates it in energizing fashion.

Why You Should Go: This is a chance to see a fascinating art form with live musical accompaniment in an intimate setting. Stick around for the conversation with Newsome after the show; he’ll be talking about how he incorporates new technology into his dance performances.

Rashaad Newsome: Live Feed In-Process – Five
New York Live Arts
219 West 19th Street (between Seventh and Eighth Avenues), Chelsea
Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5, at 6 p.m.

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