The Clark is Burning: A Workshop on Queer Performance & the Archive

Sat 6/15/2024 • 1PM - 4PM PDT

UCLA William Andrews Clark Memorial Library

The Ballroom scene (at times synonymized with the performance art form of “vogue”) began in the Black and Brown queer club scene of late 1970s New York, and has since flourished as an increasingly globalized space for building personal identity and community. Please join us for this workshop on the vogue dance form, produced by writer and Ballroom historian Sydney Baloue and the House of FUBU, which will consider performance as both a contemporary art form and a historical practice. The Clark’s historic drawing room will be the locale where attendees will serve as an audience to a roll call showcasing different voguing styles and competitive categories commonly walked in balls around the globe. A Q&A will address the history of queer performance and what it means to build community in a space that was started by individuals who fought to combat the forces of racism, discrimination, abandonment, and other important social and economic issues across history. A “literary salon” in the North Book Room will present dramatic readings and a display of rare material from the Clark’s collections and institutional archive highlighting gender nonconformity and performance. A reception in the style of a “high tea,” which connects to the history of tea dances as safe spaces for the gay community in the pre-Stonewall era, will follow, as a nod to the taste for drama which ties together modern Ballroom culture and Regency-era society.

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Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies