This topic about the death - and life - of Vogueing Pioneer Willi Ninja, begins with posts to the RIP/VIP Topic, now moved here.
quote:HOLD THAT POSE - Remembering Willie Ninja
On the morning of September 2nd, Legendary voguer Willie Ninja passed away from us. Many will remember Willie, either though the ballrooms or as an omnipresent figure in New York nightlife.
In the early 1980's, Willie created and perfected a style of vogueing that was uniquely his own. He expanded the vocabulary of the dance to include such desperate influences as martial arts, Egyptian hieroglyphics, pantomime, and contortionist gymnastics. In doing so Willie challenged everyone in the ballroom to match his level of precision, excellence and determination.
Never giving into any perceived limitation, Willie was one of the very first members of the ball community to take vogueing outside of the ballroom. His work with Thierry Mugler and Malcolm McLaren helped to fuel interest in the underground documentary "Paris Is Burning" (in which he is heavily featured); interest that eventually culminated in Madonna's "Vogue". As the familiar face at the door of Louie Vega's Dance Ritual parties in the mid-1990's, Willie continued to expand his circle of friends and admirers to include many in the music and entertainment industries. Much as Fab Five Freddy did for the HipHop scene, Willie became the unofficial ambassador of the Ball Scene - bridging the gap between a unique gay subculture and the larger world. Always generous, when a younger generation would eventually match (or on the rare occasion exceed) his own level of achievement, Willie would be the first to anoint them.
Even today, Willie continues to command respect both in and out of the ballroom. He will be remembered as member of the pantheon of true ballroom "legendary legends", a status well deserved and one that only a very select few ever achieve.
September 3, 2006
quote:Deep In Vogue
This has got to be a special tribute to the houses of New York
Le Beija, Extravaganza, Magnifique, St. Laurent, Omni, Ebony, Dupree.
In my black tights just throwing shade
Doing this dance that some queen made
I remember the first time I saw it,
Told my brother to put me up on it,
It wasn't easy no 1, 2, 3
Took a long time to learn to feel free
But here I am Vogueing pretty
In some club deep in this city
Deep in Vogue, Deep in Vogue
Imagine runway modelling, in freeze frame
At the ball that's what they call Vogueing
Vogueing is a challenge dance
Instead of fighting you take it out on the dance floor
10!, 10!, 10!, 10!, 10!, 10!, are there anymore!
Sometimes on a legendary night
Like the closing of the Garage
When the crowd is calling down the spirits
Listen, and you will hear all the houses that walked there before'*
Deep in Vogue, Deep in Vogue
The House of Extravaganza the House of Dupree
Who the hell are they?
They're nobody, except when they're in that little ballroom
*Excerpted from Chi Chi Valenti's "Nations" 1988, Details Magazine