In a newly released video online, we see Rashaad Newsome schooling VIP art patrons at the Hong Kong International Art Fair (ART HK) on the art of voguing. The performance took place at FEAST Projects, an innovative new 2,500 sf gallery space that caters to international artists. Although this type of dance originated in drag houses in the Bronx, it was made popular by Madonna (along with a few dapper gentlemen wearing suits) in the 90s. Today ball culture is experiencing a resurgence, and might even become a Showtime series if Lee Daniels has his way.
Newsome wrote in an e-mail to The Huffington Post:
It was a really great opportunity to test the boundaries of Voguing, a dance narrative typically associated with ballroom culture, with a more historically traditional landscape that exists in China. Also, there is an interesting connection between the movements of Vogue and the movements of Chinese martial arts. They both communicate a type of battle through the finesse of an almost theatric set of skills. I also think the sexual ambiguity found in 'FIVE' can also be found in traditional Chinese theater.
The artist is known for his choreographed art pieces; in 2010, his work "Jasmine, Dawn, and Aaliyah," was on view at the Whitney Biennial and was shot at Ramis Barquet Gallery in New York. At the FEAST Projects space at ART HK, Newsome is able to collaborate with Chinese musicians in order to explore new melodies. Read his interview in Artinfo to find out more about the artist's work.
We can't wait to see what this boundary-pushing artist does next...
Correction: In an earlier version of this article, we stated that Newsome produced a dance piece featuring Afro-Brazilian martial arts in a 2008 group exhibition at Aljira contemporary art center in Newark, NJ. This performance was actually done by the artist Uraline Septembre Hager, not Newsome. We apologize for the error.