Expect drama — and a lot of it — at The Almighty Ball, Canada’s first international vogue ball, Sat, Nov 28 at the Gladstone Ballroom.
“I want to kill people,” says headlining DJ Vjuan Allure. “I want them to look at the DJ booth when they think they can’t keep going, and then let me push them further.” The Washington, DC-based Allure is internationally renowned with cities in Italy, UK, Jamaica, Spain, France and Germany dotting his resumé. Almighty organizer DJ Blackcat calls Allure, “the Janet Jackson of the ballroom scene.”
“I was completely taken by watching him work,” says Blackcat, “and approached him like a groupie.”
Allure, for his part, is impressed with Blackcat. “I like his style; he’s exciting.” Allure has been paying attention to the local scene, name-checking specific Toronto parties and people on Youtube. He’s pumped about making his Canadian debut. “Everyone has been like, ‘Wow, you’re going to Canada? Take pictures, take video,’” says Allure. “I’m excited to be here.”
Although a decades-long movement in NYC and other US cities, full-on vogue balls are new to Canada, especially ones on this scale. Allure’s presence is testament to the excitement surrounding The Almighty Ball. He’s definitely a man on a mission: Crowd reaction has always been central to his sets, whether it’s his “Elite Beatz” originals or incredible remixes. Listen to his standout tracks “I’m a Runway Model,” “Beat That Bitch” or “Girls Get Ready” and your body will start posing and contorting as if your life depended on it.
Allure started his club life at age 12, and learned a lot from legendary house DJ Cedric about bringing a beat. “After a lot of the people I was inspired by went away, I tried to fill the void of that sound I wanted to hear,” says Allure. “People weren’t hearing it, and I wanted to bring something that moves me.”
So what should Toronto voguers expect? Sophistication and style are an important part of the House of Allure. Blackcat feels Toronto is finally ready for an NYC-style ballroom event. House of Monroe will be in full attendance — Blackcat’s boyfriend is the house mother, and as humble gay black power couples go, they’re hard to beat. Also on hand will be many other emerging houses from the US and Canada competing in categories like “Realness with a Twist,” “Dance Dance Dance,” “Church Lady,” “Beginners Vogue” and “Face.” Trophies, cash prizes and an Almighty grand prize await competitors, and you don’t have to be part of a house to enter.
So who’s ready to rise to such a fierce challenge? In the words of Allure: “Make your scene excel. The competition aspect, the dancing… the audience is there. All you need is one person with imagination who can hit that runway. Even a small house can make an impact.”
Look for DJs Vjuan Allure and Blackcat also spinning at Love Is, Sun, Nov 29 at Goodhandy’s (120 Church St); cover $10, $5 before midnight with Almighty Ball ticket stub.