“MACA IS BURNING” Dance Workshop|Evolution of the Ballroom and Voguing: A Tale of Yesterday and Today

2024.04.13 Saturday 17:40


Macalline Center of Art, 706 Beiyi St, 798 Art Zone, No.2 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing

Host: Mia 007, Rex Kline (Freaki Juicy Couture)

For the exhibition An Atlas of the Difficult World, the gallery displaying Wu Tsang’s video work We Hold Where Study has been transformed into a dance studio on the first floor of Macalline Center of Art. Images harmonize side by side across two video channels, while the bodies of several dancers intertwine and overlap with each other, catalyzing a dance of contact improvisation. In the underground ballroom scene reimagined by the voguing dancers, expressions of proactive engagement through the body become increasingly prominent.

Inspired by Wu Tsang’s video work, MACA is pleased to design and initiate the voguing dance workshop series “MACA IS BURNING” during the An Atlas of the Difficult World exhibition period. The inaugural workshop, “Evolution of the Ballroom and Voguing: A Tale of Yesterday and Today” will take the cultural origin and stylistic evolution of the ballroom scene as the entry point, providing an opportunity for participants to experience the bodily glamour of voguing as well as the spirit of resistance embodied in the dance.

A distinctive dance born from underground culture, voguing can trace its roots back to the ballroom, an alternative social environment emerged in the 1960s. Initially, it served as a sanctuary for mutual support, self-expression, and a means to escape societal pressures for African American and Latino individuals within the transgender, gay, and lesbian communities. At the core of the ballroom scene lies resistance and defiance against societal norms. It creates a space where LGBTQ+ communities can freely express themselves, find common identity, and celebrate collectively.

In the first workshop, we have invited two voguing dancers who have long been active in the ballroom communities of Beijing and Los Angeles, California, to share and immerse participants in the unique stories of the ballroom scene.

The Macalline Center of Art (MACA) is a non-profit art institution located in the 798 Art District of Beijing and officially inaugurated its space on January 15, 2022. Occupying a two-story building with a total area of 900 square meters, MACA unites artists, curators, and other art and cultural practitioners from around the world. Through its diverse, ongoing, and collaborative approaches, the Center establishes a new site on the contemporary art scene. Guided by the “work of artists” and backed by interdisciplinary research, the Center aims to bring together a community passionate about art and devoted to the “contemporary” moment so as to respond proactively to our rapidly evolving times.