In garish makeup and dangerously high heels, a black male dancer’s outstretched arms aggressively slice the air in time to the Paris nightclub music until suddenly, he drops “dead” on the floor. Vogue, the ’80s dance movement Madonna popularized in her hit 1990 song of the same name, is experiencing a revival in France. It’s not just a flamboyant pastime. For many minority French communities who feel alienated over tensions arising from divisive anti-gay marriage protests and the anti-immigration National Front, it’s a statement of defiance. The moves were first popularized in 1980s New York during exuberant Vogue Balls that served as a refuge for the black and Latino LGBT community. At a time when the AIDS epidemic in the city fueled homophobia and racism was rife, many found an accepting community in the contests.
March 26 / Mercury News