Toy Box Ball, House of Suarez’s 3 Day Vogue Bender: Invisible Wind Factory, Liverpool


Vogue Ball (credit – Andy Green)

After finding herself at the heart of the Vogue world for the fourth year on the trot, Getintothis’ Sinéad Nunes recounts the night’s events at Invisible Wind Factory; from toy box to taboo.

Vogue Ball regulars will be well aware of the fabulously debauched nature of many of the nights acts, where traditional theatre dares not go, Darren Suarez’s infamous House is at the forefront, with dancers and catwalk professionals getting frisky with the audience and fellow performers each time they take centre stage.

And why not? Sexual expression is so often denied us, with suggestive lyrics bleeped out of songs, or explicit visuals redacted from music videos.

At the Vogue Ball though, freedom reigns supreme, with outrageous dancing welcomed and nudity encouraged.

Not every act follows this route though, and that is the beauty of the art form.

Whether it’s a stimulating triple wig reveal to Aqua’s Barbie Girl from MDI’s Paul Doyle, or a fucked up caricature of Mickey Mouse exhibited by Eat Me + Preach’s Auntie Climaxx, the variety comes from performers’ (and Houses’) ability to choose.

As a theme, “Toy Box” divided some punters we spoke to, but as one creation after another made their way along the runway, it was hard to dispute the sheer creativity, passion and energy this night ignites every year, including Nutcracker dolls, wiry-haired trolls, gigantic piñata-esque reveals and even the Mario Bros.

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After being asked multiple times whether we were performers (getting into the spirit dressed as matching jack-in-the-boxes), we noted some of the best audience costumes of the night, including a giant chess piece constructed out of foam board, and a couple of Scalextrix and fairy light-clad punters with chunks of track worn as fascinators.

The dancing, as ever, high energy, faultlessly choreographed and painstakingly performed by some of the regions most talented artists, including House of Suarez, House of Cards, and many more.

Vogue Ball (credit – Andy Green)

This year’s event was sandwiched between two more days of vogue fierceness: on Friday, a programme of workshops and events (Elements of Vogue) encouraging kids to get into dance, and on Sunday, a closing party with a screening of Unlimited House of Krip, a documentary following a troupe of international deaf artists taking part in their first House of Suarez Ball in 2017.

It seems freedom of expression is key in every sense of House of Suarez, with performers overcoming perceived taboos and challenges in every way when it comes to creating and sharing their art.