For #ThrowbackThursday, I was thinking, ‘What film can visually express how everyone is feeling on the inside, knowing the weekend is hours away + yet, they’re still expected to concentrate + do work today?’ Then I found Clara Cullen’s ‘Ballroom Battle’, which perfectly captures that energy!
Last year’s winner for Best Hair at the Berlin Fashion Film Festival, this interactive Vogueing experience ties in Ball culture with the aggression of Japanese video games, similar to ‘Street Fighter’, which Cullen admitted to playing as a kid when talking to NOWNESS. But what makes this film interactive is how the viewer gets to name the overall winner during today’s dance-off with eight new-wave ballers werqing it.
The new-wave ballers include Aniyah Lacroix, Bootz Givenchy + Cullen’s close Ballroom Battle collaborator Alex Mugler, which with the help from transatlantic digital studio, Convoy, the underground world of dance-offs that started amongst America’s black + Latino gay communities out of the clubs + into an online world. Of course, for any successful battle, you need the right music + for this film, Philly’s Kevin JZ Prodigy provided both the soundtrack + live vocals. But don’t think for a second their names were selected for them by anyone other than themselves. Every dancer belongs to a different ‘house’ named after a leading fashion label + their clothes, from head to toe, are by that same brand.