Now that we’re crying for the end of the Olympic Games in Rio, let’s remember one of the most important moments of the last 16 days. No, we’re not talking about the taste of GIRL POWER it left behind, the huge amount of memes or a legacy of very questionable ~improvements~ to the city. The opening of the games was, no doubt, the greatest party on earth. It is estimated that the ceremony has been watched by more than a billion people around the world. And, amidst the several artistic and cultural movements that brought the party down, what couldn’t possibly be missing? Voguing, of course.
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Vai, vai, vai, vai! NÃO VOU!!! Vogueando ao som da rainha @elzasoaresoficial. Bloco de Voguing coreografado pelas manas @barbepic, @94tago e eu! 😁 Foi lindo poder trabalhar com gente pesada como eles! Brigadão lindezas! #Rio2016 #Olympics #Brazil #Voguing #OpeningCeremony
It may sound weird since voguing is not a traditionally brazilian cultural expression, but we know the reason well. Six brazilian dancers represented this dance on the ceremony, in the segment called “Box City”, a scenario with boxes and squares visually representing brazilian favelas or slums. In this scenario, several groups brought up urban dance routines, including funk and the brazilian passinho. Twitter freaked out in several languages when we saw brazilian guys and girls rocking the moves of New Way.
VAI TER VIADO NEGRO FAZENDO VOGUE SIM #CerimoniaDeAbertura
— gui fagundes (@guymagia) August 5, 2016
VEI TER VOGUING NA ABERTURA OOOOOOOO CARAIO =D =D =D
— Pedro Nogueira (@nogueiro) August 5, 2016
Gnt eles tão dançando vogue #CerimoniaDeAbertura AMO 😍
— antigoyagoo_m (@thelittlefag) August 5, 2016
As it is our duty, we brought you some fresh details about this voguing intervention straight from the experience of who was there, at the stage: Marco Chaves and Elio Barbe, two of the dancers who took part of the choreography.
The leader of the whole choreographic composition of the Rio 2016 opening ceremony is the brazilian choreographer Deborah Colker. At first, there was no voguing planned for the box city, but Elio barbe tells us that this idea came up when the dancers were being divided in groups. Colker saw the boys jamming some voguing in their spare time and was interessed in adding the dance to the ceremony. Her assistant, Felipe Ursão, turned this suggestion into reality. A lot of people were in the group at some moment, but the final composition was of six people: Marco, from the House of Kínisi and Elio, both voguers from Rio, Tago Oli and Julia Strauss, urban dancers, e Joane Mota e Flávio Arco Verde, classical and contemporary trained dancers.
“We started with a sequence to show a little of how it would be. When they’ve chosen the music we adjusted and took some turnings of the song into the dance. We did it our way and Ursão gave his contributions too, making some suggestions”, said Elio. Marco explains the final routine composition: “We did this break when the music changes. We’re dancing Vogue Femme on Elza Soares ‘song. When it ends, the funk begins and we start some new way and old way moves. We work with some arms control, dips and old way moves.”
The report of both dancers we interviewed is very similar: they say how exausting the process was, how they trained several hours a day since April. But the result was worth the effort: it was an opportunity to raise voguing to a new level, to dance it at the opening ceremony of an Olympiad.
None of this can be apart from the special feelings of each dancer. It its clear in Marco’s words: “To be in this team was crazy. Personally, I thought a lot about my own life, a movie went on my head, about when I’ve left my city all alone to come to Rio and follow my dreams, to dance and do what I love. It was very gratifying to see all this journey come around here and see where I’m able to reach. I was very thrilled”. We too, Marco!
And, as we said earlier, Twitter came down, check it out:
Devia ter competição de Vogue nas olimpíadas…. Imagina o tiro
— lorrane (@loola_souza) August 16, 2016
agora eu quero saber quando é que vai abrir a modalidade vogue femme nas olimpiadas
— angel olsen (@keaubeau) August 10, 2016
We made this photo gallery with the pictures of our Voguing medalists. Click the picture below to get to know them.
Closing Ceremony – strike a pose
Happiness won’t end here. Japan, the next host country, also has a very strong voguing scene. That’s why we’re not surprise to see a small hint of the dance in the closing ceremony too, where Tokyo had a small segment to warm up for the 2020 games. If you paid attention to the video, you saw the couple Aya Sato e Bambi, the japanese voguing girls who were admitted to Madonna’s dancing crew. If you were not wuick enough, we brought you this gif to remember this moment.
Highlighted pictur: Elio Barbe, high upon the Box Ciy, for the Opening Ceremony of Rio 2016. Picture: Tago Oli.