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MIDSUMMA TESTING GROUNDS Virtual Drag, Transylvanian Gypsy Kings, Ladyhood, Bubble & Melbourne is Burning!

virtrualdrag-philmahworld

a heaps gay night of projections, performances, prancing and power-pop!

MIDSUMMA TESTING GROUNDS:  Virtual Drag, Transylvanian Gypsy Kings, Ladyhood, Bubble & Melbourne is Burning!

WHEN: 7 – 11pm Friday 5 February 2016

WHERE: Testing Grounds 1-23 City Road Southbank
Located behind the spire of the Melbourne Arts Centre

a heaps gay night of projections, performances, prancing and power-pop!

MIDSUMMA TESTING GROUNDS:  Virtual Drag, Transylvanian Gypsy Kings, Ladyhood, Bubble & Melbourne is Burning!

WHEN: 7 – 11pm Friday 5 February 2016

WHERE: Testing Grounds 1-23 City Road Southbank
Located behind the spire of the Melbourne Arts Centre

Midsumma Testing Grounds brings together a heady mix of world class projection art, live music, drag shows, performance art and dance battles! Virtual Drag queens and kings on the side of buildings! Sexy Transylvanian Gypsy Kings playing the latest Horas from Bucharest! Performance art in blow up bubbles! And a fierce dance battle that will prove ‘Melbourne is Burning’! A heaps gay night of projections, performances, prancing and power-pop! FREE!

PROJECTION ART: VIRTUAL DRAG

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Larger than life images of drag queens and kings will be projected on the side of an adjacent building. The ‘Virtual Drag’ exhibition, a Midsumma Festival Premier Event featuring encounters with 3D scans of drag performers via virtual reality headset displays, runs 1-7 Feb in the Testing Grounds Studio. For one night only, the Virtual Drag queens and kings will loom over Testing Grounds as gigantic projections. Virtual Drag, by artists Alison Bennett, Megan Beckwith & Mark Payne, is supported by the Australia Council & Deakin Motion Lab.

MUSICAL DRAG: TRANSYLVANIAN GYPSY KINGS

Feel a bit queer and weak at the knees in anticipation of a performance by the jaw droppingly talented and funny Transylvanian Gypsy Kings!

Fresh from an appearance at The Falls Music Festival in Byron Bay, Lucien explains “TGK play the latest Horas from Bucharest, traditional boys’ dances where they slap themselves, plus hit pop songs from non-stop Romanian bars. We promise a sexy show, with lots of black leather and macho jewellery from downtown Cluj Napoca/Kolozsvar, the capital of Transylvania!”

TGK are the alter egos of Vardos, a trio of professional musicians with an authentic deep engagement in Eastern European gypsy music and culture. It takes genuine skill and study to pull off a homage this funny!  Hear samples of their sound here: https://myspace.com/transylvaniangypsykings/music/songs

PERFORMANCE ART: BUBBLE

Conceived by artist/choreographer Megan Beckwith, ‘Bubble’ creates an alternative space for performance art. Featuring guest appearances by Jessi Lewis and Jonathan Homsey, Beckwith channels the kooky and sublime.

Megan Beckwith is also the inaugural winner of the Midsumma Festival Australia Post Art Prize (check out Torso here)

DANCE BATTLE: MELBOURNE IS BURNING!

The night will culminate with a ‘ball’, a form of competition that grew out of the queer dance and drag culture of New York in the 1960s. Made famous by the documentary film ‘Paris is Burning’, the ‘ball’ has evolved into a dynamic form of dances battle and runways better known as Voguing.
On the other hand, Waacking was born in the 1970s and began in the Los Angeles nightclubs using disco music. It is characterized by moving the arms to the music and puts a strong emphasis on musicality and interpreting the music. It was popularized through Soul Train and helped with the creation of The Outrageous Waack Dancers. It has been revived thanks to Waackers such as Tyrone Proctor (Soul Train) & Jody Watley (Soul Train/Shalamar).
The competition will be hosted by Enya Arsenal and judged by Andy Kuramoto (Top 4 Freestyle Session Japan 2015) , Phillip Adams (Balletlab) and dancer Bradley Griffith.

REGISTER FOR MELBOURNE IS BURNING HERE: http://goo.gl/forms/qZDyP5ZS1I

Check out ‘Melbourne is Burning’ judge Andy Kuramoto competing in Japan in 2015:

“Following the dance battle, we call on queens, queers, kings, kinks, twinks, bears, butches and femmes to test your nerve by walking the floor. Strike a pose and show us how ‘real’ you can be!” invites dance battle organisers. Registration for the ‘Melbourne is Burning’ dance battle opens 10 January 2016. Check the ‘Midsumma Testing Grounds’ Facebook event page for updates!

POWER-POP: LADYHOOD

Midsumma Testing Grounds features live acoustic music from Melbourne’s very own LadyHood, fresh from her success in the US.

EVENT UPDATES: https://www.facebook.com/events/163262950699358/

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