A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 12, 2005
“Vogue” (1990)
Madonna's 1990 song and dance, "Vogue," was actually a New York City tradition that may have been started in Harlem many years before. It's from the fashion magazine, Vogue.

http://www.songfacts.com/detail.lasso?id=1455
Vogue by Madonna
Album: Blonde Ambition
Date: 1990
U.S. Chart: 1
U.K. Chart: 1
(...)
"Vogueing" was a dance craze popular in the gay community. This song brought the dance style to the mainstream and solidified Madonna's standing as an icon in the gay community.

The video featured the "House Of Extravaganza," a group of New York City dancers who "Vogued" along with Madonna. Before fading into obscurity, they performed on talk shows as America became interested in the Vogue phenomenon.
(...)
This was included on Madonna's album I'm Breathless, which was "inspired by" the movie Dick Tracy. Madonna starred in the movie with Warren Beatty.

7 March 1989, New York Times, "Patterns" by Woody Hochswender, pg. B7:
"Vogueing" on the Runway

The fashion industry is rallying around the Love Ball, a benefit for the Design Industries Foundation for AIDS.

The event, to be held at the Roseland Ballroom on May 10, will feature an extravagant presentation of "vogueing," a stylized version of runway modeling based on poses from Vogue magazine.

Organizers say the phenomenon originated in the 1960's in Harlem when fashion-oriented :houses," based on couture houses, arose as an alternative to gangs. They competed not for turf but for fashion elan.

12 May 1989, New York Times, "Vogueing Against AIDS" by Woody Hochswender, pg. B5:
The evening had all the elements that make New York City night life remarkable: beauty, pageantry, celebrity and gender confusion. Leading figures from the fashion industry were on hand to sponsor, perform or judge in perhaps the biggest public display to date of "vogueing," a campy, stylized version of runway modeling that has flourished for decades in Harlem and more recently in downtown nightclubs.

Voguers employ fluttery hand movements, gymnastic contortions and freeze-fame poses. They also chew gum. They do not look like Vogue models.
(...)
How to vogue:
Strike a pose, wave
your hands and
twist your body.

18 May 1989, New York Times, pg. 32:
As a finale, two male "voguers" from the House of Extravaganza in New York performed a stylized, gymnastic version of runway modeling that brought the house down. "Total trash and totally brilliant," said Bernie Ozer, a vice president of Associated Merchandising Corporation, which buys clothes for department and specialty stores in the United States.
Posted by Barry Popik
Music/Dance/Theatre/Film • (0) Comments • Tuesday, July 12, 2005 • Permalink