This text omits the given names of drag performers in respect of Stanford Drag Troupe’s privateness coverage.
On Friday evening, a whole bunch of scholars gathered on Wilbur discipline for this yr’s Dragfest, the biggest campus drag occasion of the yr placed on by Neighborhood Hyperion (T) and the Stanford Drag Troupe. Earlier than I settled down for a spot on the grass, I used to be caught in a swarm of excited viewers members on the T-shirt stand. This similar palpable enthusiasm remained sturdy for the remainder of the evening. With glow sticks, satisfaction flags or meals truck fare in fingers, the group cheered and laughed all through.
This yr’s Dragfest was hosted by Shea Couleé, the Season 5 winner of VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars,” and returning emcee DeJa Skye, a contestant within the 14th season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Along with members of the Stanford Drag Troupe, the present additionally featured skilled drag artists resembling Madd-Dogg 20/20 and Tenderoni, and even College directors.
The 2 “Drag Race” alumni dazzled the group with tight dance strikes and flashy garb. Couleé, donning a spiky blue high and metallic silver skirt, theatrically lip-synced to her authentic music “Materials” whereas the music video performed on the display behind her. Skye glided throughout the stage in a flamboyant leopard print unitard throughout her efficiency of “Deal with Me,” doing splits and backbends that earned loud applause.
The efficiency by College directors Persis Drell, Susie Brubaker-Cole, Mona Hicks and Jeanette Smith-Legal guidelines was likewise successful among the many scholar viewers. The 4 danced to upbeat pop songs in fits with silvery collars, and Smith-Legal guidelines even had on an 80’s-style white afro wig. My favourite little bit of the quantity was when the 4 stylishly walked in a circle to the beat of Beyonce’s “Single Girl.” The quartet actually loved themselves, judging by their laughter as they walked off stage.
Solidarity in defending LGBTQIA+ id was the theme of the evening. Drag Troupe administrators Latke and Zz Stylish opened the competition with a silent mourning of the dying of members of the queer group nationwide.
“There are nonetheless states making an attempt to do away with our homosexual asses,” DeJa Skye exclaimed.
One other theme in Stanford Drag Troupe’s performances was racial range and cultural consciousness. Having attended the entire troupe’s exhibits previously two years, I discovered this to be a brand new function of Friday’s program. “Pachamama,” the goddess of the Andes, was central to Sparx Nevada’s quantity. On the finish of Peking Dyke and Mooshoo’s supply of “Previous City Highway” as a Western-themed kinky sexual show, the display displayed “Asians have been right here longer than cowboys.”
Among the many numbers most beloved by college students was Ariel Silks’ “I Did One thing Unhealthy.” The Taylor Swift music was an instantaneous hit, inviting viewers members to sing alongside. Silks performed the position of the Greek mythological lady Pandora, who opened a field after being forbidden from doing so and unleashed evils upon the world.
This quantity was as artistic because it was well-executed. As Silks opened the field, the background surroundings projected on the display reworked into an apocalyptic battlefield, and Silks herself took off her gleaming costume and proceeded to bop on stage in a blood-smeared tank high. Her strikes included swift cartwheels and spectacular backflips. The juxtaposition of the Greek fantasy and the unapologetic pop music underscored the hypocrisy of males in blaming girls for fallacies in human interactions.
One other standout lip-sync efficiency was “Bang Bang,” carried out by Ariel Silks, Daphne Summers and Latke. The trio’s synchronized dance strikes had been a feast for the eyes, amplified by their costumes. Latke’s golden robe, with a cut-out entrance that exposed a tight-fitting silver costume beneath, went superbly along with her blonde, curly hair.
My solely critique is that some particulars in performers’ costume and choreography obtained misplaced via the gap between the stage and the viewers. When Mal Ishus carried out “Large TV,” she tried to swallow a silver chain, but it surely was laborious to make out what the chain was or the transfer’s significance. The pomegranate accent on Miss Katonic’s hair as she embodied the Greek goddess Persephone might have made a beautiful sight in a extra intimate theater, but it surely was laborious to discern from Wilbur Discipline.
Regardless of the gap, many visible selections of the performers shined via, such because the shiny pants that resembled fish scales in St. Andrew’s mermaid-themed quantity.
Dragfest “slayed the home boots down,” as many followers of “Drag Race” may say. The sizable viewers and their sturdy engagement illuminate the facility of this joyful expression, and makes me excited to see what’s in retailer for future years.
Editor’s Observe: This text is a assessment and consists of subjective ideas, opinions and critiques.