This season Vancouver writer Alli Hayes brings us closer to the magic by connecting with our community curators Char Loro, Larisa Sanders, and Ralph Escamillan, who will be programming various elements our Laneway Series events. Alli dives in to how these creatives think, and what sparked their interest in public space and the arts.
This round she caught up with vogue ball mogul, Ralph Escamillan, our final Laneway Series guest curator! Escamillan is a queer, Canadian- Filipinx performance artist, teacher, and confidante living on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish, Musqueam, and Tsleil Wau’tuth nations. Collaborating with Vancouver’s own New Forms Festival, Escamillan brings a close knit community in Kiki house-ballroom, street dance, fashion, and performance art to this upcoming Public Disco. As the Van Vogue Jam founder, friend, and drag mom, the Modus Operandi graduate has remained busy with exciting projects this past summer, participating in Calgary Pride with his dance collective THE COVEN, as well as being a prolific dance teacher hosting Voguing workshops in the YYC, Vancouver as well as in Asia. Welcome Ralph!
Hayes - Hi Ralph ! If you could describe yourself as a disco outfit, what are you?
Escamillan - Monochromatic blue party look:
Python leather platforms
Silk bell-bottoms with matching button up.
Silver chains on neck and wrists
Fat ass ring with a blue sapphire on it
And a cute bucket style kind of hat
Hayes - Collaboration is key to exploring and expanding the arts community. It builds strong networks, inspires and strengthens artists, and provides further opportunity for artist development. What does collaboration in the arts community mean to you?
Escamillan - Collaboration to me, not only creates a conversation between artist of their fields but also creates an opportunity for the communities they come from to collide. All the work im interested in starts with collaboration. I’m fascinated with using clothing, sound, technology and stage/props to fulfill my concepts. Instead of spreading myself thin trying to learn how to make a garment or new piece of technology, why not just work with someone who already has that information? And also be able to create something that I could never be made on my own. That being said, I think it’s important to make sure the collaboration is vital to the work, which is where my job comes in as a choreographer/director. With my medium being movement/dance making it is important for me to make sure that the body is the core of my work at the end of the day.
Hayes - Tell us about a time you discovered something new about yourself through music.
Escamillan - Learning about the artist Flying Lotus changed my life, and would never be able to hear music differently ever again.
Hayes - What keeps you creatively inspired in Vancouver?
Escamillan - Exploring what there is to offer outside of the city and bringing that inspiration home. Also dipping my toes in the multitude of artistic communities that exist in the city also inspires me.
Hayes - Who is an artist that impacted you in a positive way?
Escamillan - Designer - Hussain Chalayan. His work has always mystified me, in his use of technology with clothing, and continues to inspire me to this day both in his new work and his archives.
Hayes - And finally… can you give us any hints about what we can expect from your Laneway Series collab?!
Escamillan - Glittery facades, poses, and lots of “stillness”.
Mark your calendars. Next Sunday the 29th we’re bringing you a massive laneway bash to finish our 2019 Laneway Series. We’ve got an array of vendors, the Bandidas Food Truck, a back alley patio bar, music by queer collectives Honcho(Pittsburgh) & Directory LA as well as dance performances by Ralph and the FakeKnot crew. See you there!