Emerald City Citizens Vogued In 'The Wiz Live' & That's As Important As It Is Exciting
How stunning was the introduction to the Emerald City in The Wiz Live!? That club was so everything, I half expected Saturday Night Live's Stefon to pop up in the corner. Plus, The Wiz Live! 's take on Emerald City included vogue dancing, from the broadcast's choreographer Fatima Robinson, which was awesome and important to see in this new production.
Every region of Oz has it's own particular style, and Emerald City was remarkably different as an '80s-style house club. As the big city people of the magical land, this was fitting. The bass was pounding from outside, where Common served as the ever-stoic Bouncer with a headset. The dancers were refined, stylish, intimidating, and striking poses left and right. It's definitely different from the "Merry Old Land Of Oz" from The Wizard of Oz and "One Short Day" from Wicked.
Why was it important that they vogued, specifically? While your last memory of this iconic dance craze might be Magic Mike XXL, and vogueing was popularized by Madonna in 1990, the dance style originated with black and Latino LGBT communities in Harlem, as explained by the Huffington Post. It's a textbook example of both hegemony, when one group is exploited by another for profit, as well as cultural appropriation. Watch the documentary Paris Is Burning if you want to learn more, it's a really good history of that era. And to see some of The Wiz Live!'s vogue sequence, check out the video below.
That's why it's especially awesome to see the all-black cast of The Wiz doing this dance, since it originated in the black community before being appropriated. Plus, it was amazing choreography that is already making me want to watch The Wiz Live! over and over. Welcome to the Emerald City, y'all. Who wouldn't want to live there?
Image: Virginia Sherwood/NBC