Monday, 3 February 2014

THUMP article on Voga by Lauren Martin

I posted on voga before, the hybrid of voguing and yoga happeneing in East London - here is an interesting article by's Lauren McNally, who went to an actual class (also featuring MikeQ's thoughts on voga) and wasn't impressed. [Note: I didn't write this, Lauren Martin did.]

It was a strange display; not so much energetic as frantic, as Murrell shouted out the sequence over the music at young women being put through a series of jilted movements that were somewhere between aerobics, yoga and a smattering of half-hearted classic Vogue arm poses. One of the girls turns to me and mouths “What the fuck?” in my direction, as the class lie down on bended knee, resting their upper body weight on their elbows and chins on their hands. It's more Babysitters Club Aerobics than Vogue-infused yoga. As Murrell shouts “Find that inner pose!”, I get the distinct sense that some are at best bemused, and at worst uncomfortable. The sexuality, power and fantasy of the balls is pointedly absent throughout. 
The class finishes to the strains of Bill Withers - 'Lovely Day' and the group huddle onstage for a photo, striking twee power poses and grinning. The camaraderie feels forced, and I ask the girl who mouthed at me earlier what she made of the session: “Being clumsy and with the arse of an ironing board, I probably wasn’t the best contender to convincingly Voga. I don’t think I’ve ever felt less poised or attractive. I would have been chased out of Harlem with a shoe. Vogueing is all about the kind of classy restraint that’s difficult to pull off if you’re worrying about farting on the girl behind you.”
Mike Q is right. Murrell is a harmless human being. She seems a perfectly pleasant and sociable woman, who likes and wants to teach yoga. Voga is a stupid idea poorly executed, and accusations of cultural appropriation on her part are as likely to be shot down as sanctimonious posturing by cynics. Who cares, right? It's yoga.

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