The circus meets drag queens. A match made in heaven
Halloween is definitely the night where you can unleash your true self. And what better place to showcase your freaky and/or fun side than at the circus. Now take that a step further and add in drag queens into the mix. On Halloween night, the producers of RuPaul’s Drag Race Werq the World Tour (Voss Events) partnered with New York’s Big Apple Circus for a once in a lifetime event called the Halloween Ball. Drag Race superstars Shangela, Aquaria, and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo hosted and performed at the circus, featuring additional performances from the House of Xtravaganza and acts from the Big Apple Circus.
The night started off with an energy packed performance by Shangela and the House of Xtravaganza. There were kicks, splits, dips, and everything that comes in between. So essentially, a classic Shangela performance. Once Shangela’s number was done, she picked up the mic and became the night’s MC. She really engaged with the audience, complimenting people in their extravagant and creative costumes while also make jokes about her many appearances on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Shangela really knows how to be a great host and get everyone excited.
And shortly after she gave her little introduction, she introduced the next act which were the Circus Bingo Straps. Maryna Tkachenko and Tetyana Yudina soar to incredible heights and showcased their amazing aerial acrobatics skills. This performance took people’s breaths away. Seeing these two women perform splits and flips while at a dangerous height created an intense amount of tension paired with an amazing amount of awe and fascination. The level of talent and flexibility that this act had was incredible and it is truly hard to accurately describe how jaw dropping their performance was (which is why you should all go see the Big Apple Circus live).
Next up on the queue and another highlight of the show were The Lopez Troupe. This act consists of siblings Johan, Jonatan, and Zuliedy and are best known for their high wire act. These three siblings balanced and walked across a very tight and narrow rope and even performed tricks such as dancing on this wire, riding bikes across this wire, and even carrying each other on their backs across this wire. You could tell they were having fun performing which made watching even more enjoyable. That being said, they still managed to create an incredible amount of tension based on how they played up their wobbling while dancing and walking across the wire.
After this high wire act finished, we were treated to a sexy and sultry performance from Season 10 winner Aquaria. Her costume was a sexy Daffy Duck and she lip synced (beak synced) to Ariana Grande’s Dangerous Woman. At each peak of the song, Aquaria tossed feathers from her costume and when that bridge came in the song, her dress came off and it became a true burlesque performance. The highlights of her act were when she showed off her flexibility, the best one being her going from a handstand straight into a split. This performance was an equal part sexy and burlesque and an equal part camp and humor.
And one of the last highlights of this show was Vanessa Vanjie Mateo’s performance. She came out with her dancers, having her two male performances on leashes and they led her in. The performance started off a little slow and sultry and then navigated towards a high impact and high energy performance, which is what you would expect from a Vanjie performance.
All in all, this event was a perfect way to celebrate Halloween and finish off spooky season. A pairing of the circus with drag queens seemed unusual at first but showed to be a perfect match. Everyone had a wonderful time seeing some amazing circus acts as well as seeing their favorite drag performances showcase their own skills and talents.