Last weekend as part of their Sunday Series, MoMA PS1 hosted an event honoring the House and Ballroom scene called "Respect the Runway: The Red Carpet to Mastery." The agenda was essentially a live, annotated demonstration of a ball, a far cry from the drama and spectacle of the real thing, but nonetheless, stocked with scene icons, such as Jack Mizrahi, master commentator Selvin Mizrahi, and kiki scene rising star Twiggy Pucci Garcon. A seated audience flanked the runway to watch the competitions in classic ball categories (e.g. Best Dressed Female Figure, Butch Queen Vogue Fem, BQ Face, Old Way New Way), each preceded by a video of scene masters explaining what these categories mean.

Robert Sember, of the co-sponsoring, academically-minded Vogue’ology collective, in a particularly eloquent opening speech, recognized the uncomfortable context of racial and socioeconomic disparity between the day's art-world audience and the ball scene members onstage, emphasizing it as a "space of dissonance," challenging the audience to engage the dialogue between runway and community, and to think about "what it means to be a white person."

During the program, things got much lighter, especially when members from the audience were recruited by Selvin to take the stage: a tall blond woman (Jack: "She looks rich, make her do something") went up and danced a jig, which had the panel making jokes about Riverdance for the rest of the afternoon, and two especially flexible ladies got very interactive with the gyrating, baby-oil drenched competitors of the BQ Sex Siren category.

In addition to the PS1 event, Jack Mizrahi also hosted one of his Rumble Balls (the 67th edition!) at Escualita later Sunday night (it got started around 1:30am), without the tutorial videos and seated audience of white people. Categories included "Schoolboy Realness" (Selvin: "they like to munch and lunch"), and Big Boy Battle (plus-size boys), and Perfect 10.

We snapped some pics at both events. Check 'em out, below.

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