Art, Fashion And Leigh Bowery’s Legacy Celebrated In Bowery Ball At Melbourne’s NGV International

Clockwise from top left: 2Joocee, Granny Bingo, Bettie Rosé, Art Simone
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Melbourne-born iconoclast Leigh Bowery will be celebrated in a show-stopping, late-night queer party at Melbourne’s NGV International in March 2024.

Bowery Ball will feature drag, burlesque, vogueing, music and performance art, as well as showcasing the vibrant creativity and buoyant self-expression of Victoria’s queer community. There will be performances from an array of talents including Logie Award-nominated drag diva Art Simone, award-winning burlesque ‘supervillain’ Ruby Slippers, jazz pianist Rosie Rai, and the drag king alter-egos of Danni Ray and Keely Windred, Dazza and Keif.

The entire ground floor of NGV International will be transformed into a utopia of queer art, music and performance. There’ll be mainstage performances from Bettie Rosé, sideshow artist Elle Diablo, and more.

Plus, visitors can expect tongue-in-cheek tours of NGV Triennial by some of the night’s performers including Granny Bingo stalwarts Edith Vale (Thomas Jaspers), Maureen McGillicuddy (Kyle Minall) and Caroline Springs (Scott Brennan), as well as drag superstars Lazy Susan, Zelda Moon and Art Simone.

NGV Bowery acts
Rosie Rai (L) and Ruby Slippers (R)

The dress code will encourage those in attendance to draw on Leigh Bowery’s iconic personal style, and create their own looks honouring the designer.

“A legacy of the landmark 2022 exhibition, QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection, the Bowery Ball recognises the important contribution of the LGBTIQA+ community to Melbourne’s local art history, as well as their indelible impact on global arts and culture,” NGV Director Tony Ellwood AM says.

“We hope the Bowery Ball will be a safe space for the community to express themselves with pride.”

Tickets are on sale now.

Bowery Ball is on at NGV International (Melbourne) 22 March, 2024.

This story originally appeared on our queer sister site, FROOTY.

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