The second edition of La Grand Ball (LGB) themed Winter Fantasy, took place this past Saturday at The Tennis Club in the heart of New Doornfontein. LGB is positioned as “a bi-monthly runway ball presentation from Joburg’s queer creatives” having attended the second instalment of the event that description seems quite apt.
The creativity to convert the space into a suitable runway ball style floor, must have not been an easy task given the Tennis Club layout. Notable is the creativity that goes into seamlessly (or not) choreographing performances by various houses in hopes of winning the cash prize of R5000 courtesy of Jagermeister. Lesbianhonest the ornamental plastic trophy is great but the R5K is a better treat to make up for all the expenses incurred. Shout out to Jagger, here is oneth of your return on investment for fucking with the community – commandable.
Le Grand Ball is the brainchild of Treyvone Moosa aka Original Hunty and Mandima Qunta. The two organisers come from the events production/activation background, that is what they specialise in for a living. On the night of the ball Original Hunty plays, the role of Trey Tell, the mother of the ball whereas Madima runs the logistical aspect of the event. The day before the event Original Hunty posted on Instagram “Tomorrow I come through again in my role as Mother of the Ball. It’s been a long time coming and I finally feel like I’ve found something that makes sense to me. Holding space for such a diversely talented group of performers is truly an honour. I hope you can honour them by showing up.”
On the night of the event whilst putting on a face and looking into the mirror. With the utmost satisfaction, joy and theatrics he said, “I can not believe, I, turned out to be a drag queen. O’ well such is life, I have a ball to get to…” Original Hunty relished each moment and it showed from the preparation backstage to the stage presentation. As hoped for the Joburgers showed in numbers for the event.
The ball was kick-started by a drag performance from Winnie Wakanda Washington and followed by a music live performance by Annalyzer. Then, Mother of The Ball, Original Hunty took to the stage with one heck of a structural print three-piece outfit which took a small village to get in to.
Four houses competed; House of Diamonds, House of Skebengas, House of Quriosity, the last group not a house but The Royals from the Palace. The categories were Skhothane Reloaded Opulence, Two Looks in One, Face and Body and African Royalty Opulence.
The House of Diamondz were defending their title as the current reigning legendary house of Le Grand Ball and they viciously defenced their title whilst securing the R5K bag at the same time. The House of Diamondz is made of up of, Kieron Jina (Afrohomo), Danni Bowler, Llewellyn Mnguni (LuluBelle), and Ayabonga Ngoma (Aya). Two of whom are seasoned art performers for a living. So, it will take some major creatives and talented underdogs who are willing to risk it all or another house that has a strong composition of art performers. To snatch the crown from House of Diamondz and regress them to some type of rock of little value, quartz crystals perhaps?
The next ball is scheduled for some date in October. If you believe you can challenge the House of Diamondz for the prize you better start now. Or if you would like to go hangout think of a look, dress up in your most outrageously creative leuwk and dive deep in the fringes of Joburg CBD and have the best time at the next ball.