Hold the date:
April 15, 2023
Hold the date:
April 15, 2023
Hold the date:
April 15, 2023
The Peabody Ballroom Experience Presents:
Baltimore Beautiful Symbols:
An Homage to Ballroom Royalty
Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 6:30 PM – 12 AM
This is a free ball for the ballroom community ONLY
No entry after 10pm
No ins and outs after 8pm
Tonight’s competition honors the trailblazers and blueprints – the “royalty” – who paved the way for Baltimore’s ballroom scene. We ask competitors to pay homage to Baltimore’s legends & icons as they bring to life a selection of rare books from the Johns Hopkins University Sheridan Libraries.
Our venue is the opulent George Peabody Library. Opened in 1878, Baltimore’s “Cathedral of Books” features an atrium surrounded by cast-iron balconies rising dramatically to a massive skylight above the floor. Today the Peabody is part of the Johns Hopkins University Sheridan Libraries.
This will be a documented/filmed event. Video footage will be incorporated into a film and archived for future generations. Be there! Be remembered! Be honored!
The George Peabody Library
17 E Mt. Vernon Place
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
Music by DJ LUCKY
Masters of Ceremony SNOOKIE WEST and LEGANDARY TREBRA BLAHNIK
FEATURING a performance by MARQUIS REVLON and the PEABODY DANCE DEPARTMENT
Sponsored by the Winston Tabb Special Collections Research Center
Virgin Performance: “Feline Fatale”
Honoring King James West. The George Peabody Library’s The Cat in Ancient Egypt, published in 1940, tells the story of the cat goddess named Mafdet, often pictured with a cheetah’s head, who would speed the pharaoh’s soul to the afterworld. Tonight, resembling a cat, sleekly graceful, and most importantly bringing it in one of King James’s looks while using animal prints.
Images from the George Peabody Library’s Cat in Ancient Egypt, published in 1940.
Virgin Runway: “The Fun Nun”
Honoring Shatera Revlon. In the 1600s, the growth of European monasteries led to new interest in religious fashion, reflected in the Sheridan Libraries’ Ordinum Equestrium et Militarium (1711). Tonight, you’ve never been touched because you’re a virgin just like a nun, you’re special, you’re holy, and now wickedly SINISTER. This is a challenge so serve the Runway in a provocative nun look.
Hand-colored image from Filippo Buonanni, Ordinum Equestrium et Militarium, 1711.
BEST DRESSED: “The Blueprint”
Tonight we pay homage to the beginning, the DNA of Baltimore’s Ballroom scene: the Blueprints of Baltimore, an elite society of individuals who are known for their many contributions in shape-shifting the growth of Baltimore’s ballroom scene. Tonight you represent Baltimore’s blueprints. Come fashionably done, dressed to kill, inspired by any Blue Print color combination from the George Peabody Library’s lavishly illustrated Grammar of Ornament, published in 1856. Tonight you will take one of the blue print patterns on this page to give us a high fashion best-dressed look.
Prints from Owen Jones, Grammar of Ornament, 1856.
OTA RUNWAY: “Watch the Throne”
Honoring Ariel Allure, Fantasia Revlon, Lisa Revlon, and Michael Milan. The “King’s Guard” is known for guarding the royal residence in the United Kingdom. The King’s Guards are infantry contingents, while the King’s life guards are cavalry troopers. Tonight while we want you to protect the Queen’s Residence we want the look to be out of this world. Bring us a NEW and IMPROVED Buckingham Palace soldier look. The look is on you but you CAN’T use the colors BLACK or RED, and you MUST have a OVAH HEAD PIECE.
Images of the King’s Guard in Robins’s Panoramic Representation of the Queen’s Coronation, 1838.
FQ REALNESS: “The Amazons”
The Amazons were a group of female warriors and hunters who beat men in physical agility and strength in archery, riding skills and the art of combat. Paying our respect to those realness women of Baltimore. Baltimore has always been a realness city with many different kinds of women kind of like the Amazons. The strength it takes to be the women you are is remarkable. So tonight we want to see all the Amazons from all over to bring it wearing some type of metal accessory (metal bracelets, chockers, corsets, etc…) that represents your armor as the warriors you are. As we honor some of Baltimore’s realness warriors: Kenya Allure, Tia Mizrahi, Neina Prodigy, Misty Prodigy, The Original Icon girls VS the Revlon girls, to the West girls of today. Will Baltimore keep the crown or will another city come and snatch the crown of the Amazons?
Image showing the combat of Amazons and Athic forces from Guy Cadogan Rothery, The Amazons in Antiquity and Modern Times, 1910.
BQ REALNESS: “Golden Age of Hip-Hop” Honoring the Icon David Revlon
The Sheridan Libraries’ Hip Hop: The Illustrated History of Break Dancing, Rap Music, and Graffiti shows why 1980s hip-hop is remembered today as the Golden Age of hip-hop. This era marked the culture’s first big boom into the mainstream that exploded the genre’s rap classics, a way of life and last but not least fashion!! With that in mind we are looking for the following…
BQ THUG REALNESS: that ultimate multi-platinum selling 80’s rapper, the look, the style and attitude!!
EXECUTIVE REALNESS: You are a financial advisor for an aspiring rapper. You want to ensure that their economic future will be solidified and not thrown into bankruptcy as many have prior. So come with a fire business plan to ensure proper financial security!!
SCHOOL BOY REALNESS: Bring your favorite 80’s rapper on a t-shirt incorporated with your school attire and don’t forget your backpack!!
PRETTY BOY: LL Cool Jay and Big daddy Cane were the pretty boys of 80’s hip-hop, so we like to see you recreate one of their iconic looks!
TRANSMAN REALNESS: Every hot rapper had their Hype man, We want you in your hip-hop gear ready to excite the crowd for the main event!!
BQnD: Were looking for the ULTIMATE female rapper, think Salt&Pepper, Roxanne, MC Lyte, Queen Lat etc. you know the taste. But most of all it’s TO BE REAL!!
Afrika Bambaataa at Bronx River Project (1982) from Steven Hager, Hip Hop: the Illustrated History of Break Dancing, Rap Music, and Graffiti, 1984.
REALNESS WITH A TWIST: “Chevalier d’Éon”
The George Peabody Library’s Short Sketch of Some Remarkable Occurrances, published in 1810, tells the story of the spy and diplomat Chevalier d’Éon, who successfully infiltrated the court of Empress Elizabeth of Russia by presenting a “softer” side!!! Many know of the ICON Stacey Lanvin’s great street smarts, rough around the edges hard trade exterior!!! That all changes when he hears an ovah beat and all of a sudden a softer sided performance diva comes to light!! So tonight we are looking for that ultimate trade but when that beat comes on that ultimate femme fatale shines thru!!
Image from J. Booth, A Short Sketch of Some Remarkable Occurrences…, 1810.
BQ FACE: “Mesmerizing Umbrella”
Tonight we pay homage to one of Baltimore’s greatest beautiful face symbols, The Legendary Aphrodite Face of Martinay, by recreating an extraordinary Marc Ballroom moment that was made. Drop-Dead Gorgeous Face. Bring it to the panel concealing your face using a beautiful decorative umbrella you’ve handmade that mesmerizes the entire room before we see your face. Then from under your umbrella, reveal to us what the gods gave you: a beautiful drop-dead gorgeous face.
Illustration from James Christie, An Inquiry into the Ancient Greek Game, 1801.
FQ FACE: “Goddess Aphrodite”
Tonight as we honor one of Baltimore’s own beautiful Face goddess who put Baltimore on the map For FF face Whitney Aphrodite. As we pay homage to this Icon, let’s take it back to the Greek Goddess Aphrodite, the goddess of Beauty, Love, Pleasure, Passion and Procreation. Inspired by an illustration from the George Peabody Library’s L’antiquité Expliquée, published in 1722, bring it like the goddess Aphrodite in a dark blue garment that symbolize her emergence from the ocean, golden jeweled Necklace a flower wreath and flowers worn as earrings and let your face do the rest.
An illustration from L’antiquité Expliquée, published by Dom Bernard de Montfaucon, 1722.
BQ SEX SIREN: “Hannibal”
Serge Lancel’s Hannibal, in the Sheridan Libraries, is simply THE authority in regards to a coherent & clear picture of Hannibal’s life. Hannibal (247 BC – 183 BC) was an African Carthaginian military commander, generally considered one of the greatest commanders in history. Also credited for having major victories against the Roman Empire with his mighty warriors that marched into battle on the backs of great elephants!! So tonight we would love to see all the African kings come together to celebrate his victory wearing a sexy African inspired warrior look and don’t forget your crown!! BQ Sex siren in the memory of the original King of sex siren in Baltimore Neil Revlon!!
FQ SEX SIREN: “Sex Sells”
Baltimore has many different hidden jewels and Rhonda Icon is one she has proven herself to be a Sex Goddess for many years. So tonight we want to see you bring it like the Goddess you are, Oozing Sex appeal with every move. Embodying any Goddess of your choice from the Sheridan Libraries – Greek Goddess, African Goddess, etc. – bring your Goddess to life with a sex appeal that will have the audience mesmerized. Who will be crowned the Sex Goddess of the night?
An image of Diana from François Pomey’s Tooke’s Pantheon of the Heathen Gods, 1820.
FQ BODY: “Lady Godiva”
The George Peabody Library’s History and Antiquities of the City of Coventry, published in 1846, tells the story of Lady Godiva who rode through the streets of Coventry to gain a remission of the oppressive taxation that her husband, Leofric, imposed on his tenants. Tonight we are looking for the Queen of Body to bring it in a nude Lady Godiva inspired look with a social issue that you would oppose and will go naked for. Remember this is body so make sure it’s soft and it moves. Who will be deemed the Body diva of this night?
Image from Charles Ballard, The House of Shaka, 1988.
BQ BODY: “Shaka Zulu African Royalty”
BQ Body in honor of Kevin Milan Escada. Charles Ballard’s 1988 book The House of Shaka tells the stirring saga of the Zulu kings his great adventures and battles that made him famous!! Shaka Zulu was one of the most influential monarchs of the Zulu kingdom. The Zulu warriors were exceptionally skilled in combat but the great man did not always resort to war! As a skilled diplomat he was often able to negotiate with his adversaries. So what we are looking for tonight is a parade of sexy Zulu warriors that will not only entice but help prevail Shaka to another victory without the shed of blood! Will you be the one that saves a nation!!!
Image from Charles Ballard, The House of Shaka: the Zulu Monarchy Illustrated, 1988.
FQ PERFECT 10: “Cleopatra”
Tonight we honor Sabrina Icon a true perfect 10 who is undefeated in this category, a queen much like Cleopatra. As told in the Sheridan Libraries’ book Cleopatra and Egypt, Cleopatra was a compelling figure who was beguiling in her beauty. She actively influenced Roman politics at a crucial period, and she came to represent as no other women of antiquity the prototype of the romantic Femme Fatale. Tonight as you embody Cleopatra we need you to compel the judges wearing one of Cleopatra’s many looks with your Face, Body & Realness. Must have all 3. Grand Prize.
Basalt Statue of Cleopatra, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, from Sally-Ann Ashton, Cleopatra and Egypt, 2008.
FOOT EYE GLOVES: “The Royals”
During the excavation of King Solomon’s tomb, a trio of royal accessories were found to be intact of great quality. Shoes, glasses, and gloves containing extraordinary textures of embroidery, vivid color, bedazzled in jewels only befitting to be worn by Kings and Queens. Tonight, as part of a museum’s King Solomon exhibit, show us the royal foot eye and glove that was locked away and buried for centuries. Royal pieces worn by Ramsey and accessorized by Nefertiti and Cleopatra. Take your inspiration from the George Peabody Library’s sumptuous Royal and Historic Gloves and Shoes, published in 1904.
Image from the George Peabody Library’s Royal and Historic Gloves and Shoes, 1904, illustrated and described by W.B. Redfern.
FF PERFORMANCE: “Tribal Moves”
As we all know FF performance has always been the gem so in honor of Celeste Richards and don’t forget that Doir/Revlon Lil Kim. With cunning moves, sass and finesse, we’re looking for the queen of African inspired dance we must confess. A dash of tribal moves incorporated with your presentation will ensure the victor with the cash and representing an African nation!! So ladies let’s make the honorees extremely proud be they watching here on earth or in the heavenly clouds!!
Female African dancers wearing colorful clothing. Photo credit: Etienne Frossard/Flickr
LEGENDARY PERFORMANCE: “Silver Sorcerer”
The George Peabody’s Library’s Cagliostro: a Sorcerer of the Eighteenth Century tells the story of the Count Alessandro di Cagliostro, a glamourous Sorcerer that sought fame in European royal courts through his art of practicing healing and other mystical powers!! Now legendary performance is what is at foot, with a silver catsuit and real cute boot!! As a silver sorcerer that holds great powers who will make their competition lose focus then flounder!! Soft&cunt or Dramatic it may be just make sure the court is able to see, the magic you possess in every move that gets the crowd in an exuberant groove!! Now with this if you succeed the winner will get a wonderful bountiful righteous fee!! Legendary Performance in honor of Randy Revlon Mugler and Marquis Revlon.
The George Peabody Library’s copy of Henry Ridgeley Evans, Cagliostro…, 1810.
BUTCH QUEEN PERFORMANCE: “Court of Fairy”
Michael Drayton, in hopes of quenching the thirst for fairy lore which was and still is a popular theme of imagination, wrote Nymphidia: the Court of Fairy. Bq performance has always decreed be it soft & cunt or dramatic to see. Tonight in honor of 2 Baltimore’s best, your talent will truly be put to test!! Ricky Allure is the Queen of soft and cunt with grace, antics and clever stunts!! LemonHead Karan was a majestic creature, with a dramatic style that was always a feature!! Be it a back breaking dip with a phenomenal split or that mincing catwalk was always the whip. Now where am I going with this you may ask, with a 1000.00 on the table this is not going to be an easy task!! Be it soft&cunt or dramatic you dare, be sure to capture the crowd with your unique flair. Dressed as a mystical fairy to entertain the court by using ONE of the honorees’ moves be it a catwalk, dip, or hands of sort. Remember $1000.00 is on the line so let your talent show sublime.
Frontpiece from the Peabody Library’s Nymphidia, 1814.