Ushering in a new culture!
Last weekend Hyderabad saw the very first 'Drag Show' to mark the ongoing Pride Month. The event was conducted by Sas3's Dancing Feet in collaboration with Mobbera Foundation, a pro-LGBTQ+ NGO. A total of three Drag Queens mesmerised the audience and electrified the atmosphere at Nirvana Café in Madhapur.
"Drag queens are performance artists, almost always male, who dress in women's clothing and often act with exaggerated femininity and in feminine gender roles with a primarily entertaining purpose. They often exaggerate make-up such as eyelashes for dramatic, comedic or satirical effect," Patruni Chidananda Sastry, the organiser of the event, who is also the founder of Hyderabad Drag Club, a group which aims to host drag workshops, performances and many more events to bring up Drag culture in Hyderabad.
Talking about the idea of conducting a Drag event in Hyderabad Patruni said, "Drag is a performance art and should be encouraged and accepted, it's the first time we are bringing drag to Hyderabad and Drag has the capability to be a part of mainstream pub and disco culture and a win-win for both hoteliers as well as performance industry."
Drag queens are closely associated with gay men and gay culture but can be of any sexual orientation or gender identity. They vary widely by class, culture, and dedication, from professionals who star in films to people who try drag very occasionally.
"The activity, which is called doing drag, has many motivations, from individual self-expression to mainstream performance. Drag queen activities among stage and street performers may include lip-syncing, live singing, dancing, roasting, etc.," Sastry informed.
The show started with the first drag queen Maha Mohini D'vi, performed by Patruni Chidananda Sastry, who grizzled the stage with a blue velvet saree and fluffy pink add on, used a contemporary touch to the Indian attire with a Fur Scarf and a loud green wig. The make-up was exaggerated with eyelashes and darker eye shade to give away a beyond the conventional status.
Mohini D'vi spilt the magic by dancing on the one of the pride anthems 'Born this way' by Lady Gaga followed by a singing performance of 'She-wolf' by Shakira. The audience hooted the performance and the spirits were on high, with flowing felinity of the Drag artist. The performance ended with a Hindi song sung by Mohini, creating a groove within the audience.
Talking about the character Sastry said, "Mohini D'vi is the goddess, she is over the top women whom you could see in Indian fictions, she is witty, and she dances and sings, she is an enchantress."
The next performance was by Mallika-e-Raks, who brought the Begum era to Hyderabad. This performance was quite nawabi and for a while gave the audience the flavour of classic movies of 'Umrao Jaan' and 'Mughal-e-Azam'.
The final drag performance was by 'Nutty Savitri' performed by Anil Kohli, who bought the core Telugu independent woman image to his drag. Nutty roasted the audience with wit and the audience went bonkers with the laugh bombs thrown by the performer.
Anil, who is a co-founder of Mobbera said, "Nutty Savitri is a Telugu born independent women, she loves to roast people and be sassy." The event also saw some Drag Kings dressed by Apoorva Gupta and a lip sync performance by Soumaya.