At Corn-L.O.L, a Y2K-themed drag present that includes scholar performers hosted by Cornell Ballroom and Drag, viewers members cheered, danced and tipped all through performances. The Nov. 18 occasion was held within the Appel Commons Multipurpose Room, which was embellished with neon lights, balloons and satisfaction flags.
CBD, the nickname for Cornell Ballroom and Drag, is a scholar group established this fall that works to deliver queer empowerment to campus by way of drag and ballroom performances.
Drag performers usually play with gender expression by emphasizing signifiers from a special gender to their on a regular basis identification. In drag performances like these at CBD’s exhibits, performers usually lip-sync and dance whereas interacting with viewers members who tip them in appreciation.
All through the semester, CBD launched many college students to pull efficiency for the primary time.
“As somebody who has solely been doing drag for a few 12 months, I can simply bear in mind being in the identical positions because the newcomers in our membership and it’s so rewarding to have the ability to give these budding performers the data I’ve gained over the previous 12 months,” mentioned CBD Vice President Ry Pirrung ’24.
To arrange scholar performers for his or her drag debuts, CBD educated members on all points of this artwork kind.
“All through the semester, we’ve hosted workshops that expose particular person performers to parts of drag, resembling make-up, choreography, costuming and styling, drag historical past and lip-syncing,” mentioned CBD co-founder and President Jacob Duffles-Andrade ’24. “It’s definitely rewarding to witness the workshops culminating in a full-blown drag present.”
Scholar performers felt liberated in an area that celebrates unconventional gender expression.
“In my expertise, drag isn’t about being acceptable, it’s about being accepted,” mentioned CBD member Lain Nelson ’26, who performs as Owen Down. “Performing looks like being precisely the place I wish to be.”
Duffles-Andrade, who performs as Zorra, mentioned that drag permits performers to grow to be a extra empowered model of themselves.
“Everybody has an interior drag-persona, and as you paint your face and begin to carry out, a newfound confidence and individual seems and steals the present,” Duffles-Andrade mentioned.
Likewise, Pirrung, who performs as Fairy Queen, mentioned that probably the most rewarding a part of drag is bringing pleasure to the viewers.
“Nothing beats the second once you’re on stage and also you’re feeling the fantasy and also you look into the group and so many individuals are simply smiling again at you,” Pirrung mentioned.
Duffles-Andrade moreover views drag as a political assertion.
“[Drag] goes towards society’s establishment by contributing newfound artwork that’s each constructive and queer-centered,” Duffles-Andrade mentioned.
To Raymond Yuan Li ‘24, CBD co-founder, it was rewarding to see the drag present come to fruition.
“From brainstorming a uncooked sketch of what the present is, to working intently with Cornell college and employees in planning and to lastly actualizing the present into actuality with a 150-person turnout, I’m extraordinarily proud that I used to be in a position to create an area that’s secure for queer and BIPOC people,” Yuan Li mentioned.
Along with it being a number of performers’ drag debut, many viewers members had been additionally launched to the craft.
“It’s a completely different expertise performing in entrance of scholars than in entrance of different crowds,” Pirrung mentioned. “As a result of these occasions are age-inclusive, a variety of instances there’s a good quantity of individuals within the crowd at a scholar present who’ve by no means seen a brag present earlier than, and it’s so good simply to be their introduction to the world of drag.”
Altogether, CBD permits college students to powerfully break boundaries.
“As a queer individual, the expression of my sexuality and gender has been so policed all through my life, and in Drag, I can kinda say F— you to all these guidelines and simply do no matter makes me comfortable in probably the most glamorous, dramatic, and goofy manner as attainable,” Pirrung mentioned.