The Trailblazer Ball by Crystal Saint Laurent & Father David Elle
Live Music Hall
Anyone who experienced "The Crystal Ball" at the last c/o pop Festival will not forget this event in a hurry. Hosted by Crystal Saint Laurent, the Major Ball took place in Cologne for the first time - and it was about time, after all, it was already celebrating its 10th anniversary as the European Chapter of House of Saint Laurent and already its 40th anniversary since the founding of the Iconic House of Saint Laurent in New York. After 10 years of founding work and constant educational work, especially in Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia, a steadily growing ballroom community has now also established itself in Germany. Participants and spectators could see this for themselves at the last event: Herbrand's was bursting at the seams all night long.
For all those who still see more question marks than exclamation marks in front of them: The Ballroom Community, within which "The Crystal Ball" takes place, was founded in New York in the 60s and 70s by and for the Afro- and Latin American trans, drag and LGBTQIA* community. It served primarily as a space for empowerment and a survival mechanism to create visibility for marginalised groups who are still affected by racism, homophobia and transphobia on a daily basis. Especially for BIPOC and queer people, the Ballroom is both a cultural and community space. The whole concept is based on a family network with an incredibly creative output.
As part of the next c/o pop festival, Crystal Saint Laurent & Father David Elle are jointly hosting "The Trailblazer Ball". This time, jury, house, ballroom beats and performers* will meet on the festival Saturday, 29.04.2023, on the runway in the Live Music Hall. Tonight we embark on a pioneering era! We celebrate pioneers, innovators and personalities who have opened some doors along the way. We celebrate the people who have made a better world for us. We pay homage to those who came for us.
The lineup for the evening will be announced in the coming weeks. For the category announcement, join our Facebook event! All categories will be posted here in the coming weeks.
The queer program content of c/o pop is supported by: Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft Lesben in NRW, Queeres Netzwerk NRW and the Ministry for Children, Youth, Family, Equality, Flight and Integration of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Crystal Saint Laurent
Since 2014, she has been a member of the first German House - the House of Melody (2012-2019). As part of the legendary US House of Saint Laurent in the German chapter she acted as Mother of her ex Kiki House of Solar for 5 years. Especially in Cologne and around NRW she built up part of the scene as well as in Berlin she organised Kiki's and sessions and community spaces in the last years. In Ballroom she is known for the categories Face, New Way and Fashion Catgorys.
Father David Elle
David Mendez is the father of the Ballroom "House of Elle". As an advocate for equality and a leading figure in the German ballroom scene, David wants to keep ballroom history alive and strengthen the culture while providing a safe space for the future of the community. In the past he has hosted various charity balls, with all profits going to LGBTQIA+ organisations. David is proficient in various categories such as Runway, Realness, RWT, Face with Performance and Old Way.
Diva Miyake Mugler
Legendery European Mother Diva Ivy Balenciaga
Up and Coming Icon Mother Nikki Gucci
The Icon Overall Overseer Sebastian St Laurent
Mother Naïmah Elle
MC Legendary Matyouz LaDurée
DJ Missy West
The Ball is part of the funding project "c/o pop 2023 musichubgermany" and is supported by the Initiative Musik gemeinnützige Projektgesellschaft GmbH with project funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.