Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ball Legend Paris Dupree has Died

If you are a fan of "Paris Is Burning" then I have some sad news. Paris Dupree has died.

Here's the scoop:
In New York’s drag ball world, Paris Dupree was considered a legend among legends. As the founding mother of the House of Dupree, she was an inimitable force, an iconic figure who mobilized young, urban gays to express themselves in ways that mainstreamAmerica could not quite understand. That is until the release of Jennie Livingston 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning, which was named after one of Dupree’s grand balls. Details of Dupree’s death remain unconfirmed, but friends and fans began Tweeting “R.I.P. Paris Dupree” on August 15. She was living in New York City at the time of her passing.

“The ballroom runway ‘Grand Prize Competition’ in heaven got a bit thicker this week with the passing of Mother Paris Dupree,” says famed performer Karl Xtravaganza. “Her death signals the end of an era.” Dupree made her mark as one of the “big five” House mothers in New York’s ballroom scene. She founded the House of Dupree in the 1970’s alongside her fellow mothers Angie Xtravaganza, Dorian Corey, Avis Pendavis and Pepper LaBeijia. Originally established in Harlem, the drag balls were over-the-top and exuberant—a Wonderland of escapism where you can be anything you want, and anything goes. Dupree’s annual Paris Is Burning ball inspired Jennie Livingston’s documentary, which included footage from ballroom events and intimate interviews with drag mothers and their “children.” Dupree appears in one scene where she rips the wig off her head and yells “Butch, Queen!” to the judges. It’s a true lesson in fierceness that only a ballroom icon could teach.
This is a sad day for the community.

Hat Tip to Rod 2.0


luciferosirisarnold said...

Trooper to the end. RIP

Allan S. said...

I was at that ball!!! It actually was my first! I went along with Willie and Angie Ninja. When I saw Paris for the first time I gagged. She controlled the room at all times.

Wow! She has passed and now it is her turn for divine metamorphosis.

David Dust said...

Tens across the board for a true Legend.

Rest in peace Mother Dupree.


Anonymous said...

I never knew the world of balls and all that stuff existed until watching a movie last year about a transgendered person, since then its been a sweet and sour educational trip for me, sweet because despite their differences these are just people like myself ,loving caring non perfect people, sour because I watched the movie Paris is burning, must say it was very interesting, but sad that many of those profiled in the documentary have died ,some pretty young.
Ms. Dupree

Anonymous said...

Btw I forgot to mention that the tribute video is really beautiful.
Its wonderful to see and know that we still have that kind of love for each other.

2waymiza said...

I never forget the time lousville,Ky when I mate her for the first time and hung out with Miss Paris Dupree the and my kids Snoopy and Princess from Buffalo ny her and hang out with her she was a blast I had so much fun I have so much respect that I got to meet a wonderful lady that she was I'm so sad that she's not on this earth today but I know she is walking in heaven I'll never forget what she has done to the ballroom scene then and now but I also like to give props to dj vjuan allure Saint Laurent for making a beat with her in it and also the video that was made was nice !!!!...... I also remember how creative she said she was when we were hanging in Louisville Kentucky she told me how she was going to take the curtains in the hotel and make a dress with

2waymiza said...

R.I.P. Ms. Dupree

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Viktor is a small town southern boy living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Twitter, writing about pop culture, politics, and comics. He’s the creator of the graphic novel StrangeLore and currently getting back into screenwriting.