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Immerse yourself in the epic creative journey and celebration of the ballroom scene that has spanned two years and two continents so far. 

In 2021 Sundown Kiki was born: an explosive new show by young queer Black and Global Majority artists that brought the worlds of theatre and ballroom together. The conversations Sundown Kiki sparked led to Communities of Resistance, a creative project where the same young people travelled to the home of ballroom, New York, in a partnership with the Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI). An international creative partnership was ignited and in 2023 the Young Vic staged Sundown Kiki Reloaded, a remount with a US twist, which featured Kiki Scene youth from the Hetrick-Martin Institute

If you would like to get involved in future Taking Part projects and programmes, please sign up to the Participation (for those under 25) or Neighbourhood Theatre (for those over 25) mailing lists by clicking the buttons below. 

Sundown Kiki - 2021

In Nov 2021, we filled the Maria Studio with sequins, celebratory togetherness, and a healthy dose of shade with our Taking Part production Sundown Kiki. This production brought the world of theatre and ballroom together in an explosive performance of music, dance, walking, and partying. Created with and performed by Queer young artists from the Global Majority, directed by Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu, with creative direction from Jay Jay Revlon, Sundown Kiki was a bold celebration of Queer South London in all its glory. 

Our company of young people worked with a team of professional artists to explore creative expression in all its forms, created a community in which to explore aspects of their identity through theatre and performance, and had the opportunity to take part in a range of different creative activities (including acting, voguing, and costume design). The project culminated in them developing a brand-new piece of theatre to take to the Maria Studio. 

We also worked with TEA films to make use of live broadcasting so that audiences could enjoy a night of vogue, dance, celebration, and shade from the comfort of their homes! 

The production was also celebrated as part of the Twenty Thrive exhibition in Oct 2022. To find out more, visit the Twenty Thrive exhibition webpage – keep a look out for room four about 5 minutes 35 seconds into the video.

Communities of Resistance – 2022

Following the sell-out success of Sundown Kiki, the Young Vic engaged our group of Queer and Black and Global Majority young artists in a new creative process which connected Sundown Kiki to New York, the birthplace of ballroom, and explored ballroom’s political heritage and how art has historically been used as a collective space of political resistance. 

Working with House Father and leading figure of UK ballroom Jay Jay Revlon, theatre director and writer Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu, and US-based theatre and ballroom artist Kemar Jewel, the young artists explored what the notion of Communities of Resistance meant to them and within their creative practice. This project was delivered in collaboration with the Hetrick-Martin Institute in New York. 

The project concluded with a collaboration between the UK and US young artists in New York in summer 2022, where they created a scratch performance around the theme of Communities of Resistance. This international group of young artists also marched together in the New York Pride Parade 2022. 

Spring Ballroom season – April 2023  

In April, the Young Vic hosted a series of special balls and workshops designed to support and celebrate young ballroom artists.  

With categories from Realness to Lip Sync, Waacking, All American Runway and many more, The Fabric with Colour Vogue Ball presented by Jay Jay Revlon and Young Vic Taking Part brought audiences back to the playground and to fun with a special birthday ball that put the scene first. 

A Night at the Theatre Kiki Ball was the little sister of the Vogue Ball, hosted by Amani and Jazz from the Kiki House of Laveaux and featuring some familiar faces from Sundown Kiki. Familiar characters and themes from iconic Young Vic Taking Part productions were brought to life by the talents of the London KiKi scene.  

These events were accompanied by a series of ballroom related workshops, covering subjects from runway to costume making, led by ballroom legends including Jonovia Xclusive Lanvin and Mother Nikki Gorgeous Gucci.

Sad you missed out? Or maybe you just want to relive the night in all of its glory? Get in on the ballroom vibe by watching the highlights from The Fabric with Colour Vogue Ball, or listening to our playlist from the night here:  

Please note the below playlist includes videos with flashing lights and strong language. Any strong language used is in alignment with, and appropriate within ballroom culture.  

Sundown Kiki Reloaded – August 2023

Sundown Kiki Reloaded was a remount of the sold-out original performance - with a US twist! The show was created with and featured Kiki Scene youth from the Hetrick-Martin Institute in the US in an exciting collaboration. The second half of the show consisted of a ball featuring both the UK and US casts hosted by Jay Jay Revlon to further highlight and celebrate ballroom culture. We had some famous faces in the audience for this one, including THE Jourdan Dunn who one of the houses in the show was named after.

The cast of Sundown Kiki Reloaded with Jourdan Dunn

Sundown Kiki Reloaded is a show that comes from a collaborative process with young people, to tell their stories through the medium of ballroom. Who knew making theatre with a bunch of strangers would create a family. Our aim was to create a production that would merge theatre & ballroom but also acknowledge and show appreciation to the US & UK Ballroom culture.” 

Jay Jay Revlon, creative director of Sundown Kiki Reloaded

The Sundown Kiki Documentary

We are excited to be able to share with you the Sundown Kiki documentary, made by Asa Haynes and Jamal Duane Alatise, documenting the epic journey of developing this project over the last two years. The documentary celebrates Taking Part’s partnership with New York’s Hetrick Martin Institute, featuring the making of Sundown Kiki Reloaded, interviews with cast and creatives, and behind the scenes footage from our ballroom journey. 

Watch the Sundown Kiki Reloaded documentary below: 

If you would like to get involved in future Taking Part projects and programmes, please sign up to the Participation (for those under 25) or Neighbourhood Theatre (for those over 25) mailing lists by clicking the buttons below.