QUEERS OF POP: MADONNA AND KAZAKY

I’ve just had my queerest pop-culture moment for ages and it came, of course, via the Queen of Pop. Marvellous!

Here’s how it happened: whilst going wild waiting for the video to the old girl’s new single, Girl Gone Wild, I’ve been Googling Her Royal Fabulousness daily. You know, in the hope of finding album leaks, official previews, untouched photos… that kind of thing. On Sunday, I found a fan-made video for GGW that used clips of dancing from two artists I’d never heard of. The first was Hardkiss, a cool, Bjorky electro-rock outfit, the second was Kazaky.

“Kazaky” is the Russian pronunciation for “cossacks”, but it could just as easily be code word for “queer”. I have no idea what turns these guys on but, regardless, they’ve got a decidedly gay aesthetic and it’s clear they’re out to challenge gender stereotypes. As I watched the video for In The Middle, I couldn’t help but wonder just how Kazaky manage to express masculinity and femininity at the same time. Those muscles. Those bodies. That ripe male flesh. Hot.

Still, the dancing is, well, not feminine exactly, but perhaps effeminate – camp? And yet their movements are so confident, so sexual, so aggressive. And those heels. It’s certainly not the camp I’m used to, the toothless silliness of John Inman in Are You Being Served? or Julian Clary’s velvety innuendo. This is fuck-you-we’re-fabulous camp. And they are.

Madge has been on my mind recently, now that she’s back. I bumped in to my 46 year old gal pal on Saturday night, a proud grandmother who was wearing over the knee-leather-boots, fishnet tights, a corset and a see-through black silky top. She looked amazing. It would never occur to me to tell her that she shouldn’t be wearing something like that. But, in 2012, that’s all I seem to hear people say about Madonna.

Meanwhile, Mother Pop released the video for GGW. At first I thought she’d been influenced by Kazaky, which would’ve been cool, but it dawned on me that those men prancing around in high heels were, in fact, Kazaky. Perhaps I didn’t notice straight away because there’s just so much damn Madonna in it: it’s very self-referential. There’s even a bit of penis at the start. But yes, thank goodness, the most famous woman in the world took these unapologetically queer, gender-bending and stiletto-wearing hunks, greased them up and let them have their wicked way with her. All on camera, naturally.

Queen Madge has, I think, done another Vogue. What started out as an underground dance craze in New York’s gay clubs became, thanks to her, one of the 20th Century’s more memorable moves. Madonna performed her campest vogue to date at the Superbowl recently, one of the most macho, heterosexual male arenas she could have chosen. Now she’s taken another queer sensation and brought them to the mainstream too. Perhaps she’ll tour with them.

I love Kazaky and I love Madonna. Put them together? It’s fucking queer. I L-U-V it!


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4 thoughts on “QUEERS OF POP: MADONNA AND KAZAKY

  1. misswonderly says:

    This is very interesting. You know there is a long tradition here. Nijinsky was Ukrainian and, looking at these guys, immediately made me think of him and how one imagines he danced from all the descriptions and some tantalising film clips which you can see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gs4MyvujNfA&feature=mr_meh&list=PLBF9E1FB931388859&lf=results_main&playnext=0

    Of course, having grown up when Nureyev was a superstar, I just assumed all Russian dancers were gorgeous and androgynous ;)

  2. misswonderly says:

    Oops sorry … the Nijinsky clips start here:

  3. Vlad says:

    Kazaky are Ukrainians (from Ukraine)

  4. Kristi says:

    Kazaky are not from Russia, they are from Ukraine xDD

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