Santi Elijah Holley

It wouldn’t be TBA without late-night dance parties. After spending hours taking in such tragicomic shows as Kaneza Schaal’s JACK &, or the hyper-intimate modern dance performance of Milka Djordjevich’s ANTHEM, it can be restorative to step out onto the dance floor and shake off any built-up tension, pressed against other sweaty bodies. By all means, Legendary should’ve been a packed house, but by having the unfortunate time slot of 10pm on Sunday night, it didn’t bring in the heat normally found at Legendary parties.

Santi Elijah Holley

Curated by Portland-based artist, lecturer, and radical queer theologian bart fitzgerald, Legendary is a long-running, fashion-forward dance party for LGBTQ people of color in Portland, celebrating black and brown sexual expression. With a crew of four all-black DJs, Deena Bee started off the night spinning hits from Cardi B, Anderson.Paak, Beyonce, Camila Cabello, and others, while the film New Jack City screened overhead. (“The blackest film ever,” fitzgerald commented.) BNICK followed, with deeper cuts by French Montana, Travis Porter, and Fabolous, while Issa Rae’s Insecure played on the screen above.

After midnight, Valan Primus took over the decks with throwbacks like Crystal Waters’s “100% Pure Love,” “Show Me Love” by Robin S, and (continuing the “love” theme) Haddaway’s “What is Love.” There were never more than 20-30 people on the dance floor at a time and—for a party celebrating black and brown queer bodies—there were a conspicuously high number of white folks. When headlining, DJ Dubblife closed out the night with tracks by Yung Gravy, Playboi Carti, and Krippy Kush. Most people had already closed their bar tabs and begun to head home to get ready for their workweek.

Typically held in smaller and more intimate venues, the PICA warehouse was also a much larger space than other Legendary parties, further lending the night a feeling of wasted potential, and a sense of what could’ve been, had fitzgerald been given a more suitable night.

We'll be blogging about TBA 2018 every day of the fest! Keep up with us at: portlandmercury.com/tba