After a very limited theatrical run that kicked off in New York City on January 17 (courtesy of BOND/360), the critically-acclaimed documentary “Strike a Pose” will become widely accessible when it make its TV premiere on cable network Logo on Thursday, April 6 at 9pm ET/PT, the channel announced this week. Logo Documentary Films acquired broadcast rights to the film after the Tribeca Film Festival.
The candid and at times somber documentary that reunites the sleek and effervescent dancers from Madonna’s iconic “Truth or Dare,” 25 years after the controversial film and tour that swept pop culture, is co-directed by Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan. The film explores life for the dancers after the tour and legal battles with Madonna, their glamorous and largely inspirational impact upon society, the horrific effects of HIV/AIDS during and since the 90’s, and of course what it meant to participate in one of the most iconic and controversial tours of pop history.
In 1990, seven young male dancers – 6 gay, 1 straight – joined Madonna on her most controversial tour. On stage and in the iconic film “Truth or Dare” they showed the world how to express yourself. Now, 25 years later, they reveal the truth about life during and after the tour.
“Seven fierce male dancers became Madonna’s paragons of pride. In ‘Strike a Pose’ we learn – paradoxically – how their own lives were clouded by secrecy and compromise,” said directors Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan in a previous statement. “Once again, their strength and resilience inspire us. We’re thrilled that we can share what we believe to be a liberating and important story with audiences in the US and Canada.”
“These seven dancers from the Blond Ambition tour inspired a whole generation. From the halls of the ballrooms to center stage, their bold self-expression was a true pop-culture inspiration,” said Taj Paxton, VP of Logo Documentary Films. “We’re proud to showcase the men behind the woman and to stir the next generation of leaders and tastemakers in the LGBTQ community.”
The documentary was an official selection at the 2016 Tribeca, Berlin and Hot Docs Film Festivals. A home video release later in June will follow, to celebrate LGBTQ Pride month.
Meet the dancers and watch a trailer for the film below:
Oliver Crumes III – Born and raised in the projects of New Orleans, Oliver admits to being homophobic when he first joined the troupe and thanks Madonna and the other dancers for opening his heart.
Carlton Wilborn – In “Truth or Dare,” Carlton became the personification of proud self-expression – laughing loud, dancing wild and jumping into Madonna’s bed bare-naked. But carrying a big secret, his extrovert personality was more a pose than true confidence.
Luis Camacho – In the 1980’s, Luis and his dance partner Jose Gutierez were striking poses in Harlem’s house ballrooms – a gay and drag scene in which men compete against one another for their dancing skills, style and catwalk presence. He and Jose taught Madonna how to vogue and performed the infamous “Like A Virgin” number with her during the tour.
Salim “Slam” Gauwloos – Born in a small Flemish town by Belgian-Moroccan parents, Salim made an impression in “Truth or Dare” by kissing fellow dancer Gabriel Trupin – the first gay kiss ever to be shown in a major movie. It is only lately that he has come to see what both the tour and “Truth or Dare” have meant to people around the world: “We helped the world to come out of the closet!”
Kevin Stea – Only when another dancer was kicked off the tour by Madonna was Kevin asked to come on board as a dancer and dance captain. He now sees the tour as both his coming-of-age and coming-out party. Kevin has worked with stars like Prince, Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, Cher, David Bowie and Lady Gaga.
Gabriel Trupin – Gabriel, the most quiet and least outgoing of the dancers, died in San Francisco in 1995 at the age of 26, after losing a silent battle with AIDS. Gabriel kept his sickness a secret until he could no longer hide it from his mother and close relatives. When Gabriel heard that the famous “Truth or Dare” scene of him French-kissing with Slam was to be part of the film, he begged Madonna not to use it. When she did, he sued her for forced outing, and the case was settled out of court.
Jose Gutierez – Jose continued to work with Madonna for years after the Blond Ambition Tour and was featured in the “Justify My Love” video. Jose & Luis choreographed the “Vogue” video, resulting in a nomination for an MTV Award. Jose is still a renowned figure in the voguing scene and teaches it to LGBT youth in New York and worldwide. He recently contributed to the Baz Luhrmann series “The Get Down.”