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Hyderabad to have its first-ever Drag Con

Patruni Sastry and fellow drag performers

Patruni Sastry and fellow drag performers   | Photo Credit: Rahul Das

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Drag Con Hyderabad invites the city with open arms to have a blast and grasp the exciting and loving nature of drag culture

When Patruni Chidananda Sastry answers the phone, he sounds breathless yet excited. “Well, I have way too many ensembles from which to choose!” he laughs, adding that can indeed be a problem. The aforementioned abundance of clothes is for Saturday evening’s Drag Con Hyderabad at HyLife Brewing Company – the first in the city.

Chidananada Sastry is a familiar face for his TEDx talks such as ‘Dance With Data’, alluding to his work as an analyst for Deloitte, and his immersive workshops about and the arts. Now he has drawn inspiration from RuPaul’s Drag Race to bring about Drag Con in the city. “Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai have established ones,” he says, “but in Hyderabad we are still finding venues which can support it as well as a good crowd who can attend. So sensitising people about drag is a challenge. The unique spirit here is that the drag performers are doing this for the first time.”

Drag Con will have different mixes of 10 to 15 drag artistes: camp, club, fish, cannibal and performative… so the team are trying to put up performances of each type and present them to the audiences. People from different walks of life are participating too: a beautician, a journalist, an androgynous model and a corporate employee.

Patruni, whose team pulled the event together in just five days, then explains ‘anonymous’ drag which describes people who are in the closet and doesn’t interact with the LGBTQI+ community. “Just as there is a diversity in the community around us, we want a mirrored reflection in the art of drag,” he says. That said, anyone can come and put on an anonymous drag show at Drag Con.

Ask Patruni what he’s most excited about and he responds, “I feel Drag Con will be a rebirth for me, while challenging me to up my game!”

“With Drag Con, we don’t just want to pull in the LGBTQI+ community, but also the mainstream crowd, so everyone knows what we do and how it all works,” Patruni states, “We want to display drag as an everyday art in the community rather than an ‘other.’ We are collaborating with many organisations as well; such as Aaina, Ants Cafe, Jxtapose and Vybe.” Ideally, Hyderabad Drag Club wants everyone, especially first-time beholders of drag, to attend and experience the fun with an open heart and an open mind. Yes, sadly dragaphobia is a thing but Drag Con hopes to take first steps to put that at rest.

(Drag Con Hyderabad will be taking place on Saturday October 26 at HyLife Brewing Company on Road Number 36, Jubilee Hills. Tickets are ₹500 per person. )

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 6:40:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/drag-con-hyderabad-2019-patruni-sastry/article29798142.ece

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