07.16.11: The Lost Circus
(circus meets dark cabaret with a steampunk twist)
official New York City fundraiser for Burning Man 2011 Temple
The Circus is said to have started in ancient Egypt when the court entertainers of an immortal Pharaoh escaped their slavery under a midnight moon. They have traveled the globe for centuries, gathering talent from every great empire as the empire itself begins to crumble: Istanbul, Saint Petersburg, London, Berlin...and now they have made it across the sea.
The party: Discover a circus long lost, with music from times gone by or times that never were: Sxip Shirey (impossible music on improbable instruments), Franz Nicolay (the mustachio'd accordion man of World Inferno Friendship Society and The Hold Steady), Kim Boekbinder (murderous waltzes to epic pop ballads via voice, guitar, looping pedal and a bag full of mystery), Stav Meishar (ukelele meets Shakespeare). Yula and the eXtended family play two dance sets of unbridled punk klezmer. Special guest Shayfer James. DJ Joro Boro bridges the dust of Burning Man with the sounds of a rogue Slavic circus, and The Bass of Disorient takes you deeper into the playa for late-night dancing.
The circus unfolds to live bands and in between, in a 19th century church with soaring ceilings, stained glass windows and wraparound balcony. Expect art installations, curious sounds, unexpected diversions, and a grander-than-usual touch of magic. High-flying aerial acts, fire and stilts by Stoya, Sandhi Ferreira, Dana Abrassart, Maxine Nienow, Erinina Ness, Mandy Hackman, Lisa Natoli. Circus sideshow by Honor Amongst Thieves. Object awakening by Marina Tsaplina. Seeing Inside: puppet-theater-inside-a-dress, by Emily Davis and Jess Hooks. Balloon animals by Fire Pixie and Looner.
Plus: Until 12am, a silent auction of beautiful art prints, handmade costuming, yoga and aerial classes, playa perks and more, with donations by Arouse Coffee, RA Friedman, Kiwanis Bikes and more. Live screen printing by The Bushwick Print Lab. Fanciful body art by Painteresse Elysabeth. Silent films by Jim Batt. Vintage portrait photo studio by Steven Rosen. Mysterious caged creatures by Kate Brehm.
Art: Copper creatures by Jude Ferencz. Live sketching by Yao Xiao. The Anywhere Organ by Matthew Borgatti: a mobile, open source, midi controlled pipe organ. Special preview of the Tree of Heaven by Jesse & Kat Green: NYC's contribution to the Circle of Regional Effigies at this year's Burning Man - a 24-sculpture circle and largest coordinated burn in the event's history.
The VIP donor reception: Donations over $40 include 7pm admission for a reception with specially curated performances, two free drinks, and first access to the silent auction. Depending on donation level, additional "thank you" Temple gifts include stamped dog tags, t-shirts, earrings and more. Unique soundtrack by antique phonograph DJ MAC and the eclectic DJ Poodlecannon of Bulgarian Bar; special performance by the Gamelatron (the world's only robotic gamelan orchestra), and other special guests. 100% of the VIP ticket and auction proceeds will go to the Temple (plus 50% of regular ticket sales).
Costume suggestions: Dark cabaret, traveling circus, steampunk Victorian, neo-tribal, funky formal, desert wanderer, playa partier, Edward Gorey, Tim Burton, Mad Max, City of Lost Children, radical self expression -- or at least cocktail attire. Stilts & characters welcome. Effort required / dress code more flexible after 1am.
Press: "Take a Tim Burton film. Now make it darker (if possible) and sexier (yes, please)...in a stroke of maniacal genius, [G&S] are bringing steampunk fantasy to life" - The Village Voice. "A late-night extravaganza...where the big top and cabaret collide" - The New York Post. "Grown-ups can mingle with fire-breathers and live out their big top fantasies" - TimeOut NY
The Temple: The 2011 Burning Man festival Temple, the Temple of Transition, will stand 120' high, 220' wide, a symphony of soaring gothic arches, balinese pagodas, and intricate Maori & Celtic surface detail, all built by a volunteer crew of over 150 people. The spiritual & emotional heart of Burning Man, the participatory art festival in the Nevada desert, the Temple is an enormously complex project -- encompassing a huge range of projects from CNC panels, chandeliers and stained glass through engineered steel, logistics, lighting, and the burn itself to consider and make happen -- and requires the resources and support of the entire community to make it happen.
More Temple images here
More on our artists:
Live musical acts!
Punk klezmer: Yula and the eXtended Family
Yula and the Extended Family is an ever-growing, ever-morphing poetic tribe. Music is often hard to categorize, especially when one is aiming for a new kind of sound. Inspired by everything from hardcore punk to Mediterranean rock to Klezmer to Caribbean brass, The eXtended Family plays music which is punk in spirit and joyous in melody, a new kind of blend we call ro-punk. Yula Beeri (singer/songwriter/piano/guitar/bass) ex World Inferno, Star Fucking Hipsters and NaNuchKa fronts this unique Ro-Punk outfit with members of Gato Loco, The Torcher Chamber Ensemble, This Way to the Egress.
Curious objects and impossible sounds: Sxip Shirey
Sxip Shirey is a real life circus composer and maestro of Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, The Daredevil Opera Company & gypsy punk ensemble Luminescent Orchestrii. "Haunting" - The New York Times (2008). "Sxip conjures a world of infernal calliopes and cotton candy machetes wielded by Gypsy crones with angel feet" - SF Weekly. "Compelling...ominous original music" - The New York Times (2009).
Fierce accordion: Franz Nicolay
Franz Nicolay is that mustachioed man-about-town you've seen in bands like The Hold Steady and World/Inferno Friendship Society and by his own damn self; a punk-rock vaudevillian of days of wine and roses; eros, the rose, and the sore. "One of today's master songwriters and musicians." - Philadelphia Examiner. "Recasting the windswept folk artist as someone with piratical swagger, he comes over like Nick Cave leading an American Pogues, and every see-saw rhythm is shot through with a potent, whisky-drenched drama." - Q Magazine. "Nicolay holds court... with his wordy troubadour tales of vagabonds, villains and vixens... from Billy Bragg-ish punk-folk to tango to banjo ballads to Old Europe stompers." - CMJ
Charming songstress: Kim Boekbinder
Kim Boekbinder has your heart. She stole it in the future and has traveled back in time to make sure you remember how to fall in love with the world. Her songs range from murderous waltzes to epic pop ballads, from country sing-a-longs to sonic sculptures. She usually plays electric guitar, but is also keen on making noise with ukulele, accordion, piano, and squeaky toys. She spent the last five years touring with her internationally acclaimed band, Vermillion Lies, and has now recorded a solo album that's hooked artistic luminaries such as Neil Gaiman, Rosanne Cash, Molly Crabapple and more.
Beautiful bells: The Gamelatron
The Gamelatron is the fruit of a collaboration between The Composer and multi-media artist Zemi17: Aaron "Taylor" Kuffner with The League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots (LEMUR). Modeled after traditional Balinese and Javanese gamelan orchestras, the Gamelatron features sets of classic instruments in ornate frames with custom robotic counter parts. MIDI sequences control up to 170 robotic striking mechanisms that produce intricately woven rhythmic sound. The Gamelatron is presented as a site specific sound installation / kenetic sculpture and as an instrument for live concert performance.
Ukelele meets Shakespeare: Stav Meishar
Stav Meishar is what happened when Tim Burton and David Bowie had a baby. A true renaissance woman, she's determined to leave no performance skill unexplored. A born Israeli, Stav moved to NYC to pursue her Musical Theatre education, and since graduating she's been working as a performer all over America. Though Stav's a traditional Thespian by training, she's been experimenting with different performance arts including ukulele playing, aerial dancing and poi spinning
Antique crank-up phonograph: Michael Cumella
Michael hand-cranks two period disc phonographs with 78's circa 1900-1929 for a culturally arresting, quirky and engaging musical experience that transports the listener to the previous century. The music ranges from ragtime to dance bands, instrumentalists to songsters. Visually fascinating and vastly entertaining, this obsolete media presentation is a treat for the eyes and ears. Since 1995, Michael (aka MAC) can be heard on WFMU's Antique Phonograph Music Program: 91.1 FM in the NYC area at 7pm every Tuesday.
Balkan circus madness: DJ Poodlecannon
Marc Nasdor (DJ Poodlecannon) grew up in Baltimore but has lived in New York City forever. He has been a resident DJ at Mehanata Bulgarian Bar since 2006, scouring the planet to spin global party music that no one else in their right mind would touch with a 10 ft. pole. He has performed at venues around NYC, and in Baltimore, Budapest, Pécs (Hungary), Mexico City and Mérida (Yucatan).
Slavic circus meets Burning Man: Joro Boro
Former resident of the legendary Mehanata Bulgarian Bar in New York, Joro-Boro plays and promotes etnoteck - the dirty and uninhibited side of globalization as a forced feed back into a party without borders, a three-day Balkan wedding in a post-national state where noise, bass and desire detonate the conglomerate monoculture. He is a monthly host of MoGlo (Modern Global) on Radio New York, has toured with Balkan Beat Box, and has performed with artists ranging from Bassnectar to Tinariwen.
Deeper into the dust: The Bass
Funky party house maestro and Disorient honcho. Pants known to vanish mid-set.
Awesome aerial stunts: Dana Abrassart
Reveling in all things above the ground, Dana Abrassart is a stilt walker and aerialist in NYC. She found the flying world on a whim, but quickly fell in love with the athletic, creative, and performance aspects of aerial and all things circus. She has performed in several private and public venues around NYC including the Dance Parade, Mermaid Parade, Rubulad, The House of Yes, and even a recent stint with the Cambodian Circus. With a garter flask strapped on and lips rouged, Dana looks forward to ushering all the swingers into 2011 with high flying strength and grace.
Awesome aerial stunts: Erinina Ness
Always one to climb the scaffolding or the subway bars, a rockface or a random tree, in 2008 Erinina finally took her performance skills into the air and began training in Static Trapeze and Aerial Silks. Currently she is taking these skills to the stages while furthering her training in Flying Trapeze, Chinese Pole and Acrobatics at Circus Warehouse in Long Island City.
Circus sideshow: Honor Amongst Thieves
Hailing from the exotic state of New Jersey, we are the Most Spectacular, cutest little travelling Sideshow on this side of the Mississippi! We don't really know what's on the other side and wish to not come off as presumptuous...
Object awakening: Marina Tsaplina
Object theater performer and puppeteer, Marina Tsaplina enlivens and brings forth to the audience the mystery within the physical world, connecting (and misconnecting) objects with stories, emotions, sound and breathe. We exist within a network of connected selves and non-selves, and the difference between you and a glass bottle, is a whisper. Can you hear it? Welcome to Vital Materialism. "...expertly manipulated by puppeteer Marina Tsaplina" - nytheatre.com. "she may be developing a new language of theater" - Claudia Orenstein.
Ferocious beasts: Kate Brehm
Kate Brehm makes things move. Her performative costumes and environments evoke the thrill of suspended disbelief in those who wander amongst them.
Puppet-theater-inside-a-dress: Seeing Inside
"Seeing Inside" takes place under the skirt of Lou Andreas-Salome in the late 19th century. A toy puppet theatre, complete with black and theatrical lighting, is secreted within Lou's gown. Lou weaves the ideas, discoveries and music of the era into an intimate narrative. Featured are her lover, Rainer Maria Rilke and her friend, Sigmund Freud, as well as a taste of Ibsen. "Seeing Inside" takes us inside and then further inside to see what is beneath the surface. Created and conceived by Emily Davis and Jess Hooks. Puppet Design - Marte Ekhougen. Digital Interaction Design - Noah Zerkin. Puppeteer and Puppet Consultant - Jo Jo Hristova. Lou Andreas-Salome - Sara Zimmerman.
Silent film fragments: The Ghostlight Project by Jim Batt
The Ghostlight Project is an exploration in the delicate art of finding fragments of old silent films that never existed. These relics have been restored by filmmaker Jim Batt.
Twin-screen exploration: Sebastian Patane Masuelli
Video installation artist Sebastian Patane Masuelli will be heating up pixels, regaling the crowd with VJ sets of vintage splendour -- think turn-of-the-century special effects pioneer George Méliès, original exotic + erotic film masters Pathé Frères, Futura from Metropolis doing battle with Edison's Serpentine, pencil tests for Little Nemo -- a cast of thousands from 1894 till 1929.
Twin-screen exploration: VJ La Loba
Brooklyn video artist La Loba will unearth buried footage, mixing vampires, she-wolves, demon dances, snake charmers and vintage striptease acts for your dark and gorey visual pleasure.
Fantastical face painting: Painteresse Elyzabeth
Painteresse Elyzabeth will be offering her exquisite freehand Face & Body Artistry. From small sexy embellishments to ornate masks, from tribal to victorian, in black and white or vivid color, with glittery tattoos and special long-lasting phosphorescent Glowing makeup. Dare to become Illuminated! (You can reach the fabulous Elyzabeth at Painteresse*at*yahoo)
Live screen printing: Bushwick Print Lab
The Bushwick Print Lab (founded 200 by Ray Cross) is an accessible collective workshop dedicated to the art of silkscreen printing. Ray Cross currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife, organizes the Bushwick Print Lab, and co-produces silkscreen work with a variety of organizations, artists, and designers. Previous projects include; co-founder of Ad Hoc Art gallery, co-founder of Peripheral Media Projects art collective, and collaborative projects with Camp Image Node. Ray studied painting and printmaking at Pratt Institute and Virgina Commonwealth University.
Musical installation: The Anywhere Organ
A large, mobile musical installation made from a resurrected pipe organ. It plays almost 50 classic organ pipes (some over 5 feet tall) through a MIDI system, meaning it can interface with anything: a laptop, an arduino, an iphone, or its own brand of custom hardware. If you happened to visit Figment on Governor's Island, you may have seen it playing away. This is a project from hacker/artist/sculptor Matthew Borgatti, who has been responsible for projects like The Pillow Mace, Velociraptor Cufflinks, and The Bioshock Belt Buckle. Matt's currently working on a secret project, making interactive robotic museum installations for a certain major internet search juggernaut.
Special preview: The Tree of Heaven
The CORE (Circle of Regional Effigies) project invites Burning Man communities from around the world to submit effigies representative of their culture to be placed in a circle around the Man. This highly ambitious undertaking will culminate in the simultaneous burning of 24 pieces: the largest coordinated burn in the event's 25-year history. The Tree of Heaven is the greater NYC community's contribution to the CORE effigy burn. It consists of a luminous subway map that appears to be embedded in the Playa floor, glowing with the vibrant energy of the city that never sleeps. This is a special preview of the work-in-progress as it's being constructed for the festival.
Copper creatures: Jude Ferencz
The skills needed to fashion copper artfully can take years to perfect. Jude Ferencz's creations have grown out of both his experience as a tradesman in copper construction and his strong aesthetic sense, coupled with a willingness to experiment. Relying on tin-snips, presses, casting tools and imagination, Jude captures the beauty of copper and of nature in his flowers, insects and his Steampunk furniture that includes chairs, lamps and tables. His work has been exhibited in the Neuberger Museum of Art as well as in several Art Galleries across New York.
Live sketching: Yao Xiao
Fascinated by the energy and creativity bursting from partying crowds, Yao Xiao finds herself drawing in costumes at all sorts of exotic underground gatherings. Yao has sketched at Dances of Vice, Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art school, The Mermaid Parade, Pillow Fight NYC and Shanghai Mermaid. Her inspirations are among Toulouce-Lautrec and Al Hirschfeld: the observing artist in the show room. The process of her drawing becomes part of the show: people watch the act unfolding on her page as it unfolds on the stage. Originally from China, previously residing in Seattle, Chicago and Memphis, the 21-year-old artist is currently attending the School of Visual Arts for illustration.