upcoming events

nyc events list

past events

Ongoing: Russian Banya Parties 12.31.13 - The Bootleggers' Ball 10.26.13 - Masquerade Macabre #5 08.09-11.13 - G&S 10th Anniversary (First-ever NYC Steampunk Weekend) 10.27.12 - Masquerade Macabre #4 12.31.12 - Black & White Masked Ball 08.11.12 - The Lost Circus 04.12.12 - The Drowned Ball 02.11.12 - Meet Me in Paris 12.31.11 - The Glitter Ball 10.31.11 - Speakeasy Dollhouse 10.29.11 - Masquerade Macabre #3 08.21.11 - Black & White & Red All Over Ball (Coilhouse Magazine BDay party) 07.16.11 - The Lost Circus 07.14.11 - Lincoln Center's Midsummer Night Swing 2011 - Swing House 12.31.10 - The Bootleggers' Ball 10.30.10 - Masquerade Macabre #2 07.31.10 - The Lost Circus 04.24.10 - Swing House 2-Year Anniversary 03.07 & 21.10 - JaNk! 02.14.10 - The Vault of Golden Vapors 12.31.09 - The Bootleggers' Ball 10.31.09 - Masquerade Macabre 07.17.09 - Nouvelle Époque Cabaret-Salon 06.27.09 - Hobos & Mermaids on the High Seas 04.03-05.09 - Luminous Flux NYC - video art weekend 03.15.09 - Swing House 1-Year Anniversary 11.01.08 - Halloween Vintage Masquerade Ball 10.31.08 - Voodoo Culture Clash 2008 - Swing House vintage dance monthly 02.14.08 - Get Off...Line VI: Roaring 20th 08.18.07 - Radiate Fire! 10.31.06 - Halloween Parade Afterparty II: Devils n Dolls 10.31.05 - Halloween Parade Afterparty: Mardi Gras 06.21.05 - Exotica: Tiki Lounge Shindig 02.14.05 - Get Off...Line III: Say Cheese (and Chocolate) 02.14.04 - Get Off...Line II: Code Red

12.31.12: The Black And White Masked Ball New Year's Eve

Irondale Center, 85 S Oxford St, Fort Greene, BK | Event on Event on Facebook | Twitter: #BWBall

Flyer art by Yao Xiao

"A pinnacle of New York's social history," the original ball was the glorious 1966 creation of already-infamous writer Truman Capote. Royalty and Hollywood idols, authors and political powerhouses filled the imposing ballroom in strict shades of black and white, masked and mysterious, amidst the Plaza Hotel's signature red accents.

Expect the surreal and the sublime in shades of black and white, rich sounds of swing, cabaret and brass whisking your body into a fervor, dancers swirling like op-art patterns, aerialists in dizzying patterns dropping from vertiginous heights, burlesque divas shimmering in feathers and rhinestones, feats of fantastic physical strength, mysterious gypsies to divine your future, and booty-shaking DJs.

Featuring: irresistible dance rhythms of swing, mambo, cha-cha, tango, and pop by the 13-piece Hot Shim Sham Orchestra. Victorian music box mix, industrial flute mayhem and Jank! circus techno by Sxip Shirey, Tuvan-throat-singing-as-dubstep-beats by Liron Peled, and virtuosic human beatboxing by Adam Matta. Burlesque escapades by the School of Burlesque mistress herself, Jo Boobs, and the Paper Queen of Burlesque, Cheeky Lane. Sensuous acro-burlesque by Kinetic Architecture. Tribal-fusion-meets-electro-swing oriental dance by Rio. Fiery treats by Jersey Lily. Feats of aerial prowess by Seanna Sharpe & Sara Zepezauer. Hosted by Zero Boy as Baron Von Doom, Transylvanian ruler of the world. Eclectic beats from ethnotek to deep bass by DJ Joro Boro close the night.

Plus: Fabulous face & body painting by Painteresse Elysabeth. Gorgeous black & white photo booth by Tsirkus Fotografika. 2013 divinations by gifted psychics. Absinthe and other mind-altering potions by The House of St Eve (yes, t.h.o.s.e. cocktails...)

Champagne flows free 9-10pm. Brooklyn Swings teaches you basic swing moves 9:30-10pm. The masks come off at midnight.

Dress code and inspiration [you MUST dress to the theme/no street attire]: black and white formal or cocktail wear of any era (gray/silver ok); elaborate hats, masks, fans and parasols; horse race scene in My Fair Lady (Capote's inspiration); original B+W Ball guests; pop-art/constructivism/De Stijl; circus/cabaret/freakshow. If you must have another color accent, make it minimal and red. Masks preferred but not required. Dress code more relaxed after 2am.

*Last year's NYE at the same venue SOLD OUT of 9pm admission by 12/23 (VIP always sells out quicker). For VIP tickets: please specify total guest count and a name for your party so we can seat you together. As seats are sold individually, please make sure your whole party buys tickets as quickly as possible -- you are not guaranteed seats for everyone unless you purchase them. Tables fit four or eight people; for odd-numbered or small parties, we may combine tables with others. For general admission, please support at the highest level you can afford, to extend the opportunity for lower-priced tickets to those who need them. All proceeds from the event go towards building out our new events space in Gowanus.


More on our artists:

Musical awesomeness!

Swing and tango: Hot Shim Sham Orchestra

The 13-piece Hot Shim Sham Orchestra hails to the grand traditions of the big band dance era with unrivaled authenticity. Vintage sheet music which has remained at rest for decades is read again with energetic vitality and freshness for a new generation of dancers. Since early 2012 dancers at Paul Pellicoro's DanceSport are energized every Monday with rhythms of hot swing to which to find it irresistible to dance swing and lindy steps. The unique repertoire and disciplined musicianship of every member give the orchestra its exotic sound. The vast library also contains a fine selection of fox-trots, waltzes, tangos, sambas, mambos and cha-chas. The orchestra will be recording its first CD in early 2013 entitled "Exotic Sounds of the Big Band Era."

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).

Tuvan throat singing: Liron Peled

Liron Peled plays live dubstep with Tuvan throat singing, with strong influences from metal and Middle Eastern music. His sound has been described as 'the soundtrack of the multiverse'. Liron is known as a founding member of world music group Raquy and the Cavemen, and for his work as a performer and composer with artists such as Balkan Beat Box, Sxip Shirey and Omar Faruk Tekbilek. His instrumentation includes a Middle Eastern drum set with double bass pedal and an electric Doumbek, and he sings phrases in English, Hebrew, Tuvan, Arabic and Gibberish.

Virtuoso human beatboxing: Adam Matta

Adam Matta is a beatboxer and vocal performance artist. With an arsenal of vocal instrumentals including brass, beats, vocal scratches/turntablism, and mechanical sound effects, Matta references blues, rock, rap, heavy metal, drum-and-bass, freestyle jazz, and Middle Eastern, sometimes all in the same composition. "His ability to remix his own voice is remarkable, at first singing over a synced beat and then slowing it down, speeding it up, dubbing, scratching, even using the layrngeal equivalent of a wah-wah pedal" - Village Voice. "beatbox maestro" - Wired Magazine; "virtuoso" - Flavorpill; "brilliant...like sonic abstract expressionism" - Ithaca Times.

Irresistible ethno-mesh: 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.

Wondrous entertainments!

Blazing burlesque: Jo "Boobs" Weldon

Jo is the Headmistress and Founder of the New York School of Burlesque, and is one of the most recognized burlesque instructors in the world. She is a recipient of the coveted Burlesque Hall of Fame award for Recognition of Outstanding Contribution to the Art of Burlesque. She has worked with performers from Leonard Cohen to Spinal Tap, and has been featured on TV shows from CBS Sunday Morning to Gossip Girl. She has released three ground-breaking how-to burlesque DVDs (via World Dance New York), and her critically acclaimed book The Burlesque Handbook is the first book ever published on how to create burlesque routines.

Butoh meets burlesque: Kinetic Architecture

Butoh & Burlesque have baby! Faux Pas, founder of KineticArchitecture, is a former member of the Seán Curran Company. Notable credits/venues: NY Fringe, Philly Fringe, DNA, Galapagos Art Space, NY Burlesque Festival, The Kitchen, Justin Bond's House of Whimsey and Ballet Preljocaj. "Whether it was his perky black tutu or nipple rings, Davidson's plumage did the trick" - NY Times. "A mixture of dance, gravity-defying gymnastics, yoga and S&M" - TimeOut NY.

Fiery tricks: Jersey Lily

Jersey Lily is a founding member of New Jersey's own Honor Amongst Thieves Sideshow, whose travels have taken her to many a dingy nightclub across our fine nation! Known chiefly as "The Barefoot Ballerina of the Blades" for her tendency towards sword walking and glass stomping, Lily is also an accomplished fire manipulator.

Exciting diversions!

Gypsy fortunetelling: Kai Altair

Often seen bellydancing barefoot on stage, Kai creates music that is a timeless tale of primordial magic. Her heartfelt songs lead us happily into temptation, while exuding the strength of femininity. With her siren's song and hypnotic videos already spanning the seven seas, Kai's ethereal, spellbinding voice and mystical lyrics are building a devoted international fan base. From Norway to Egypt, Oklahoma to the UK, Kai is weaving a spell that few can resist. What will this sea-eyed gypsy predict for YOU?

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.com)

Fabulous art!

Art for party flyer: 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 Toulouse-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.

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