The Labyrinth of Jareth Annual Fantasy Masquerade Ball is a weekend of enchantment, inspiration and fantasy, where patrons can indulge in two nights of dance, music, fantasy and performance art. This is the twelfth year for this amazing two-day themed party (Friday and Saturday), where incredible costumed fantasies come to life under mask and cloak. Both Nights of festivities and magic take place within the Royal Court at The Henry Ford Music Box Theater. The Labyrinth of Jareth is a Masquerade Ball based on Venetian Histories, Celtic Faerie and Goblin Lore. Some of the most amazing fantasy artists, costumers and special effects crews participate in bringing a diverse host of creatures and mythologies alive each year within the walls of the Masquerade.
The Fantasy Masquerade Ball is one of the few classical events open to anyone who has ever dreamed of a surrealistic fantasy full of decadent and costumed revelry. Music and visuals heighten the senses as the night shields the Goblin Court and the chambers surrounding it. But don’t be confused, this is not a wear whatever-you-want Halloween costume party. You won’t see Spiderman, Wonder Woman or Darth Vader roaming around with a light saber. In fact if you show up in jeans, a t-shirt and a Freddy Krueger mask, you probably won’t be admitted. This is a very specific, upscale, one-of-a-kind event with a very strict dress code that all patrons are more than happy to adhere to. It’s one of the distinctive things that separates this event from any number of other "costumed" theme parties.
At first blush, when you enter the venue, it has the feel of a secret Bacchanalian society, where sex, drinking and depravity, were the order of the day. This event certainly isn’t that wild, (it's a rented space), but it certainly captures the revelry and titillation of the time. The Masquerade Ball is a mixture of costumed themes broken down into three basic categories, Elizabethan, Fantasy and Steam Punk. The Elizabethan costumes (15th-16th Century) range from middle class to noblemen and women of the high court. The second theme is fantasy, (think Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, King Arthur’s Court) with magicians, knights, elves, sprites, faeries and ogres. The Steam Punk theme is a whole genre unto itself circa the 1920's. The costumes are period in nature but with scientific/futuristic overtones and contraptions. Jules Verne would be right at home with this crowd. Patrons danced in the main ballroom, mingled on the rooftop patio and flirted in the enchanted Faerie Court.
The Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball began Friday Night with the Goblin Clockworks, a dramatic discovery of mechanical contraptions within the Royal Court. Patrons were welcomed with an Introduction to the Realm and included a special performance by musical artists Gram Rabbit and Stellamara. Saturday Night included performances by Faerie Archives, Mirden, Drop Black Sky, Verdandia, Stilt Circus and Aerial Terill Xian. Each act was completely different and unique, performing on the stage, in the air or, on the floor of the ballroom. Saturday Nights performance by headliner West Indian Girl was the highlight of the evening. Her beautiful siren-like voice was captivating and her rock/dance music was enthralling and ethereal. She began by playing the harp and later moved downstage to sing to the anxious crowd who were mesmerized with her exotic beauty and unique vocals.
The Masquerade Ball (or bal masqu'e), historically is an event which the participants attend in costume wearing a mask. (A masque is a formal written and sung court pageant). Such gatherings, festivities of Carnival originated in the 15th Century celebrating marriages and other dynastic events of late medieval court life. The Masked Ball was a way for nobles to conceal their identities, so they could dance and flirt with one another without any regal impropriety. At the stroke of midnight, everyone would then remove their masks, and reveal themselves. The masks were extremely ornate and hand-made, with jewels, lace, feathers and even gold. Some masks would cover the upper half of the nobles face, while others would completely hide them depending on preference. Following this tradition at LOJ, some women wore elegant period gowns with traditional powdered wigs, and some gentlemen wore tuxedos with top hats and tails.
The Masquerade Ball held court at the Henry Ford Music Box Theatre, located on the world famous, Hollywood Walk Of Fame. The Music Box first opened its doors in 1926 as a legitimate theater hosting an impressive array of celebrities including Fannie Brice and the Ziegfield Follies, Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Jean Harlow, James Cagney, Marlene Dietrich and many more. In 2002, new owners Burt Nelson, Thaddeus Hunter Smith, and Marco Roy discovered the run-down theater and decided to breathe new life into her, thereby revitalizing this neglected area of Hollywood. The theater itself is made up of seven unique areas where several events can be held at once without interference with each other. The Henry Fonda Music Box Theater has become one of the premier entertainment complexes for Hollywood-style Premiers, Wrap Parties, Award Shows, Fundraisers and Special Events and still hosts some of the hottest musical groups and bands from around the world.
To celebrate the Labyrinth of Jareth Fantasy Masquerade Ball XII, Sypher Art Studios (the event host) mints a limited edition LOJ coin every year. These weighty pieces are bright bronze with gold mix topcoats with a brilliant luster and make a sharp impression. Each coin is created by a master sculptor and struck in exquisite detail with the annual Labrynth of Jareth artwork on the obverse side and the Royal Sypher Logo on the reverse side. You too can own one of these beautifully crafted and detailed limited edition coins. These signature coins of the Court which are included when you purchase the Grande Package at The Ball, and can also be obtained directly online from Sypher Studios at http://www.sypher.net/
When the twelfth annual Masquerade Ball was over, the after parties moved over to the landmark Renaissance Hotel, which offered special event packages and kept the fun going till the wee hours of the morning. If you missed it this year, then put it on your calendar for next as it will be their thirteenth incarnation of this not-to-be-missed magical event. See you there!
For more information or to get tickets for next years event, go their official website at http://www.labyrinthmasquerade.com/