LA's Miracle Ball Review - 2015 Labyrinth of Jarith Masquerade Ball takes over the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Historic Downtown Los Angeles

Photography By  Greg Autry **

August 14, 2015 marked my third consecutive year covering one of Los Angeles's premier  events for Splash Magazine, The Labyrinth of Jarith Masquerade Ball.


Co-Produced by Shawn Strider and Sasha Travis this amazing costume and Masquerade  Ball takes over a year to create.  All the elements are brought together with the amazing Sypher Art Studios,  consisting of hundreds of artist and performers investing all of their creative energies.


In an imaginable quark of fate, the impossible happened. A little over three weeks before the Ball, a new venue was required due to incomplete construction at the Park Plaza, site of  previous Balls.  A year's planning and creating all  out the window.


With assistance from the City of Los Angeles, and The Park Plaza, the Millennium Biltmore Hotel on South Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, opened its doors for what seemed  like a takeover of the entire hotel.


The Millennium Biltmore is a premier venue and location, serving Los Angeles for over 90 years. At the heart of LA's vibrant cultural district, near  LA Live, Staples Center, The Ahmanson Theatre, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. The Biltmore is literally around the corner from the Historic Broadway Theatre District which is seeing renewed interest by developers in some of the gorgeous old movie palaces from the Great Gatsby era of the 30's. 


The Hotel was built in a  record breaking 18 months, and opened on October  First, in 1923. In what was truly a miracle, and seemed little more than 18 days, the transformation for the Masquerade Ball was made, and the new venue would host the Eighteenth Annual Labyrinth Masquerade Ball


The Labyrinth is a 1986 film,  starring David Bowie, Directed by the late Jim Henson, and Produced by none other than George Lucas.  The film itself serves as a creative theme, as a starting point, for everyone who wishes to explore their artistic and creative spirit. Thankfully, Los Angeles and Southern California as a whole, boast a community of creative people who understand what it truly means, to be artist. From every walk of life.  


 And did this Community ever respond. AMEN.  On August 14th and 15th, the Ball was sold out.  The Royal Court had a new home and a miracle came together for all to enjoy.  The story thus far is to see how the Heroes, and the Saints, return to the Courts amid the dangers of the Underground.


For my part, I was excited again to follow the fans and participants, to enjoy and to share here all of their creativity.  My friend Clarence Alford, does a magnificent job of capturing all of the performers on-stage.


There were stage performances of dance and duel, of  Dragons and Fairies.  At the "days end, Sypher will not leave behind friends" and will "not let them die in the dark".  "When the darkened Talisk cry out for help, the call must be answered."  


For me, a mere mortal artist of pen and paint, taking tools given me and made merry with lens, I'm enchanted, and honored, to be allowed to roam amongst the party-goers, the Players, and the Performers all, to capture elements of the nights.


Each night, and am struck  by the beauty I see in people everywhere. People  joined in creating fantasy and beauty, in sharing the love of their individual artistry. Some having worked an entire year putting together intricate and elaborate costumes for just this one occasion.


Some having the audacity  to throw stuff from a closet together,  to create a perfect ensemble for a nights gaiety. The dance floor was live late into the nights and early mornings, as the deep bass reverberated and artistic libidos were engorged. 


Mermaids and Goblins  amid the Ball goers gave delight to the nights of adult fantasy and play. In the Courts of  Sypher,  the creativity never ends and knows no bounds. 



As for next year we await word from Lord Strider himself.  Until then, we imagine, our creative juices begin to flow once again.


 Every person who enters the portal, into the courts of the Sypher, are Artists.  


This years Ball soared to new heights. Yet, as all Artist must, we ask what is next  for the Labyrinth Masquerade  ?


** ©2015Greg Autry. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Splash Magazine Articles by Greg Autry

Greg Autry Photography

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