The Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball , in Los Angeles, started 16 years ago and on the two days following the Fourth of July this year(2013) it was again holding Royal Court at the Historical Park Plaza Hotel. I would be interviewing the Producers on Friday, and had my lovely wife Sandy to assist me. I would also be photographing the event on both nights.
The opulent Park Plaza Hotel was built in 1925, created by architect Claud Beelman in a classic Neo-Gothic style, adjacent to LA's famous MacArthur Park. The venue sits with ample outdoor area, with food and drink, vendors, and always seemingly a stage full of Belly Dancers. The large lush interior spaces embody classic architectural detail from floor to soaring ceilings and was a perfect setting for two magical nights.
Its marvelous to me how things in my life come around. I've always envisioned a sort of show, play, theatre where artist, performers, and participants could enmesh themselves in art, and storytelling, as one. And that is exactly what I found at the Labyrinth Ball The Park Plaza. I am always intrigued with `The People' who come from all walks of life, to create and be a part of a fantasy inspired magical dream world.
Both evenings were an orgasmic visual feast of performers on stages, and performers mingling within. There was Fairies and Elves galore, vocalist, musicians, and choirs performing throughout the weekend. There were aerialist, acrobats, and stilt walkers everywhere you could look. The variation of Costumes, Makeup, and Creative Ideas was something you'd expect in LA, and still, not be fully prepared for. The diversity was spectacular.
Originally envisioned as a tribute to the David Bowie movie, The LOJ is Co-Produced by Shawn Strider of Sypher Art Studios, and Sasha Travis, so well known in her role with The Astra Dance Company and in ` The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari '. When we met with both Sasha and Shawn just after the Ball began Friday evening, I expected two people who would be in a frenzied and hoping to get me "out-of-there" quickly. I could not have been more wrong. Shawn and Sasha were absolutely delightful and such a pleasure to talk with.
Shawn told us about some history with Sypher, as well as other Events including The Golden Stag. Sasha regaled us with stories about Dr. Caligari which I'm sworn to secrecy about. I could see in both the passion for their art and for creativity. Their calm demeanor belied the extensive organization and wherewithal to Produce such an amazing event so flawlessly. Shawn Strider told me that the Labyrinth Ball was created for artist to have a medium [my word] to tell their stories.
I asked Shawn and Sasha at the end of my Interview, where they see the Labyrinth Ball going in the future. Shawn and Sasha looked at one another, then looked at me. Shawn said, `we want more artist to be able to tell more stories'. For me the story of both nights, was The People, telling their stories in costume and having a Ball. My story is better told with photos of The People.