Ever enter through a doorway and feel as though you punched through the fabric of time and space and ended up somewhere far away from the reality of the doldrums of your life? If the answer is yes, then I assume you were at the Dances of Vice 3rd Anniversary Ball that took place on Saturday Evening.
We decided to drive in, decked out in all our finery, ensembles complete with token top hats, pin stripes, and corsetry (incidentally going into a 7-11 to buy red bull was some of the most fun I've had in a while) and ventured into the borough of Brooklyn.
We arrived to the 303 Bond Street Theater to find a massive glass façade and door with the folk standing outside wearing clothing of various eras. Already I felt the promise of the evening stir inside me. The door slid open to release the a rush of cold air, perfumed fog, and the sound of the trombone, tuba, clarinet, and various other instruments of an era forgotten. It was like magic swept over me and an ethereal force waited to transport me into another world on the other side. We stepped over the threshold, and were promptly greeted by two young women who were positively decked out. One in fashion evoking the era of the 20's and the other in a Victorian bustle and corsetry. Over the din of the big band music we paid a pittance (as far as I'm concerned) and received a free drink token for some GIN concoctions. Our view of the space was blocked as we paid. I wasn't sure WHAT to expect just around the bend, but, if the visuals matched the sounds then I was in for a spectacular evening.
They did not disappoint. We rounded the corner, our heels adding a muddled clacker to the overall melodic din and came upon a simple room with the most beautiful constructs I've ever seen! The room was transformed into a sort of boudoir paradise, there were bejeweled chandeliers, and a steadily inclining platform with red velvet throw pillows strewn about, complete with chaise lounges and throne chairs before a giant crackled gilded mirror! Then, toward the back past the Hendrick's Gin bar, there was an opening, a sort of same level stage space with gilded silver embossed tiling lining the back in a semi-circle.
The Band was playing on far stage right- I learned quickly that they're called "Grandpa Musselman & his Syncopators" and they were so much fun that I could barely keep myself from dancing! The hostess of the event, Shien Lee, came up and spoke a few words to the crowd, then lulled us into subdued meditation with her voice as pretty as a song bird. One minute she had you restive, and calm, and the next she had you bopping along with the band.
Then, there was the dance troupe- Company XIV, the foursome performed 2 sets, one inspired by Argentinean Tango and the other a more classic Burlesque- the latter to my GREAT Aural pleasure featured the song "Pasties and a G-String" by the enigmatic Tom Waits. Their show was elegant, sensual, and played coyly with the more sexually driven side of dance.
I could go on and on and on... but really, you should go and experience this type of evening for yourself. So, mademoiselles, lace your corsets tight and dab on some extra rouge and, Gentleman, secure your spats and adjust your ties depart this dull and lackluster 21st Century era and go back to Vice.