Masquerade 2013


Who’s Your Favorite Artist?


Susan Balshor

This year’s theme is Artists and the Art They Made. When I considered ideas for this next masquerade, I knew wanted it to be something that, at least on topic, could include everyone in the room. I imagine that everyone I see on the dance floor has a favorite artist. It might not be that each person believes this is the most important artist ever…just someone who has touched them. A painting, a sculpture, a print, a photograph. Perhaps it was about the setting or the moment. Maybe it was the company. A first trip to a large museum. An impromptu visit to a small gallery. Somewhere and at sometime everyone gets moved by a work of art.  It doesn’t mean this art was made by a famous person. We were simply touched, moved, perhaps inspired. And maybe it showed us something about a time or place we could never visit, yet the work entered our interior space. Many of the paintings by Velasquez and Vermeer do this for me.

Now it also seems that a lot of art we know about has been created by folks who are just larger than any life we live. So we get exposed to characters and their actions through the eyes of the paparazzi’s news or art history. And then I imagine looking across the dance floor and I see Dali whirling with Georgia O’Keefe. I see Degas’s ballerina in a tango embrace with Picasso. Maybe the Blue Boy is doing a rhumba with Whistler’s Mother.

Who has reached you? In whatever manner: excited, titillated, enraged, shocked, seduced. Chose them or chose their art. Dance in the room with Titian or Tintoretto’s dark wonders, Gauguin and Klimt’s wildest dreams. Schiele’s secrets and Watteau’s hidden lust. Rodin’s power or Bourgeois’s courage. Don’t come as you are…come as you see yourself through the eyes of art.

We’re All Artists Working Together.

For an Evening.

By Dean Paton

This 2013 Masquerade is our fifth. Each has had a theme. We create themes to remind everyone that The Century Ballroom Masquerade Waltz is not simply a Halloween party in January. We’re not dressing up as a Kitchen Table or The Ghost of Edgar Allen Poe to be as bizarre or as unrecognizable as possible. No, it’s a true masquerade, and that implies more than just “Whoopie.” (Not that Whoopie, by its nature, is bad. We like Woopie – as a concept.

It will definitely be on the guest list at the ball.)

This year’s theme is Artists and the Art They Made.

There exists so much potential for fun in that theme: I thought immediately of my favorite artists: Hannah Hoch, who invented collage (how would I do that?).

The Spaniard Francisco Goya, the last of the old masters and the first of the moderns (when I saw his works in Madrid I forever saw painting – and art – differently).

I thought about coming as a Jackson Pollack canvas (by buying a pair of painter’s overalls and spattering them with every color of paint in my basement).

Maybe most intriguing to me is Georges Braque, one of Pablo Picasso’s collaborators in the Cubism movement, who left us one of my favorite quotes:

“Art is meant to disturb. Science reassures.”

That probably is my favorite – because there are so many possibilities inside of Braque’s trenchant observation. I could, I think, do anything “disturbing.”

My point, though, is that you can do almost anything with this theme: Pick an artist you love (or loathe), or pick a subject of their art: Will someone come as The Blue Boy by Gainsborough? Or as one of Titian’s Christian martyrs or as The Rape of Europa? Will you be a Dutch Master? Or will you be Salvador Dali?

When you take into account the Masquerade’s only rule – you must wear a mask – you could even get away with coming as Michaelangelo’s sculpture of David
yes, stark naked) as long as you arrived with a mask on your face.

Susan and I believe fantasy is essential, and too much missing from today’s world. We believe fantasy – personal fantasies or community fantasies – to be the essential ingredient necessary for the best kind of change. To create fantasy we must create art. And you, as one of the masked revelers, get the chance to

create a piece of that art – and not just your costume. You have a role in the

complete Masquerade pastiche. Even if you don’t consider yourself

an artist, for this one special night you become one of the

Masquerade’s art makers, painting it, sculpting it,

and of course dancing it.

The art of Masquerade could not happen without you,

and I mean that sincerely.

Each year the Masquerade Impresarios select a theme. You do not have to dress as our theme. We create a theme to inspire and assist in making the evening special and beautiful.
You do not need to come as a couple. We sell tickets as Lead or Follow. You chose your role.
We do ask that you dress “up” as you would for any gala affair. But, we do insist on one thing: you must wear a mask. No Mask, no entry. Should you arrive without one, there are simple masks at the door for $5. You can do better at any costume supply. 

                            TO BUY YOUR TICKET NOW...CLICK HERE...YOU WILL BE                       

Seattle has many sources for costumes and masks. Here are just a few resources for supplies along with an abundance of ideas. This fabulous mask emporium recently opened a storefront in Georgetown. It features great masks from high end to low. Great Venetian creations, and check out the paper-mache masks from China priced at just $15.

A Masquerade also has wild footwear, costumes, wigs and other nifty add-ons. Visit their web page for driving directions Arnie will give you 10% off costume rentals when you mention the Masquerade Going out of Business, HUGH sale starts Jan. 10 Like last year, Teatro Zinzanni is offering its employee discount to anyone who mentions the Masquerade Waltz. Their collection of masks is ample and fun, and they’re located on Mercer Street just across the wide boulevard from Seattle Center. They have relatively inexpensive masks and also collector-grade Venetian masks.

This year, anyone who buys a mask (at 20 percent off) will also receive a coupon good for $25 off any Wednesday, Thursday or Sunday night performance of the theatre’s upcoming show “Dinner at Wotan.”

You must use the word “ballroom” to get your discounted mask and the discounted ticket coupon for the show

Teatro Zinzanni’s boutique is open “theatre hours” – 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday or 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays. Call 206-802-0018 for information.