The Edwardian Ball – A Celebration In The Spirit Of Edward Gorey

The Edwardian Ball 2009

This weekend the acclaimed Edwardian Ball returns once again to San Francisco, with three full nights of music, dance and performance inspired by the delightfully macabre (and occasionally ribald) work of writer and artist Edward Gorey.

A Gorey Couple - Photo by The Blight

The Lady In Red - Photo by The Blight

Since its inception, the Ball has grown to become one of the most highly anticipated and extravagant events on SF’s underground social calendar, and this year it will take place in one of the city’s premier venues, The Regency Grand Ballroom (formerly the historic Avalon Ballroom). This year also marks another first for the Ball, when it makes its Los Angeles debut the following weekend, on Saturday the 31st.

The Opera Party - Illustration by Edward Gorey

Edwardian Ball 2008 - Photo by Pixie Spindel / Pixievision

Both events are not-to-be-missed spectacles of costumery, elegance, and diverse entertainments, with participants and performers both bringing out their absolute best. The result is a richly immersive experience unlike any other, and a wonderful celebration of participatory, DIY creativity.

Rosin Coven's Abramham Birmingham - Photo by Pixie Spindel / Pixievision

Gorey Belles - Photo by John Adams

This year the Ball spans three nights, each with its own distinct theme. Friday night is the Second Annual “Edwardian World’s Faire”, an international exposition showcasing the latest wonders of science, fashion, technology and the natural world. Featuring infernal devices from Kinetic Steam Works, custom corsetry from Dark Garden, a Hall of Fine Arts (curated by Will Chase) and musical entertainments from cellists par excellence Rasputina, anachro-scavengers (and infamous airship pirates) Abney Park and more.

Kinetic Steam Works - Photo by Pixie Spindel / PixieVision

Jill Tracy - Photo by The Blight

Saturday is the Ball proper, this year formally entitled “The Tuning Fork” or, The Ninth Annual Edwardian Ball, being an unparalleled night of Tour de Force performers including pagan lounge pioneers (and Edwardian Ball founders) Rosin Coven, the genre-busting gyrations of the Vau de Vire Society, the fierce feats of LA’s top circus punks, Cirque Berzerk, and the incomparable music of dark cabaret singer and “Belle of The Ball” Jill Tracy.

Rosin Coven

She crosshatched me with SCIENCE! - Photo by John Adams

Elementary, My Dear Edward - Photo by John Adams

Sunday night rounds out the weekend with the Third Annual “Sunday Gorey Sunday”, an Edwardian vaudeville and variety night hosted by Kingfish of the Hubba Hubba Review, and featuring an all-new variety show by the Vau De Vire Society, unpredictable madness from the Fou Fou HA! dancers, music from The Ghosts Project (featuring Paul Mercer), Oryx Incruentus, and many others.

An Unfortunate Urn Of Events

Tickets are still available for all three nights of this spectacular fête, as well as for the LA Ball. But act quickly, as the Edwardian Ball consistently sells out. (Psst! When purchasing tickets, enter the discount code SQUID and you’ll receive a special $5 discount!)

photos by Neil Girling / The Blight, PixieVision Productions, Andrew Schmidt, John Adams, Steve23