Gemini and Scorpio’s tenth anniversary ‘Lost Circus’ celebration to feature acts from Edwardian Ball

Cirque de macabre

The Brooklyn Paper
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It’s as if a steampunk circus wasn’t weird enough.

A Gowanus group known for its wacky parties is holding its latest themed spectacle with special guests who also love to perform with a twist — that is, the imaginative world of artist Edward Gorey.

Musicians and performers who draw their themes and metaphors from Gorey’s work — macabre stories and surreal illustrations of sullen skulls, winged creatures, and hapless children — are joining Gemini and Scorpio’s annual steampunk party called the Lost Circus, where jugglers and silk rope dancers mingle with the costumed crowd.

“It’s a sort of a pagan lounge ensemble,” said Justin Katz, bandleader of Rosin Coven.

“We enjoyed being a theatrical band and did what we could in terms of creating characters. Now we are co-creating story lines.”

The musicians of Rosin Coven and the acrobats and dancers of Vau de Vire Society are like the Gemini and Scorpio of the west coast. They’re most famous shindig is the Edwardian Ball, a huge costume party based in the gothic world of beady-eyed creatures and characters.

The band and the performance troupe started out as two separate projects, but they realized they were magical when they joined together to celebrate everything Gorey.

And these artists who like to dress in black are headlining this year’s Gemini and Scorpio party for a good reason — it’s the Gowanus group’s tenth anniversary.

Other special guests include Debauche, a New Orleans Russian mafia band who play rocking gypsy punk, Desert Sin, a troupe that specializes in a neo-tribal, exotic fusion of dance and theater, the Armored Combat League, who hold exhibition matches of medieval armored combat, and DJ Joro Boro, whose delirious rhythms combine Slavic circus with Burning Man.

As with previous year’s renditions of the Lost Circus, the whole thing is a mix of performance and participation. Ticket holders have to dress according to code, which is elaborate as it is inclusive — “dark cabaret, traveling circus, steampunk Victorian,” are among the guidelines — and artists will expect audience members to be more than standing and staring.

“We have a beekeeper’s drinking song that fosters an animal rebellion,” said Katz. “We’ll see what the audience does with that.”

The Lost Circus at the Irondale Center, (85 S. Oxford St., between Lafayette Avenue and Fulton Street in Fort Greene, Aug. 10, 9 pm–4 am, $30, $40 VIP seating, $15 after 1 am.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:13 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

diehipster from Suffocating Seths says:
Two words: Like Yah
July 25, 2013, 6:51 am
ty from pps says:
Diehipster, what sorts of "real Brooklyn" things do you like... ya know, things that aren't available in, say, a small town in Nebraska? Doesn't seem like you're a good fit for this city.
July 25, 2013, 8:19 am
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
you might be wrong about this one DH........Oh, hold on.......“We have a beekeeper’s drinking song that fosters an animal rebellion,”............Yeah............good thing hipsters don't exist
July 25, 2013, 9:19 am
ty from pps says:
Who cares if hipsters exist -- has that ever been disputed? You guys really need to figure out why you persist on living here if you can't handle it.

By the way, Swampy... it's a f*cking CIRCUS. What do you think they have at friggin' circuses? Accountants reviewing your retirement plans and drywall patching demonstrations for the DYI homeowner?!
July 25, 2013, 9:30 am
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
This looks awesome. There is an immersive, pagan feel to it that is very Brooklyn. Check out my fb page for immersive theater and warehouse art of the past. I will definitely be checking out this circus. There is a kindred spirit here for sure.
July 25, 2013, 10 am
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
always a dress up costume party for you and your hipster brethren isn't it Ty? "OH MOMMY PLEASE LOOK AT MEEEEEEEEEEEEE"!
July 25, 2013, 10:03 am
ty from pps says:
It's a CIRCUS party. Just because you're an idiot, doesn't mean others can't have fun.

You're such a pathetic douchenozzle. Get over yourself... and perhaps think about moving to a place that isn't sullied by circuses and parties. You have to be careful though. Even most small towns will have a summer fair -- just full of "dress up costume party" stuff.
July 25, 2013, 10:19 am
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
It is circus meets performance art meets indie music. These things can be pretty wild. No, I'm not working for them, never heard of them in fact. But I know these kinds of scenes. You could call it Urban Burning Man. The general idea has been around on the LES and in Williamsburg for decades. But whenever it happens, it's invariably surprising and new in some way. Definitely an ocassion to dress up. It's not just a "show" you're checking out, but a whole sort of social gestalt. And usually some hot women as well.
July 25, 2013, 10:40 am
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
Oh yes Ethan, please expound on what was going on on the Lower East Side decades ago because I remember it in the 70's and 80's and I must have missed the Steampunk circus. Perhaps you are talking about the lower east side of Columbus or Cincinnati in the 00's?
July 25, 2013, 10:51 am
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
I'm talking about from 1989 onward, not a minute before really. A sharp break aesthetically from the 70s and 80s. No, definitely not downtown in the 80s. Ludlow Street and Williamsburg in the early 90s. Very different thing. A whole new kind of jazz.
July 25, 2013, 11:04 am
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
Gowanus has a long and interesting history in Brooklyn art. The sculptor Frank Shifreen was doing warehouse art down there in the early 80s. Issue Project Room started in that silo by the Union Street bridge some twenty years ago or more. And I think I may have read about the Lost Circus or a related art posse in Gowanus, maybe from James Kalm in the Brooklyn Rail or something.
July 25, 2013, 11:43 am
ty from pps says:
You know this is 2013, right? "Decades ago" does not automatically mean the 70s. I know you resent everyone born after 1959, but it's OK. Just deal with it.

Here, I'll do the math for you -- Two decades ago is 1993.
July 25, 2013, 11:58 am
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
I'm sure the NYC decade concept is hard to grasp if your a transplant that arrived a couple of years ago Ty. Forgive me for having a long memory but the Lower East Side and Williamsburg were not always kidault playgrounds. When your unpaid barista apprenticeship ends and your staycation is over I will still be in the borough of my birth. It's a New York thing, you could not possibly understand. Now enjoy your kale sandwich on gluten free bread
July 25, 2013, 12:11 pm
ty from pps says:
No, you're right... Everything in New York should reference a specific moment in time (preferably one that Swampy identifies with) and any period of time before or after is inferior... just full of imposters. I'm sorry of the LES of the 90s is not your precious LES of the 70s. That's too bad. Do you need a hug while you reminisce?

Also, it sounds like you could use some more kale in your diet... it might help get your head out of your ass.
July 25, 2013, 12:17 pm
Ethan Pettit from Park Slope says:
Hey, the East Village scene was very cool. The Ramones were cool. That whole downtown scene was all we had in Williamsburg all through the 80s. But in 1989, you can almost date it by the month, there was a big change. A very different philosophy of art emerged, and this came mostly out of the vacant lots of the LES and out of the warehouses of Brooklyn. The settlement of Brooklyn by artists corresponds with the "steam punk" label. It's meaningless to try to force a comparison between Brooklyn from the early 90s and the Lou Reed downtown. There's a major aesthetic coup d'état between these eras.
July 25, 2013, 12:36 pm
T-Bone from DoBro says:
Hey Swampy, why don't you get off the BK Paper and concentrate on fixing that broken 911 call system.
July 25, 2013, 2:10 pm
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
yes Ethan, you can almost date the decline of the LES by month. 1989 was when the AIDS epidemic had just about wiped out a truly vibrant, creative, culturally rich community and left huge holes in the reals estate market for a fake vibrant fake creative community to move in like locust and begin the fauxhimion gentrification of the LES. The sterilization is now complete. You should be very proud. Enjoy your corporate chain stores
July 25, 2013, 2:12 pm
ty from pps says:
Swampy definitely needs a hug...
July 25, 2013, 3:24 pm
The Chooch from your hipsterized world says:
Aw Swampy, here, have a hanky, poor baby, there you go, there there ...
July 25, 2013, 4:11 pm

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