Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Metropolis / Passing Through

Madame, Will You Join Me for the Quadrille?

June 08, 2003|SONDRA FARRELL BAZROD

It was a step back in time at the 44th Victorian Grand Ball in March as women in flowing skirts swept across the dance floor in the arms of their elegantly attired partners. More than 200 people of all ages escaped the world of jeans and T-shirts to waltz, polka, do the quadrille and more to live music at the Pasadena Masonic Hall, ending the evening with a rousing Virginia reel. The Social Daunce Irregulars have been staging the event three times a year since 1988. "This group is dedicated to keeping the 19th century grand ball alive in our otherwise gray and pedestrian world," says Pasadena architect Jeffrey Bissiri, founding Irregular and honorary president for life. Clothing and dances can be from any group or country during the Victorian era, from 1837 to 1901. Civil War garb is big, and men often favor military regalia from different locales. But you're welcome without a costume or partner.

The Irregulars, (818) 892-3454; www.lahacal.org/sdi.html. The next ball is scheduled for Nov. 22.

*

Betty Jo Ellersieck

Retired art gallery director

Santa Barbara

Where did you get your outfit?

I made it. It is from the Prussian court.

Favorite Victorian dance?

The waltz, because it's so romantic.

Victorian prudishness: Truth

or fiction?

True. It gave an idea of class distinction. The more class, the

more prudish.

Your favorite Victorian?

Sherlock Holmes. He had a great personality and was unique.

What Victorian are you in your fantasy life?

Royalty in the Prussian court. In my background there was a title passed down but lost.

Modern men could use what Victorian qualities?

Manners. Being gentle with a lady and taking care of her, opening doors, etcetera.

*

Jason Evans

Graduate student in history

Highland Park

Why would a postmodern man come to a Victorian ball?

To learn how to treat a lady. A man wants to be a gentleman.

Where did you get your outfit?

I made it. It's the outfit of a man

of the era in Turkey. I thought

of it while watching ''Lawrence

of Arabia.''

Favorite Victorian dance?

The Virginia reel, because it's so much fun.

Favorite Victorian song?

''Marching Through Georgia.'' As an African American, I love the Civil War and I'm pro Union.

What Victorian are you in your fantasy life?

"Chinese" Gordon, the British general who fought in China and the Sudan and died in Khartoum. I see myself as a British general.

*

Liam Stone

Actor officiating as major-domo

Atwater Village

Why would a postmodern man come to a Victorian ball?

Because I'm hired to.

Where did you get your outfit?

The jacket is from the Cinema Glamour Shop and once belonged to [actor] Walter Pidgeon. He bought it at Bullocks Wilshire.

What is the appeal of the

Victorian era?

The outfits, not the coal dust.

Victorian prudishness: Truth

or fiction?

True. I was brought up Victorian.

Your favorite Victorian writer?

Mark Twain. [He] changed American literature and was so modern in many ways.

Which Victorians have you portrayed?

Prince Albert, but now maybe I look more like Teddy Roosevelt.

What Victorian customs could we use today?

Manners. In the six years I've worked as major-domo, I've never seen a fight break out.

*

Athene Kovacic

Writer

North Hills

Where did you get your outfit?

I made it from a pattern by the McNaughton sisters, who attend

the balls.

What is the appeal of the

Victorian era?

Great-looking clothes.

Your favorite Victorians?

Lillie Langtry and Jennie Jerome Churchill were exceptional women. They operated within the rules of society but managed to live the way they wanted to live.

Favorite Victorian writer?

Oscar Wilde. He was witty, funny and a great observer.

What Victorian are you in your fantasy life?

My fantasy life does not involve Victorians.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|