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Party’s Gone Out Of Bounds

from The New York Times

Partying Underground in Paris’s Secret Corners


parisuDmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times 

PARIS — Inside an abandoned seven-floor, 70-room house near the Arc de Triomphe, more than 650 revelers in floor-length gowns, curly white wigs and feathered masks gathered on a Friday night in January.

A nearly nude woman with a giant bouffant and flower-adorned underwear performed a sultry dance with pink wings, while a contortionist spouted French obscenities. At the bottom of a sweeping grand staircase, a four-piece band performed while couples waltzed.

For five years, a renegade group known as We Are the Oracle has been hosting such semi-secret parties in elusive sites throughout Paris, including the catacombs, empty railway tracks and abandoned chateaus. And not always legally.

What began as a word-of-mouth soirée among the city’s elite influencers has evolved into seasonal theme parties that combine the mystique of “Eyes Wide Shut” with the energy of all-night raves and the theatrics of “Sleep No More.”

When the invitation for the masquerade ball was unveiled last October, through a video that promised an epic party called “Venise Sous Paris” (or “Venice Under Paris”), it created intense intrigue. “OK, get your plane ticket!” proclaimed Marina Smith of Nova Scotia, who shared the invitation on Facebook.

Over two weekends in January, 2,800 attendees from as far away as Australia and the United States paid 61.50 euros (around $70) to dress like Venetian noblesse, sip Champagne and dance like Casanova until 2 a.m.

The next event is called “The Soviet Factory,” and it is scheduled to take place April 29 and 30 at a location that will be revealed a day before the party. Some 2,000 guests are expected to adhere to a Communist-chic dress code.

The parties were dreamed up by Foulques Jubert, 29, a former business student who spent a year attending 24 festivals in 13 countries (including Burning Man in Nevada and Tomorrowland in Belgium) to learn how to bring similar spectacles to Paris.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on April 21, 2016 by Editor

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