Futuristic Effects Light Up Dance Party

August 21, 2001, 12:00 AM EDT

Stellar Designs's laser show and Bentley Meeker's lighting were some of the dramatic effects at High Definition Entertainment's Cocktails and Dreams event at Hammerstein Ballroom.

High Definition Entertainment's Cocktails and Dreams event Hammerstein Ballroom Friday, 08.17.01, 10 PM onward
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Amped by the energy of glitzy dancers and a neo-psychedelic light show, what could have been an average concert became a hyper-soiree at Hammerstein Ballroom.

“We wanted to cross the line between a club and a production, an interactive dance and theater show,” said Jared Metz, president of High Definition Entertainment, the event production company that designed and threw the Cocktails and Dreams event to show off its capabilities to a group of event planners (as well as consumers who bought tickets to the party). “We were trying to touch on a Moulin Rouge type of party, blending art, culture and fashion and using the latest new media and high tech equipment to blow people's minds away on every level.”

He told us High Definition's concept for the event was as a “turn of the century Studio 54,” but the wild decor elements were far too eclectic to be pinned down to one specific era, much less a bygone one. Four huge, futuristic screens--featuring 60's-esque computer graphics (by Optical Delusions), a laser show (by Stellar Designs) and a 3-D movie (by VRex)--created interesting backdrops for the stage during performances by the band Thunderball and numerous DJs.

Powerful green lasers shooting out from the stage increased the fanfare and helped fill the cavernous (and not full) space. Colored spotlights blanketed the dance floor and the crowd (bespectacled with 3-D glasses), who were alternately mesmerized by the 3-D projection of Thunderball and the skimpy, sequinned outfits of the exuberant dancers (many borrowed from The Donkey Show) hired to entice even the stuffiest partygoers to shake their languishing booties.

A fashion show.phpect of the evening came in the form of disaffected models sashaying through the crowd in cacophonous Jean Paul Gaultier designs, courtesy of Paper magazine, which added a fantastic flair to the evening--if you could catch them before they swished upstairs to the Skyy Vodka V.I.P. bar on the balcony.

Tribal-looking artwork flanked the main floor and greeted revelers in the lobby, and the V.I.P. area was decked out in red lights, white palm trees, mirrors and large grassy wall protrusions (designed by High Definition and outfitted by Props for Today). It all added up to a freaky fantasyland that didn't follow a specific design scheme, but came together well and achieved its goal of showcasing elements that can really make an exciting, lively event.

Those who missed it and have some frequent flyer miles to spare needn't fear: Metz liked the outcome so much, he says he's considering throwing a similar party on a weekly basis in Las Vegas.

--Monica Khemsurov

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