The world-famous Ultra Music Festival hit Miami in March, and Zen Arts was the talk of the town. For two weekends, our hypnotic routines entranced more than 150,000 people who descended on Bayfront Park for the giant outdoor event. The exhilarating performances were by far among the best in festival history and raised the bar for years to come.
In true Zen Arts fashion, every last detail of our choreography was original to the outdoor electronic music festival and specifically designed with Ultra audiences in mind. We performed custom 5-minute openings on the main stage each night leading up to performances of some of the biggest names in around, including Kaskade, Afro Jack and the famous Swedish House Mafia.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Zen Arts show without jaw-dropping effects. Eye-catching video and lighting were customized to compliment the Zen Arts dancers, while pyrotechnics and water elements put performances over the top. Just check out this picture from our sizzling hot opening act for Kaskade:
At Zen Arts, we like to find boundaries and then break past them. Avid Ultra-goers probably thought they had seen everything until they caught a glimpse of the high-flying aerialists at Ultra. Never in the Miami music festival’s history
have aerialists soared across the crowds; so we designed an aerial-flying mega-structure in the Carl Cox main tent and took charge over the gravity-defying feats onlookers gawked at for two weekends straight.
This was Ultra Music Festival’s 15th year, and we were proud to be a part of such an exciting event. Zen Arts would like to extend a big thank you to Katie Kansas, a dancer for Ultra in charge of all festival performers this year. She brought us on to help her raise the standards for Ultra performances this year, and together, we crushed it. Thanks, Katie!
On February 24th, cinematic royalty descended on the Dolby Theater for Hollywood’s biggest night, the 85th Academy Awards. But the real buzz surrounded the after parties – particularly the exclusive celebration hosted by the master of the evening himself, Mr. Seth McFarlane. Of course, Zen Arts was on hand for the extremely private event, engaging the crowd in revelry that only the Zen Arts performers are capable of evoking.
Hosted by Nightvision Entertainment, the McFarlane post-Oscar bash was by all respects the party of parties. Merging old Hollywood charm with the appeal of a chic Vegas night lounge, the party theme was both modern and glam. The event went down at the Paramount Studios Lot, where ruby red carpets led into an alluring white-draped tent lined with lush trees and dazzling chandelier lighting. From the luxe seating areas, party-goers could fix their gazes on an over- the-top, color-shifting stage worthy of an Oscar itself.
Zen Arts felt right at home, setting the tone for the evening with mesmerizing performances throughout the night. More than 500 guests enjoyed the gyrations and tantalizing costumes of the famous Zen Arts performers, who made appearance throughout the evening.
Hollywood elite, like Johnny Depp, John Stamos and Ben Affleck rubbed elbows and talked Oscar gold over mouth-watering party fare and chilled flutes of Moët Chandon. Charlize Theron could be seen greeting McFarlane with a hug and sipping on a drink while chatting up friends and party-goers near the stage.
In true Hollywood style, McFarlane schmoozed his famous guests with old Hollywood glamour and the showmanship of a 100-piece orchestra – a trademark feature of McFarlane soirees. Seth himself assumed the stage to perform timeless renditions of Frank Sinatra classics like Luck Be a Lady Tonight and I’ve Got You Under My Skin. Later, McFarlane made his rounds from table to table, making small talk with the who’s who of Hollywood.
The party was ultra-exclusive, allowing guests to unwind and celebrate McFarlane’s witty first-time Oscar hosting gig without the hassle of outside media. To ensure everyone had a good time, ladies had the option of checking their stilettos with a show valet in exchange for party-friendly slippers. Guests partied the night away, stopping only to snap souvenir photo booth pictures or gaze at the captivating performances of the Zen Arts dancers.
Seth McFarlane’s Oscars after party lasted well into the wee hours of the morning, with guests finally turning in around 4 a.m.
When Zen Arts descended on the Americana at Brand in 2011 to captivate crowds at the annual Christmas tree lighting, a new standard was set in holiday celebrations. So naturally, Zen Arts was asked back for an encore in November 2012, wowing its audience with a Christmas production that far surpassed expectations.
Akin to a Vegas production, the evening was full of magic and whimsy that seemed to transform Glendale, California into a North Pole fantasyland. The event was produced by Zen Arts, Nightvision Entertainment, and The Americana and held at the famous Americana at Brand shopping resort. Twinkling Christmas lights and a dancing water display set the background for the evening, where throngs of crowds gathered in anticipation of the show.
Zen Arts really showed its versatility with a full 1-hour Christmas spectacular reminiscent of classic holiday stories. Instead of performing a few mesmerizing acts, the performers were tasked with telling a family-friendly story that incited fascination in both young and old. Their hard work paid off when they presented Cirque du Santa – an acrobatic story of a little girl’s experience as she’s taken to the North Pole and Santa’s workshop.
When guests arrived, they were met with mystery by a giant stage wrapped in red and concealed until show time. Trees dripped with bright holiday lights in the plaza, and fun characters began to emerge as show time drew near. In true Zen Arts style, all of the costumes were custom made specifically for Cirque du Santa. Kids from 1 to 92 looked on in awe as stilt-walking elves towered over the crowds and reindeer soared through the air from trampolines below.
Everyone loved the nutcracker ballerinas and toy soldiers, and they looked on in suspense as silk aerialists performed dressed as beautiful snow angels. The peppermint candy-striped kick line was a big hit with the audience, though it was Santa Claus himself who stole the show during the grand finale. Cirque du Santa ended on a bright note as fireworks shot into the air.
The Zen Arts performance at the annual tree lighting was arguably the most spectacular holiday event the Americana at Brand has hosted – even amazing many of the Zen Arts performers themselves as the show came together. If you missed it, we’re sorry. But you can check out pictures of the production here or watch Zen Arts footage of the evening below:
On February 16th, Zen Arts’ favorite event planning company Nightvision Entertainment threw a birthday bash at an exclusive and concealed Bel Air mansion for reality TV star, celebutante, and paparazzi-favorite Paris Hilton. The birthday girl, who turned 31 this year, celebrated the evening with her rumored current boyfriend, top global dj, and beat-master for the night Afrojack.
Zen Arts helped the notorious party girl rejoice with a team of sexy burlesque dancers and whimsical character performers. Performing on a sensual and sumptuous set created exclusively by kitsch production designer Alicia Drake, the burlesque dancers put on another tantalizing performance for a few hundred of Paris’ closest friends, as well as took pictures with the heiress, made honorary burlesque dancer in her suggestive and sparkly nude-colored dress. As Paris would say…“that’s hot!”
Notable attendees included new couple rapper Wiz Khalifa and model Amber Rose, among others. Although Paris and Afrojack (born Nick van de Wall) have been rumored to be an item since September of last year, several recent sources report the two are simply “good friends.” Whatever their relationship may be, it’s probably the result of close working quarters, being that the highly in-demand dj is the executive producer of Paris’ upcoming 2nd studio album said to release this year. A track from the album entitled Good Time was previewed by Afrojack in El Paso at the Sun City music festival in September. The socialite aspires to be the new “queen of house music”…and honestly we can’t wait! After all…everybody wants to party with Paris!
For more on Afrojack check out this month’s Artist Spotlight.
For pics of the event check out the thumbnails below and full gallery here.
Los Angeles is left in shambles after a near weeklong take-over by the aggressive raging rhythms of Skrillex. MTV’s EDM (electronic dance music) artist of 2011 bombarded Los Angeles with back-to-back shows from Tuesday January 24th to Sunday January 29th, playing at venues like Cinespace, The Echoplex, ExchangeLA, The Avalon, and The Palladium. The dubstep invasion culminated on Sunday’s LA Live performance featuring Zen Arts and special guest djs Benga, Nadastrom, and Dada Life.
Skrillex and the Zen Arts dancers kept the masses partying with his signature sudden bass drops and the Zen signature booty drops! The Zen girls were dressed in edgy and exquisite black leather and lace ensembles specially designed for the Skrillex show. Throughout the evening explosive drops, screeching scratches, and wobbly bass provided the perfect setting to the sexy routines of the Zen dancers. The crowd even got to see world-class Zen pole dancer Zoraya Judd display her uncanny talents to the rough and rowdy chainsaw-phonic tunes. Among the Zen crew were a slew of characters who also took the stage, including a mini Mr. T, Captain America, IronMan, and a clown.
Skrillex has been at the forefront of the recent rise of the dubstep scene, a genre of electronic dance music stemming from the UK that has been transformed into crazy cracked out robotic distortions in America. Currently ranked as the number one dj internationally, Skrillex was recently nominated for 5 Grammy awards including the Best New Artist category, the first ever dj to be nominated in this field. Skrillex is following up his LA Takeover tour with a New York Takeover starting tomorrow February 1st until February 4th.
To read more on Skrillex and dubstep mania check out the Zen Arts Artist Spotlight article.
Here’s a video of the event…
On Friday December 16th Zen was invited to perform at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa for a company holiday party put on by social media giant Myspace. About 450 employees and guests were treated to booze, bites, and burlesque, put on by yours truly, upon a stage set in the round in the ballroom of the luxury seaside resort.
Channeling their inner French cabaret, the Zen girls were dressed appropriately inappropriate for the Parisian-themed event. Our trio of sexy Zen burlesque dancers donned black and white bikini-style ensembles adorned with ruffles and sparkly fringe, paired with a set of fishnet stockings and feather headbands…leaving the room full of spectators with little on their lips other than a hungering “oui oui.” Meanwhile our amazing contortionist, aerial silk artist, and fire-dancers wore specially made black and red Parisian-style corsets complete with hot pants and black boots…stepping straight out of the Moulin Rouge.
Myspace was recently acquired by digital advertising company Specific Media LLC. and pop superstar Justin Timberlake for approximately $35 million. Amid declining followers since 2008, the former social media frontrunner has changed through many hands since its 2003 launch. In 2005 media giant Newscorp bought the company for $580 million, riding its popularity for 3 successful years, until Facebook surpassed Myspace in users in 2008. By June of 2011, the company had suffered severe cut-backs and layoffs, with its former 2009 workforce of 1600 whittled down to only 200. Timberlake and Specific have plans to revamp the suffering site to bring users back, as well as focus on its popularity as a music platform, being the only social media site contracted with all four major record labels. On Bloomberg West, Specific CEO Tim Vanderhook released this statement in regards to the future of the site: “Facebook is what I did yesterday, Twitter is what I’m doing right now, and what Myspace will be is what I’m going to be in the future.”
Here’s a video of the event…
On October 22nd Family Guy funnyman Seth Macfarlane celebrated his 38th birthday with a small quaint gathering of a few of his closest friends, including a 70-piece jazz orchestra, a few hundred Hollywood VIPs, and the sexiest circus troupe in the country. The 1950s New York themed event was put on by event planning company Nightvision Entertainment, held at Seth’s house high up in the Hollywood hills. Complete with luxurious white drapery, fancy chandeliers, old-school signage, and even gambling tables, the theming of the evening was meticulously thought out down to every detail.
Fitting with the guys and dolls theme, our Zen performers dressed in specially designed black and white costumes made specifically for the event. The lovely ladies of Zen dance were decked out in risqué two piece ensembles garnished with feathers, feathers, and more feathers! Performance highlights included a large show number with 13 dancers, a feather fan number, and of course the amazingly talented Zen aerialists, performing high above the crowd of Rat Pack chic revelers.
In his personal life Macfarlane is known for being a bit old-fashioned, lacking email access at home, not watching much television, rejecting all forms of social media, and despising most modern music. A talented pianist, musician, and singer, Macfarlane has always been a fan of classical sounds. Close friend, composer, and attendee Ron Jones, who creates most of the music for Family Guy, was nice enough to bring along his 70-piece jazz orchestra, which often performs with Macfarlane on vocals. In fact Macfarlane recently released his first full length Grammy nominated big band album entitled Music is Better than Words. Musical highlights of the evening included a duet performance by Macfarlane and close friend Bill Maher singing Frank Sinatra’s “Star.”
Along with his music and writing career, Macfarlane has always been an outspoken activist and philanthropist. So it’s no surprise his birthday party also featured a charity raffle with proceeds going to the spcaLA, dedicated to helping homeless and abused pets.
All in all the event proved to be one of the hottest and most exclusive Hollywood parties of the year. A-list celebrities such as Mel Gibson were seen in attendance, as well as Frank Sinatra Jr., Paris Hilton, John Cho, Olivia Wilde, Edi Gathegi, Demi Lovato, Wilmer Valderrama, and many other notables. Lovato and on-again-off-again boyfriend Valderrama were even seen holding hands, dancing, and kissing.
For pics of the event check out the thumbnails below as well as the full gallery here.
On November 13th the Zen team geared up for Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 release party at Chateau Nightclub & Gardens at the Paris hotel in Las Vegas. Additionally Zen hosted another MW3 release party at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood on November 17th. MW3 is the third installment of the Modern Warfare series, and eighth game overall in the highly popular Call of Duty franchise. Just like its predecessors, the game is a first-person shooter, meaning the player experiences weapon-based action through the eyes of their character of choosing, set within a military task force scenario. Twenty-four hours after its release, the game had already sold 6.5 million copies in the U.S. and U.K. alone, and grossed over $400 million, making it one of the most popular and successful video game release day totals of all time. Initial sales were likely boosted by the cleverly produced commercial featuring target-audience comedic actor Jonah Hill (Superbad, Get Him to the Greek) and action film star Sam Worthington (Avatar, Terminator Salvation), in military roles labeled “the Noob” and “the Vet” (check out the commercial here).
Hollywood’s young, hot, and famous came out in full force to party it up with the Zen crew at the Roosevelt Hotel, one of Los Angeles’ most historic and swanky party spots. First opening in 1927, the hotel was named after ex-president Theodore Roosevelt, and was the location of the 1st ever Academy Awards ceremony. Since then it has been featured in countless Hollywood films, as well as sheltered countless Hollywood celebs, making it one of Los Angeles’ most cherished historic monuments. Thanks to a major renovation in 2005 and the opening of Teddy’s nightclub in the lobby, the hotel has experienced a recent renaissance within the last 5 years, with a new found embrace by young Hollywood.
Rich and famous video game lovers were treated to sultry Zen performances by our world-class fire dancers, burlesque dancers, and go-go dancers. The outdoor event was kept warm by some amazing Zen fire performers, bringing the heat with their steamy and sensual displays of fire poi and fire fan. In the swimming pool the Zen arts bubble contortionists put on an elegant and enticing performance, while on dry land Zen Arts snakecharming contortionist Karina and her albino Burmese python kept the crowd in a trance.
At the Vegas show Zen clowns, stiltwalkers, contortionists, and jugglers ran amok at Butterfly Saturday at Chateau. Combining French style with an upscale environment, Chateau offers 40,000 square feet of nightclub space framed by elegant French architecture, vaulted ceilings, and opulent chandeliers. The club also features its very own unique outdoor Parisian gardens overlooking the Las Vegas Strip, as well as a lush rooftop dancefloor and garden situated directly underneath the hotel’s mock Eiffel Tower.
For photos of the events check out the thumbnails below as well as a full gallery of pics here.
Here’s a video of the event…
Zen Arts had its first ever full length holiday show on Thursday November 17th at the Americana at Brand shopping plaza in Glendale. With the help of our friends at Nightvision Entertainment, the Zen crew was able to pull off an unbelievable holiday extravaganza amidst a gorgeously constructed stage, complete with Christmas tree, presents, ornaments, and lights. Nightvision is a pioneer in creating purposeful event productions, always staying ahead of the game with cutting-edge technology, in order to build brands into experiences.
The performance was an hour long free show created for the Americana’s tree lighting ceremony, ushering the official start of the holiday shopping season. Over 10,000 people were treated to Zen’s regularly remarkable performances with a holiday twist, including stiltwalking elves, Nutcracker-esque dancers, and a snow globe-contained contortionist. Performing in icy white holiday garb garnished with snowflake-like body makeup, our aerial silk, Cyr wheel, and contortion performers were still able to keep the crowd warm with their sizzling sets. A living teddy bear, little girl in pajamas, and ballerina rounded out the remaining cast of crazy Christmas characters, for a spirited and heartwarming family show. Oh and that big guy in the red suit was there too.
Opening in May of 2008, the Americana at Brand is a large outdoor shopping and living center owned and operated by Los Angeles real estate development company Caruso Affiliated, well-known for its other large outdoor center the Grove at Farmer’s Market. Built with the idea of a city center, the Americana features a mix of architectural styles housing 100 condos, 238 apartments, and 75 retail shops including Barney’s New York, Tiffany & Co., BCBGMaxazria, and H&M, not to mention an array of restaurants ranging from fine dining to casual fare, as well as an 18-screen movie theater. Additionally a water display designed by WET, the company responsible for the Bellagio’s grand fountain in Las Vegas, is featured at the heart of the center and performs to a musical number every hour.
Here’s a video of the event…
Zen Arts teamed up with the event production geniuses at The Do Lab for a very special scary and sexy Halloween event this year. The Limelight Halloween Extravaganza took place at the ultra-posh Supperclub LA restaurant and nightclub on October 27th, with hair-raising tunes provided by musical artists DJ Pumpkin, LowRIDERz, Symphonic Circles, and The Temple Monkey.
The Zen crew put on a very special dinner performance featuring our world-class fire dancers, aerialists, pole dancers, burlesque dancers, capoeira artists, and Cyr wheel performers. Guests were able to enjoy from Supperclub’s delicious list of tasteful eats while taking in tantalizing performances by the Zen team. Supperclub is one of LA’s premier entertainment venues, providing a combination of elegant dining and extraordinary entertainment for truly unusual and unexpected dining experiences. At Supperclub anything can happen, and an evening is only defined as a success, “when all your five senses have been tickled.”
The Do Lab is Los Angeles’ top event production company for interactive environments. At The Do Lab, their mission is to create “experience as an art form.” In addition The Do Lab is a green company, striving to use natural and sustainable resources in all their productions.
Here’s a video of the event…