By Katie Tandy
In the wake of the latest Lord of the Rings movie -- The Hobbit -- which was largely lambasted (isn't the book always better?) a LOTR Ball was held this past Saturday.
Its revelers did not disappoint.
Invited by Lord Eldron himself, droves of elves, wizards, dwarves, hobbits, and of course a slew of renegade random-ers (including one in a lurex jumpsuit) all gathered to swill and waltz, serenaded by none other than Avalon Rising, a Celtic fusion and Renaissance rock band, who were also in full regalia.
From polkas and reels, to mazurkas and Middle Earth-inspired dances -- including "The Congress of Rivendell Waltz" and "Sir Bard de Coverley" -- wenches and warlocks of all shapes, colors, ages, and creeds pranced and galloped, parading by in a rainbow of wares and a tangle of limbs.
Every one of the dances on the 32-song, 4-set list hailed from traditional Victorian ballrooms or English and Scottish dances dating from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
Some of the dervish-inspiring ditties -- like the "Merry Old Inn" -- were based on poems from Tolkien's works and set to music by modern composers, including Berkeley broad and science fiction/fantasy writer Marion Zimmer.
While some of the Medieval merrymakers' dancing skills inspired the "you-go-girl" triple snap, whipping their skirts and capes and kicking their heels in perfect synchronization with the electric harp, spirits ran high with and without the intricate choreography. Many an elf tripped and tumbled about the dance floor, clinging and sweating, channeling the very best of adolescent prom-goers.
A sword-wielding elf did pass out if that's any indication of the kind of merriment we're talking about; whether it was the heat (intense) or rum cocktails (potent), only Gandalf could say.
Or the paramedics who arrived on the scene shortly after.
Be sure to check out some of the party shots.