Scene spotlight: Horned Ball 7: Road to Valhalla

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  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

    Maria Kon, 26, medical student, Bronx "I met a guy who gave me the flyer about...

    Maria Kon, 26, medical student, Bronx
    "I met a guy who gave me the flyer about this. I used to go to kinky parties, and this one seemed like it would be really fun. Here, it's a bunch of freaks and weird people in NYC who come to express themselves. It's very refreshing."

    Jan Van Pak; photographer; East Williamsburg, Brooklyn
    "Burning Man is life-changing. It's full of people who allow you to be whoever you want. I'm a veteran. These parties are about love, lust and breath. Everything about life should leave you free in the moment."

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

    Jay Mingle, 33; talent agency owner; Williamsburg, Brooklyn "It's this feeling...

    Jay Mingle, 33; talent agency owner; Williamsburg, Brooklyn
    "It's this feeling you get when you're in costume, out celebrating with others. It's just one of the things we do, and I love it. I also love music and dancing."

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

    Guy Frazier, 55, crisis manager, Inwood (center) "This is the first Burning Man...

    Guy Frazier, 55, crisis manager, Inwood (center)
    "This is the first Burning Man party for both of them, and they're artists. I'm trying to bring them into the community. It's a very inclusive community that's full of creativity. They don't care about what you're doing for a living. They care that you're fun. Put in the effort to dress up, and I'm in."

    Valerie Vanone, 26; abstract artist; Edgewater, NJ (right)
    "[There]'s such rich energy with all of the costumes. It's very creative and artistic. I wanted to use material that's light and airy. Crayola makes this stuff called Model Magic and it was on sale, so I bought it. I was thinking about something twisted, so I sculpted, painted and decorated our horns. I also made my own shoes."

    Tracy Von Becker, 39, exotic artist, Upper West Side (left)
    "There is a lot of creativity and expressive, talented people. With the theme of awakening from winter, I wanted to lift that with gold and color. Everything I'm wearing I sewed myself."

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

    Elisa Blynn, 39, performance artist, East Village "I was inspired by so many...

    Elisa Blynn, 39, performance artist, East Village
    "I was inspired by so many things, but this time, it's the ostrich. I've given birth to a character. It's a bouffon that's broken the fourth wall of interactive theatre. The character is here to deliver bits of interdimensional wisdom."

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

    Amy Miller, 28; performer; Astoria, Queens (center, front) "I really liked the...

    Amy Miller, 28; performer; Astoria, Queens (center, front)
    "I really liked the [G(wr)ong Show] contest upstairs. These costumes are more interesting than [those at] other ones I've been to. Sometimes people do dress up and sometimes people don't, but this one is good for everyone."

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

    Robert Garcia, 34; artist (liquidmatter.tv); Astoria, Queens (left) "This is my...

    Robert Garcia, 34; artist (liquidmatter.tv); Astoria, Queens (left)
    "This is my third time body painting for this party. I work more with Love that Fever events. I love the creativity of body painting. When people throw themselves at you with something specific, that's what I like. The challenge. These parties have a spirit of creativity. The people can be whoever they want every month."

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

    Jacob Troy, 27; actor; Williamsburg, Brooklyn "I helped out before the party...

    Jacob Troy, 27; actor; Williamsburg, Brooklyn
    "I helped out before the party for six hours today. I got here at six in the morning and then I had to see my sister's play in Westchester. I told my friend to get my costume and meet me here. It turned out he was late, so I was wandering around without a costume and people didn't even recognize me without one. So, I walked up to the body painter and said, Go to town. This is three artists' work."

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

    Dan K. Porter, 21, business student, Philadelphia (being carried) "The biggest...

    Dan K. Porter, 21, business student, Philadelphia (being carried)
    "The biggest thing I like is the sense of family. There aren't many subcultures of people where there's a sense of community in and out of parties. You can be yourself and be whatever self you want. No one cares, and no one prejudges you. Other people go to the bar with friends, and we go to parties where expression is a medium. I'm a straight male, and I'm in a jumpsuit. I can wear what I want without any prejudgment. Be yourself, come as you are, and rock shit. People will appreciate your awesomeness. My favorite thing to ask myself is, Do all of my friends have this much fun? I don't think so."

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

    Morgan Reeser, 26, personal aid, midtown (left) "I wanted to be a unicorn woman...

    Morgan Reeser, 26, personal aid, midtown (left)
    "I wanted to be a unicorn woman tonight. I bought it at Dylan's Candy Store, and it's perfect. I used to love these lollipops as a child. It's all about expressing yourself however you want and feeling the moment."

    Jake J., 40, IT consultant, Yonkers (right)
    "My costume's recycled. I'm being fully Nordic, hairy and furry. I like being free. Unrestricted. You should be yourself and only yourself."

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

    Eden; artist; Clinton Hill, Brooklyn (left) "It's kind of a Nordic theme, so I...

    Eden; artist; Clinton Hill, Brooklyn (left)
    "It's kind of a Nordic theme, so I wanted something feminine, but powerful. Something not too friendly, but inviting."

    Nancy Anello, 32; stand-up astrologer; Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (right)
    "This is a Halloween costume from 2009 that I remade. I was Horny the Clown. I go to Burning Man, and I want to support local camps---Kostume Kult's awesome. The reason they're successful is because everyone's mentality is, What can I bring? What can I do?"

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

    Ilya Podokedov, 32; event producer; Williamsburg, Brooklyn "It's a very...

    Ilya Podokedov, 32; event producer; Williamsburg, Brooklyn
    "It's a very welcoming vibe. Everyone, especially if you participate, is part of the family. When people see that you're helping and volunteering for the parties, it's appreciated."

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

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  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

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  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

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  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

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  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

  • Photograph: Marc Whalen

Photograph: Marc Whalen

Maria Kon, 26, medical student, Bronx "I met a guy who gave me the flyer about...

Maria Kon, 26, medical student, Bronx
"I met a guy who gave me the flyer about this. I used to go to kinky parties, and this one seemed like it would be really fun. Here, it's a bunch of freaks and weird people in NYC who come to express themselves. It's very refreshing."

Jan Van Pak; photographer; East Williamsburg, Brooklyn
"Burning Man is life-changing. It's full of people who allow you to be whoever you want. I'm a veteran. These parties are about love, lust and breath. Everything about life should leave you free in the moment."

When: Apr 8
The scene: Far, far away from the playa, NYC-based Burning Man group Kostume Kult set up camp at Santos Party House for the seventh annual Horned Ball. Burners tapped into Scandinavian mythology by huddling around (plastic) fire, wandering through faux ice caves, and unleashing their inner beast to house and techno beats on the dance floor—in armor, horns and fur, of course. Taking up both floors of Chinatown's destination club, the blowout's G(wr)ong Show amateur talent contest, body painters and pounding music were enough to make the most legendary of Nordic kings jealous. Next party: Black & Light Ball VI with Disorient, Mars 2112, 1633 Broadway at 51st St (kostumekult.com, disorient.com). May 6 9pm--4am. $24--$45.

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