Harvard Masquerade Ball 2015 attracts more than 2,100 attendees

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Spinning aerialists, fearless stilt walkers, seemingly boneless contortionists, daring acrobatic performances, gravity-defying swan ballerinas, multicultural local and nationally known musicians, and hula hoop artists …

Such was the nature of the entertainment that sizzled during the fifth annual Harvard Masquerade Ball, which took place at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Boston on Feb. 28.

More than 2,100 guests attended the event organized by the Harvard Graduate and Professional Student Government (HGPSG), the official student government for the 12 graduate and professional schools of Harvard University.

“The HGPSG’s mission is to create the spirit of One Harvard across the 12 graduate and professional schools,” said HGPSG President Sudipta “Nila” Devanath. “The Masquerade Ball is the epitome of that mission in action.”

Cloaked in a myriad of multicolored masks, the guests of the Masquerade Ball 2015 cheerfully danced and mingled on the Sheraton’s massive second floor, which was divided into several self-contained spaces where a multiplicity of activities unfolded simultaneously. On one end, there was the “Constitution Ballroom,” glowing in shades of aqua, royal and ice blue. Here, the Dave Macklin Band played live music, churning out reggae, funk, top 40 and soul.

The “Republic Ballroom,” designated as “the red and black room,” graced the other end, shimmering in varied shades of red. There, guests moved to the Latin groove of El Feeling, a gifted live Band from the Berklee College of Music.

The heart of the event was the “Grand Ballroom.” This expansive space, sparkling in a multifariousness of purple hues and “glow” tubes, was helmed by DJ ZEA, an indefatigable dancing-and-spinning pro who was flown in from Miami, Fla.

Amid the array of professional artists, a diverse assortment of Harvard student performers took turns to thrill the guests in the “Republic” and “Constitution” rooms. By interspersing the students’ acts between the rhythms of two additional professional DJs, the event organizers ensured that music played all through the evening.

In order to achieve such complexity, the HGPSG partnered with seasoned event organizer Soraya Y. Belgacem, president and senior event planner of S.Y.B Event Planning Services. “I always like to take an event to the next level,” said Belgacem. “I wanted to keep to the institutional memory of Harvard Graduate Schools and make this event like nothing Harvard has ever seen.”

Leading the organization on the HGPSG team were Dolly Amaya and Alexander Rodriguez, HGPSG’s vice president of event coordination and vice president of social engagement, respectively.

— Dee G. Asaah