At first, says Sinferno/Hanging Garden co-founder LeeAnn Donan, "We were really bored." She and her cohort Julie Devine wanted to dance, but found that the only places to go featured recycled Top 40, hip-pop or classic rock -- not their cup of tea.
Rather then sulk, they set out to create their own party, and ended up with Sinferno/Hanging Garden, a monthly event hosted by Lawrenceville nightclub Cattivo.
The party began in 2009, at nearby Remedy. But what started as an excuse to go out dancing gained a life of its own, outgrowing the space after a year. Now it operates on two floors of Cattivo: Sinferno on the first and the Hanging Garden downstairs.
The space allows organizers to provide a little bit of something for everyone, beyond just dancing. In recent months, the event has brought out fire-eaters, indie bands, jewelry-makers, belly-dancers and more. And while the overarching feel of the event stays the same, each show is unique.
The Sat., Aug. 27, event marks the party's second anniversary. And Devine and Donan throw a party zealously. Sinferno will start with DJ Zombo, who spins an eclectic mix of genres and artists -- '80s new wave, garage bands, Michael Jackson and Iggy Pop -- that turns the dance floor into what he calls a "hipster wedding." He tries to balance the tastes of Sinferno's crowd with the regulars at Cattivo, who by all accounts have taken kindly to the monthly invasion of black leather and disco lights. Later in the night, Level 2.0 will perform; the Long Island band has just released an album of electronic body music/industrial dance, Armageddon.
Downstairs in Hanging Garden, the light is lower and the music heavier. DJ Reich, who has been performing at Hanging Garden almost as long as it's been around, spins goth, industrial and electric dance until 11 p.m. Then, burlesque: Bella Sin, Northeastern Ohio's preeminent risque dancer. In the back, meanwhile, vendors and artists set up tables; at the July event, a jeweler specializing in geared steampunk brooches shared a table with a lovely couple who made dolls with a startling similarity to Tim Burton characters. The featured artist is Brian Bullets, a painter who owns Lawrenceville's Drawing Room Tattoo Parlor and Art Gallery.
And remember, the Aug. 27 event is a birthday party; there will be cake.
SINFERNO/HANGING GARDEN 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Sat., Aug. 27. 146 44th St., Lawrenceville. $5. www.facebook.com/sinferno.hanginggarden