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Bodycast: Living Statues for Weddings & Special Events

Statues come to life, paintings change form, what looks like a buffet table is really a woman … surely no guest will ever forget experiencing the fusion of art and entertainment that is the hallmark of a wedding peopled by Bodycast characters. Through the use of body-painting, prosthetic embellishments, costumes, and elaborate scenery, Bodycast can turn a person into, well, into anything.

“Bodycast creates a visual fantasy that is completely personalized to the theme and ambiance of the wedding, the couple’s personality, and the aesthetics of the physical space,” says Alfred Pichardo, director of Bodycast. “Each character we create is customized for a particular event. We have no rules and no real role models, so what we create is limited only by our imagination and creativity.”

The company, which debuted in 2000, is the brainchild of Ed Libby, owner of Ed Libby & Company, a premiere New York City-based designer of unique special occasions and events, including weddings, rehearsal dinners, and engagement parties. “Ed realized that for a top-notch event, design and entertainment go hand-in-hand,” says Pichardo. “We work with the design company to create a dramatic new dimension with this interactive, unpredictable element that is completely unique.”

At a recent engagement party, for example, Bodycast created two cupids flanking a stage where huge transparent pictures of the couple formed a focal point. Set on flower-bedecked platforms above the guests, the figures appeared to be statues with their stark white faces, tall headdresses, and feathered wings, but would occasionally come to life to shoot enormous red “enamored roses” at the guests, promising good fortune to anyone who captured their hearts.

Characters can be interactive – say, footed horsemen announcing the bride and groom with trumpets – or stationary background decor, such as a model who stands behind a life-size frame with a body painted to look exactly like the Mona Lisa. But look carefully: at some point during the night, the model will turn around in the frame and transform into an abstract Picasso. Statues can also come to life midway through a reception to perform feats of aerial gymnastics, juggling, and contortion.

Form meets function with a “living buffet” where a statuesque woman stands atop a table dressed much like a ballerina from an old-style jewelry box. A skirt of giant Lucite rings flows to the floor and does double-duty as a buffet or martini station, while the model playfully interacts with guests. “It’s fun and flirty and sensuous,” says Pichardo, a former model with a background in sociology. “It adds a human factor that’s just not possible with inanimate kinds of scenery.”

Ultimately, all the characters will tie into a theme, which often evolves out of conversations with the couple and their event designers. A garden setting might provide the ideal background for a model painted as a rose, a woman draped in flowers and flowing cloth to simulate a butterfly, or even a Roman statue that stands next to a pillar and forms part of a fountain of water

On the other hand, a beach wedding might lend itself to mermaids and mermen frolicking in the ocean, seahorse statues, living torches to guide guests into the reception, or models decorated as giant shells, providing hiding places for treasures that guests can find and take home.

“We usually appear at the reception, but we’ve also done engagement parties when there will be more guests there than at the actual wedding," Pichardo says. "There’s nothing else like this, so it makes sense to do it at the event where they want the biggest bang, to create memories that will last a lifetime.”

 

> Written by Irene Korn 



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