The Enduring Appeal of the Disco Ball
The disco ball has become a staple of dancefloors everywhere, but now lighting designer Steve Liberman seeks to up the ante on the mirrored classic.This article originally appeared on The Creators Project
Even the dingiest of basements can become a mecca for dancing and debauchery with the addition of one simple sphere: the disco ball.
The round, reflective object has survived over 150 years of dance music trends, proving to be the most adaptable yet rudimentary fixture of bars, clubs, and music festivals alike. Sure it's enigmatic, but what makes the disco ball such a classic?
Lighting designer Steve Lieberman, founder of SJ Lighting, has created some of the world’s most dazzling lighting installations, from nightclubs in New York, Miami, and Las Vegas, to tents and stages at festivals like Coachella, EDC, and Ultra. One of his most recent projects was a disco ball-inspired chandelier in Atlantic City, complete with over 1,500 LED lights—a radiating, rather than reflective, centerpiece. Despite being able to move past the standard disco ball with technology, Lieberman stands by the mirrorball as a quintessential classic.
“The ‘mirrorball,’ in my opinion, is the most iconic image that conjures nightclub design,” he tells The Creators Project. Throughout his career, the disco ball hasn’t changed much—“I can rattle off dozens of nightclubs, starting with the early days of my professional career in NYC: Webster Hall, TWILO, Roxy, Expo, Crobar and so many more...all had disco balls anchoring their designs. At risk of sounding cliché; it’s the sun of the nightclub solar system,” he continues.
All images courtesy of SJ Lighting, Inc.