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Swedish House Mafia's Axwell to DJ Cosmic Opera

Series kicks off February 24th at Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC

January 11, 2012 1:15 PM ET
axwell
Axwell performs at Global Gathering at Long Marston Airfield in Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom.
Ollie Millington/Redferns

Dance music fans have been wondering how Swedish House Mafia will top December's blowout show at Madison Square Garden. For Axwell, one-third of the DJ supergroup, the answer was in the works long before the lights went down at MSG.

Axwell will be headlining and curating the musical talent for Cosmic Opera, a dance event series taking place at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom beginning February 24th. Like an opera, it will take place in "acts" in the form of three monthly, six-hour-long events that will integrate the high-tech 3D mapping techniques used by Skrillex and Deadmau5 on their tours. Baroque-era performers, along with dancers and acrobats, will be placed throughout the room to create a 360-degree spectacle that pays homage to the venue's history.

Axwell has been working on the events with Cosmic Opera creator Justin Cohen, former COO of entrepreneurial conference Summit Series. "It is a revolutionary time for dance music," he tells Rolling Stone. "To go with it, we needed to establish a new type of event." Axwell will be responsible for filling the musical bill at each of the three events. In a nod to Hammerstein's theater roots, Axwell will also play the role of conductor, not only manning the turntables but leading accompanying opera singers. Watch the trailer for the event below.

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