Last week at the ballet studio, several people announced they were November-born, including two of the dancers below. Lovers of life that we all are, we immediately declared a party at our house.
|My friends in the rehearsal studio, two years ago.|
They created stiff circles of tulle on the floor here.
Picasso or Cole Porter may not have been present, but it dawned on me that our impromptu soirée wasn't too different from a Paris-in-the-'20s scene. We had dancers, artists, an actor, a musician, arm-chair philosophers (sometimes, even the real thing), and a scientist! Just missing were the writers and poets.
|Our Artistic Director (seated),|
formerly from American Ballet Theater,
during our rehearsals
First off, our ballet Artistic Director was celebrating his birthday. He had danced with world-renowned American Ballet Theater in New York prior to moving out West. His pregnant wife was surprised his photos were in some of my old, ABT performance books. (I used to attend ABT's season at the Metropolitan Opera House and pick up the books at the performances. This was before I knew him personally - and before his wife ever met him.) We reminisced about his old ABT friends - dancers I admired, even worshipped, and on my very lucky days, shared barres with in NYC.
My dear friend, Virginia, whom I wrote about in Life is Beautiful, provided all the good bubbly as we celebrated her 86th birthday too. Months ago, she had been generous enough to offer what gallery paintings we liked for our walls, and to rotate them until we'd found one we couldn't say good-bye to. (Her art gallery overflows as much as her champagne collection.) I was ecstatic to serve as her extended exhibit space. So, we spent a fair amount of time clinking flutes in birthday toasts while engaging in art appreciation. Now that's a civilized way to spend an evening.
|Loaned to us from Virginia's art gallery.|
I like discovering textures in it daily.
But is the marred surface
the result of her housekeeper's
Another friend, a ceramic artist, was also a celebrant. Her works happen to be around our house too - from wabi sabi vases to our daily serving dishes. Wabi sabi is a wonderful, Japanese aesthetic - defined by imperfection, transience, and natural beauty. Does that concept speak to you? It does to me, especially contrasted against geometric perfection. We celebrated this theme by putting my friend's irregularly-shaped bowls and plates out for our little party. (You can check out her whimsical creations here in Yukari Art)
|An example of my friend's|
wabi sabi vase
on the floor of our foyer
Let's see. We mentioned dancers and artists. Now, the actress. She had recently played a small part in a film scene with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson - yes, the protagonist at the core of "Midnight in Paris"! She was still giddy from the experience. Of course we pressed her, and she confirmed that Wilson is as cute and charming in life as he is on film.
Finally, the culmination of this evening out of Time was sitting by the piano while our musician friend played Gershwin and ragtime. The live music punctuated our discussion on the origins of rag (which I never knew was a technical term - "ragging out time") and Jazz. The genre couldn't have been more fitting that night.
|After all the champagne, music and art|
Midnight in California
Sometimes, the best experiences are unplanned, fleeting, joyous celebrations of life. Wabi sabi style. I didn't even appreciate the evening until everyone had gone and I thought of writing this post.
Now, if I could only round up a poet or two for the next gathering ...