I take birthday celebrations most “seriously” and my husband Vit’s birthday on Sunday (despite us both being “under the weather” in more ways than one) was no exception. As I always say, this is a day to treat, feel special and share the fun (for as many days as you feel is right for you).
So, as a pre-birthday event last Friday, I took the birthday boy for an evening with the Boston Ballet. Before you start thinking that it was really a present to myself, let me tell you that this evening was anything but your “typical” big stage ballet production (and Vit does love modern dance!) “An evening of choreography by Viktor Plotnikov” was a special BB@home event in the contemporary yet intimate “Studio 7” at Boston Ballet’s Clarendon Street headquarters in Boston (January 29 and 30 only).
“This is where we work all the time. This is our home, and we’re welcoming people into it,” said artistic director Mikko Nissinen in his 2012 Boston Globe interview about the inaugural BB@home performance (Nissinen was in the audience with us during the performance on Friday).
We did take advantage of being “invited” as we observed ballet students stretching in the hallways and took a peek into the studios (it so happened that Sharon’s own Noah Parets – best known as Billy in “Billy Elliot, the Musical” 2013 Broadway tour- was taking a class!).
Being “up close and personal” to the dancers – practically on stage- allows for a an immediate connection and a different level of engagement with the choreography and performers than you “normally” experience at the big stage ballet performance.
Plotnikov is a former Boston Ballet dancer and now a Resident Choreographer at the Festival Ballet Providence; this program of his works included three world premieres performed by Boston Ballet dancers and trainees. Vit’s favorite was “Crazy Nun” (a humorous piece performed by one of the Company’s principal dancers Misa Kuranaga), set to the music of Haydn. We both also loved Countour Equipoise (one of the premiers), a modern number with a music by a contemporary French composer Alexander Desplat, best known for his film scores.
Now, when the actual birthday came- on Sunday- I planned it around the birthday boy’s “other” interests (and, of course, taking into account kids’ Sunday activities). We started the celebration with the Jazz brunch at “Beehive” – the funky “bohemian” eatery located in the Boston Center for the Arts in the South End.
It was actually happy Reggae this Sunday which was perfect for setting the mood. The food, nuanced with Ethnic influences, was also quite satisfying (for all of the varied tastes in our group) and moderately priced.
Next, we took the celebration to the “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” Exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts.
Vit loved the assembly of various transportation models and designs from the Sharf collection packed in one room. He took time to observe every object as Vi and I moved on to the gift shop to look for an “artsy” gift for Vit (found it!) We did not leave the Museum without admiring a travelling Klimt at my favorite Art of Europe Gallery and then stumbling upon actress Isabella Rossellini (in town for her new Arts Emerson project later this month).
We gathered the kids, picked the birthday cake (actually, two birthday cakes- just because!) and headed home. It would have been great to share them with friends for a perfect ending of the birthday weekend, but still running the colds we were a bit run down at this point. So the four of us (quietly) cheered the Pats from the coach.
http://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/planes-trains-and-automobiles (Exhibit runs through May 10; free with Family annual membership of $110).
P.S. The featured (Boston Cream cake) is from Dessert Works on Providence Highway in Westwood, MA. http://www.dessertworks.net/
They also did Vi’s Barbie cake last June. (see photo in this Post.)