Sunday, February 04, 2007

Bohemian Home, ballet, and Pub Night

This post is going to cover several thoughts. First, I called Bohemian Home, a new store on Divine Street. It's new, but not really. Originally, it was called Storehouse Furniture. The staff is the same, the place still sells upscale, contemporary furniture, and the focus is on residential interiors. Yet, Storehouse went out of business.

Bruce Schultz, long time owner of Bohemia, took over the location. Bohemian is just down the street. It is a wonderful shop full of fine art crafts, African artifacts, funky clothing, and interesting objects of all sorts. Best of all, it is LOCALLY owned and operated. It reflects Bruce's eye for quality. Bruce has included furniture for years and had a building full of great pieces that just didn't open onto the street. Now, he's got Bohemian Home.

While at my art reception a few weeks ago, Bruce suggested I hang some work in his new location. I called and talked to the manager, Tom Chinn, who said I could bring the entire African series later that very day. That was Friday. The next day was a "sidewalk sale" up and down Divine Street. All but four of my pieces were on the walls. Even the four were in public view. I went by and took these pictures. I'm totally thrilled.

Later that night, Steve and I went to see "Where the Wild Things Are" at the Koger Center. The Columbia City Ballet production included a new piece called "Men's Class" and a tribute to Fred Astaire before the intermission.

We enjoyed William Starrett's choreography and humor in "Men's Class". The dancing was good too. Five dancers, a ballet master, and an accompanist made up the piece. I particularly like the pause with the five dancers assuming the five ballet positions.

The ballroom inspired works, however, were dreadful. Perhaps the line of men opening this segment were under rehearsed. The movements seemed simple but was not often in unison. Much of the rest was suppose to be humorous, only it failed to amuse. It was suggested to me by another viewer that this was just "ballet's" impression of ballroom. Thus, it wasn't good ballet or good ballroom. Maybe?
The crowd just went wild when Mariclare and William danced together. Some even stood in ovation at the end. Steve and I bit our tongues. We thought William danced adequately but was painful to watch. It was further suggested to us that William danced poorly because he might have been in pain. Our friend added that the audiences' adoration of our local stars made this an important part of the evening but that it was utterly unnecessary for the two to attempt what could not be accomplished well. Ballroom steps don't have to include lifts. Ballroom dancing doesn't have to pair a couple in a grand wedding pas scenario. It didn't have to set these two up as if they were the principal dancers, the finest in the company, the best. Because it tried this, it failed.

Certainly my family owes a large debt to William and Mariclare. I like them both, dearly. I wanted to cheer and stand with the others, but not for the performance. What we witnessed did not merit this. Our feelings were so mixed that we left after intermission. We've never ducked out of a show before this.
On Saturday I worked on the biggest "In Box" I've ever attempted. Hopefully, this will suit Barbara Blau's small conference room. If not, it will still be wonderful. Later that night we went to CMFA's (Columbia Music Festival Association's) annual fund-raiser, Pub Night. The evening is all about good food and drink, a dart tournament, and dozens of door prizes. The "big" prizes each year are two round-trip tickets to anywhere in the continental US. Steve won one of them! We were stunned and had a great time! Alex worked setting the place up, selling raffle tickets, and cleaning up afterwards. I stitched until someone brought him home at 1:30 AM. One of the pictures is of Pub Night emcee, TV's Joe Pinner with Harriet Green and Rusty Sox of the SC Arts Commission pulling raffle tickets.


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry that you left the ballet at intermission. You missed a delightful second half. Where the Wild Things Are was truly an enjoyable experience. The sets, the lighting and the amazing dancing was a joy to behold. I wish you had stayed.....

Susan Lenz said...

I quite agree. I've been chastizing myself for leaving ever since. I never want to forget that part of the reason for attending our local ballets is in order to support the dancers. So few that start out on the road to a professional career actually make it onto the stage with a real company. No matter how the dancing or performance unfolds, we should buy tickets, clap, and enjoy the truly good parts. I still cannot believe we left. We'd never done this before and I doubt that it will ever happen again. Having seen Where the Wild Things Are several years ago when Columbia City Ballet first did the piece, I remember it as lots of fun. The costumes were amazing and the energy had been high.