Monday, December 18, 2006

Ringing in Ventuno

Turning 21 in Italy kind of rocked. To start things all off, an adventurous but certifiably delicious culinary experience chez Hezzy last night was rounded off by an evening at Il Torrione, a Jazz club hosting live music in a renovated guard tower at the city walls that went until 1 am. And thus began my birthday, with sweet jazz oozing from piano, drums, bass and an Italian voice singing English tunes and charming us all with her contagious cackle and funny anecdotes.

The morning really began with gloomy skies, a nice walk, food shopping and yoga. Nothing like celebrating 21 with a little time to breathe deep and stretch. Mostly just another peaceful and busy Sunday catching up on work, chilling out, cooking.

The big event for the day had to be Lo Schiaccianoci, the ballet at the Teatro Communale to which I had bought tickets last month and was anxiously desiring to see. It seemed like a cute show, but I didn’t really know too much about it. The Ballet Biarritz was putting on this show for two days in Ferrara and it seemed like some sort of playful bit of dance. Thought I would treat myself.

The Teatro Communale di Ferrara looks like Milano’s La Scala, except less luscious and rich red and more just a subtle and opulent white (and I could take pictures this time). My seat was right on the ground level with a wonderful view of the stage, it felt so nice to treat myself to a bit of art set in a very elegant theatre.

Looking at the programme and reading the details, I realized that the show to which I had bought tickets wasn’t just some artsy French number but in fact a modern rendition of The Nutcracker, a show that was an integral part of my childhood, many times going to see the show at Place-Des-Arts with my mother for my birthday. I remember having been enchanted by the imaginative show, the wild adventures, the beautiful dancing and costumes.

In Ferrara, I saw a version that was much more modern with a changing solid coloured background and a creative twist to the Christmas classic. The nutcracker was instead a boxer in this version but the delicacy of the emotions, the magic of the season and the sentiment of the nutcracker were still the same. The set design was modern instead of Victorian but enchanted this aficionado of contemporary art delightfully. At the end my hands were left numb from clapping and I felt like I wanted to cry in the joy of surprise and rapture.

Pop went the champagne and the party was at my house with panetone. Bellinis, and torrone. It was nice to ring in the birthday with friends, roommates and good food. Hezzy even whipped together a tiramisu for the occasion. So all was good and done, having received the parental phone call of good wishes and having been sung Tanti Auguri.

And then Chris arrived, fresh from the end of exams and a trip to Venice, unexpected and unannounced. Dinner and chitchat and the evening just passed by so quickly, full of memories of years past, that’s it, another year has passed. One year in one day, I feel tired. But happy. Peace.

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