An Electrifying Time at 'Bleu Ã‰lectrique', Menil Collection's 25th Anniversary Party
With all its accolades, it's hard to believe that the Menil Collection is only 25 years old. In its short lifetime, the Renzo Piano designed building has deservedly received high praise, international recognition, and "iconic" status for the building itself and the impressive collection of art it houses: thousands of pieces that span centuries and styles, and include some of the most famous artists' work -- from Picasso to Dali to Warhol to Pollock to Rauschenberg to Magritte.
This past weekend, the Menil Collection celebrated its 25th anniversary with three events: a seated dinner entitled "A Celebration in Blue" on Friday, a French-inspired party called Bleu Ã‰lectrique on Saturday, and a performance by Phillip Glass on Sunday. I only had the good fortune of attending the Bleu Ã‰lectrique fÃªte.
Held in a gigantic white tent lit up in tones of blue on the Menil Collection's lawn, the party's dÃ©cor was rather simple. A few couches and chairs were scattered about. Two food tables in the back of the tent served as a food re-filling station for servers that were constantly going around with hors d'Å“uvres - which were nothing to write home about, by the way. A jam-packed central bar housed bartenders making French 76's and serving up French wines at the pace of a turtle, with thirsty party-goers patiently waiting to drink up.
DJ Kalkutta didn't skip a beat all night long - her stage presence and mixes were electrifying. She was stationed at one end of the tent, behind a white, lit up half-box, where she busted out everything from "Call Me Maybe" to "Jessie's Girl" to a club-y version of sound effects from Mario Brother's original Nintendo game.She read the crowd, encouraged them with her dancing, and kept the yuppies in attendance dancing all night long.
Diversely dressed yuppies, I might add. In the fashion realm, it seemed like everything went fabric and texture-wise: denim, silk, leather, pleather, cotton, alpaca, linen, corduroy, sequins, and wool all made appearances on the dance floor, positioned atop some of Houston's most attractive ladies and gentlemen.
You never would have imagined that the glamorous group of people could display such...interesting, energetic dance moves, for so many hours. Wooden flooring had been installed as the base of the tent so as to not ruin the Menil's pristine, over-saturated green hued lawn. The floor wasn't necessarily unstable, it's just kind of...bounced up and down to the dancing and jumping of the crowd which eventually seemed almost determined to break through the wooden flooring. Fortunately, the floor never cracked.
Behind DJ Kalkutta flashed images of the Menil Collection, its art collection, Menil matriarch Dominique de Menil and her husband, John de Menil, and the above letter, written by graphic artist Robert Rauschenberg to Dominique de Menil.
In turn, the crowd mimicked the spirit of the Menil Collection, 25 years in the making - diverse, vibrant, intellectual, entertaining, lovely.
Spirits were high throughout the whole night, until the Houston Police Department pulled the deejay's plug, which was met by "boos" from the crowd. All good things must come to an end, I suppose.