Venetian Masked Balls updated 3Feb06
No limits to the costumes for this event but imagine that you have been invited to a sophisticated masked ball in the heart of Venice.
venetianmask145x66.jpgVenetian masks have a long history of protecting their wearer's identity during promiscuous or decadent activities. Made for centuries in Venice. these distinctive masks were formed from papier mâché and wildly decorated with fur, fabric, gems, or ribbons. Eventually. Venetian masks re-emerged as the emblem of Carnevale, a pageant and street fair celebrating hedonism.
Venetian masks emerged in a climate of cultural and religious repression during the Medieval era in Italy. People donned the colourful masks to free themselves from judging neighbours, all of whom knew each other in such a small city. The gentry class and peasants alike sought anonymity for promiscuity, gambling, and other indiscretions. Even the clergy were known to dress up to go dancing.
After the 1100's the masquerade went through periods of being outlawed by the Catholic Church, especially during holy days. Their policy lead to eventual acceptance when they declared the months between Christmas and Shrove Tuesday free for Venetian mask-attired decadence. This period evolved into Corneal, the pre-Lent celebration meaning ‘remove meat'. Although Carnevale lost popularity as Venice's cultural production faltered during the Enlightenment, it was officially reintroduced in 1979.
The modern celebration of Carnevale has reinvigorated the art and craft of making Venetian masks. The traditional method involves sculpting a form out of clay as a base for the mask. Most masks are made from papier mâché, a sticky paste made from paper strips and glue. This plaster material is layered over the base, dries, and gets removed to for the basic mask. The fun part comes when the craftsperson paints designs in gold, silver, royal purple, sunny yellow and other bright colours. Further decorations include sequins, silk ribbons, exotic bird feathers, faux fur, rhinestones, leather, gold charms, glitter, and any other outlandish trinkets.
Recognizable types of Venetian masks continue to dazzle tourists, dancers, and pageant participants during Carnevale and year round, The Bauta mask covers the whole face, with a stubborn chin line, no mouth, and lots of gilding. A half-mask with gold and silver stripes and jewelled eyes is called a Columbino that you hold up to your face with an attached stick. Other popular shapes include large. hooked noses, black and white checkered diamonds called a Harlequin pattern, and bright red, pursed lips. Wearing Venetian masks has spread to Halloween masquerade balls and what North and South Americans call Mardi Gras but they always carry their rich Italian history.
Rodger Wheeler
Mascheranda updated 22Feb06
Roger's been at it again! This year 'Ladies Night' was a Venetian Masked Ball… he's a little devil.
The masked ball was held in the clubhouse on Saturday evening 11 February and promised dinner, dance, entertainment and modest debauchery; I think that's a contradiction of terms and should probably have read immodest debauchery'.
There was a Venetian skyline with the full length and width covered with drawings of Venetian landmarks. The laid up tables were themed black and gold and looked pretty 'spiffy' complete with candelabras.
ven-<wbr>hattons150x200.jpgAs the 42 guests arrived they were greeted by Roger and our Commodore Nigel with a variety of multi-coloured aperitifs and a flower for each of the ladies. The costumes were amazing and as someone once said "a picture paints a thousand words".
Who are these members?
Pat Halling and Mike Leigh provided some suitable music and it wasn't long before Aquarius took on a very Venetian ambience. A brilliant dinner was served by Roger Wheeler, Mike Rogers, Leo Bond, Nigel Knowles, Charles Dennis and George Bray all dressed as gondoliers. You would have difficulty getting a better meal anywhere at any price, there were 10 courses starting with the aperitifs and ending with chocholates.
Following a very relaxed dinner one or two of the tables where moved to make room for the cabaret. I won't say too much about the entertainment apart from Pat and Mike's contribution was superb, as always.
The contribution made by 'Ballet Bodgit' had to be seen to be believed. I saw it and I still don't believe it; and what about the Gondola MS Bodgit? Nigel had a lot of fun making that I can tell you. Rumour has it that it is destined for Ebay. So if you've ever wanted your own, somewhat cut down, Gondola get on, and get bidding.
Ballet Bodgit Video length 1 minute (needs Real Player). Select the link suitable for your Internet connection.
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The Mascheranda ended with socializing around the bar. I thought the evening was a resounding success, I just hope the Aquarius ladies thought so too. Grateful thanks to Roger and Nigel (Mike was involved just as much - Webmaster) for organising the whole thing, and to the small army of 'gentlemen' who helped out on the night and with the clearing up on Sunday morning.
I'm hoping someone has metaphorically twisted a suitable ladies arm to write a female perspective of the evening. At the end of the day it was the Ladies it was all done for so I guess they should have the last word.
The problem the club now has is how is it going to top that next year! Ideas in writing please to the Commodore; better now know as, Nigella (Prima Bodgit Ballerina) Knowles.
Mikala (Two Left Feet) Baker
BRINDISI  from La Traviata - Aquarius version sung by Rodger Wheeler
Libiamo libiamo ne' lieti ca-
lici,che la bellezza infiora;
e la fuggevol fuggevol or-
a s'inebri-ì a voluttà.
Libiam ne' dolci frémiti
che suscita l'amore,
poichè quell'occhio al core
onnipotente va.
Libiamo, amore, amor fra i ca-
lici più caldi baci avrà.

Oh lets drink Gondolieri lets drink!
Oh lets drink Gondolieri lets drink!

Violetta (s'alza)
Tra voi, tra voi saprò divi-
dere il tempo mio giocondo;
tutto è follia follia nel mon-
do ciò che no-n è pi-i-a-cer.
Godiam, fugace e rapido
è il gaudio dell'amore;
e un fior che nasce e muore,
nè più si può goder.
C'invita c'invita un fer-
vido accento lusinghi-er.
And now Gondolieri so merry lets drink,
To our ladies so fine of Aquarius,
And now Gondolieri so merry lets drink,
To our ladies our ladies so fine.

Violetta (ad Alfredo)
La vita è nel tripudio.

Alfredo (a Violetta)
Quando non s'ami ancora...

Violetta (ad Alfredo)
Nol dite a chi l'ignora.

Alfredo (a Violetta)
È il mio destin così.

And now Gondolieri so merry lets drink,
To our ladies so fine of Aquarius,
And now Gondolieri so merry lets drink,
To our ladies our ladies so fine;
Aa-ah, Aa-ah, to our ladies so fine,
Aa-ah, Aa-ah, to our ladies so fine,
Lets drink lets drink lets drink lets drink lets drink A TOAST.
Mascheranda Menu
Sanguinello (Blood orange, Ice (alcohol free))
Curacao (Cava, Blue curacao, Ice)
Tintoretto (Cava,Pomegranite Juice, Ice)
Marco Polo (Cava, Menta peperita, Ice)

Table wines:
Frascati DOC 2004
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC 2004

Warm Picadella
Warm Ciabatta with herbs, garlic and olive oil
Celery, cucumber & carrot batons and dips
Ricotta with Olive Oil
Mixed Olives with herbs, olive oil
Ciabatta with Olives

Pollo Cacciatore (Chicken breast with passata, chopped tomato, onion, mushroom, garlic, basil, oregano etc.)
or Canneloni with Ricotta and Spinach
or Lasagne
Aubergine and Ricotta and Mushroom Gondolas
Peperonata (layers of fried onions, courgettes, mushrooms and peppers with herbs and olive oil)
Peas, Haricots
Gratinata del Delfino (Sliced potatoes in a cream and garlic sauce baked with a gratin of gruyere cheese)

Lemon sorbet

Black Forest Gateau and cream.

Assorted Biscuits & Cheese board:
(Pecorino Romano,Dolcelatte, Gorgonzola Piccante, Reblochon, Comté della Savoia, Gruyère della Svizzera, Tomme della Savoia, English Cheddar)

Toast "Libiamo" - Cava Brut

Filter Coffee
Terry's All Gold Chocolates