This past weekend between bookend performances of Sleeping Beauty, the Royal Theater hosted an evening of mixed repertoire—a Hübberiet—ranging from Opera Christmas Carols to live bands on stage…sprinkled throughout, numbers from the winners of ‘Vild med Dans’ (Danish spin on Dancing with the Stars) and the company’s latest undertaking, Corpus.
Behind this wholesome image of individuality lay the creative devices of Tim Matiakis and Esther Lee Wilkenson, two dancers in the Royal Danish Ballet who masterminded a collaboration of unique talent and childhood dreams to create Corpus (body)- Each dancer was asked questions regarding their aspirations as artists and dreamers, and depending on our answers were encouraged to choreograph, improv and create a piece distinct to our personal experiences and passions. The result…?
A multifaceted display of originality and love of dance, exposing a far more personal side of our lives than what the Classic ballets usually allow….and a Standing Ovation :)
Below are a few moments captured at one of our ‘works in progress’ rehearsals…an intimate, close-up experience during which the dancers and audience could enjoy a more personal exchange…
Here’s to the freedoms of movement, imagination & originality.
A special thanks to Tim & Esther who managed to inspire our differences, combining so many bodies into one.
ballerinas & ball players. p.e.
Come December, you can bet dancers around the world are working overtime to various Tchaikovsky scores…decorating stages with visions of Sugarplums, Snowflakes, & fairytale magic of the like…
This means double (for some companies triple!) show days every weekend, with a few late nighters sprinkled throughout the weeks in between. When all is turned and tired, it is all we can do to beat the winter cold, vigorous working schedule and perhaps one too many hours in satin shoes…am I right? am I right?
That being said, I wanted to share with the world a simply brilliant recipe I adapted ever-so-slightly from one of my new favorite blogs, Green Kitchen Stories. It’s the perfect go-to, ‘in a pinch’ power bite, complete with your crunch, your sweet, your salt…I think you get it :) Couldn’t resist nibbling on these all throughout the day to keep up my energy in between back to back Sleeping Beauty’s this season ~ Amazing what a few toasted nuts, seeds, dried fruits and a dip of chocolate can do for ya…Give these a go and let me know what you think!
By the way…Have you checked out my online Photography Portfolio in a while? I’ve been decorating it here and there with a few of my personal favorite Captures…
That’s all for now…
Sesame Seeds & Seasonal Needs.
Makes around 18
1 1/2 cup (360 ml / 150 g) walnuts
1 cup (240 ml / 145 g) sesame seeds
1/3 cup (80 ml / 40 g) goji berries (I used dried cranberries instead of the goji/super berries), which worked famously)
1/2 cup (120 ml / 70 g) dried super berries
4 tbsp honey or maple syrup (I did 2 tbsp honey, 2 maple syrup)
3 tbsp coconut oil (*this is the secret to success!)
1/2 cup (120 ml / 55 g) shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tsp salt
*Optional: 1 Bar of 70-80% dark Valrhona Chocolate
As friday wraps up a month of Turkey, Pumpkin Pie and a good lumpsome of La Bayadere’s, we will finish the month off at the Royal Theater this evening ~ where Christopher Wheeldon’s Sleeping Beauty (created on the Royal Danish ballet two years ago) will repremeire. Our first of fourteen performance this month, I will look forward to enchanting audiences with a Song here and there…perhaps attending to the Lilac Fairy or playing in the garden amongst Aurora and her other friends.
Once again, a little sneak peak of the breathtaking costumes designed by the talented Jerome Kaplan…Time to reawaken the fairytale with Tchaikovsky’s gentle melody, gifts of Song, Temperament…romantic second acts ‘nymphing‘ and perhaps a few roses from a faraway Prince ;)
Here’s to fragrant fairytales to greet the Season ~
Are you all recovering from Turkey day? I would love to wish the Happiest Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans this week… Here’s to tables full of family and all the fixin’s…Don’t you just love an excuse to try out new recipes while digging up those traditional favorites past down from generations?? Creamed Kale anyone? Gluten free stuffing? I was happy to contribute a homemade Pumpkin Pie to the dessert table this year.. Remember this one that reined last November? Maybe you were more into the Pumpkin Scones from Alice’s Tea Cup..too hard to choose :)
This evening we will finish up our run of La Bayadere over at the Royal Theater. Did you get to see it? I thought I might dedicate a little corner of my chronicles to the blue hazed visions of what we see from the wings. It’s funny because all too often we’ll run entire productions too many times to count, yet we still have no idea what it looks like from the front! That speciality is what’s saved for you ~ That being said, I thought I might give you a different angle.. Here are a few favorites that I captured over the past couple of weeks…small moments from the dancer’s perspective…hidden behind the wings that separate reality from realms of stage splendor…La Bayadere will come again in March of 2013, so if you missed out on it this time, you can look forward to a fresh sneak peak in the Spring! On to Sleeping Beauty these days… December on the rise!
Of the many things I am grateful for this year…my family, friends, faith, health… I would like to thank each of you for your readership, feedback, and enthusiasm to share with me bits of happiness here on Tutus&Tea. Looking forward to December with you!
Wings & things~ p.e.
Anticipation is rising as Saturday’s premiere of La Bayadère draws near…Between our daily runs, last minute costume checks and changes, it’s been a true delight to see this production come together. It always seems like yesterday that new productions are presented to us as slideshows, hand-drawn sketches and fabric swatches passed around to get ‘a vision’ of what the next 3-5 weeks of rehearsals and collaborative efforts might bring…when all of the sudden the curtain rises on opening night, and everything has come to longdancing fruition.
I especially enjoyed sneaking my camera around the studios and hiding behind wings to attempt capturing the process of this ballet, as I believe it contributes wholly to appreciating the final production ~ a luxury, which I am happy to share with you here on Tutus&Tea :)
As you might know, La Bayadère (translated to mean The Temple Dancer) was originally choreographed by Marius Petipa with music by Ludwig Minkus. The plot reveals a story of scorned lovers & scandal hidden behind the veils of exotic maidens, reaching it’s climactic end in ”one of the most celebrated excerpts in all of classical ballet” ~ It is during this scene that 24 of us tutu laden ‘Shades’ arabesque our way down an endless ramp to the Kingdom we claim as visions of bayedère beauty…
…That being said, there has been a whole lot of TuTu’s decorating the studios, wings, and stage as we prepare for our ‘grand descent’…and given that it is the namesake of this here blog, I thought these shots deserved a little moment in the spotlight. So here is to the classic TuTu: Rigid in form, yet elegant in motion…the dreamy ‘work outfit’ of a lifetime :)
So here’s to the perils of perfect lines & Shades in stark white.
Hope to see you Saturday!
beaucoup de tutus et toile~p.e.
p.s. Remember this post on Practice TuTu’s?
Today I had the honor of being interviewed for a dear friend’s blog, Teatime Thoughts. This darling source of style/party tips, recipes and a plethora of positivity never fails to leave me grinning, grateful and motivated with each passing post. In her new series called ‘Coffee Talk,’ Candice shares people’s experience, insight & inspiration with her loyal readers ~ passing on her contagious, faith-filled love and generosity along the way… Tune in to my interview on performing here and give Teatime Thoughts a looksie – it’s bound to leave you with lingering smile…Thank you Candice!
Coffee Dates & Delight ~ p.e.
Bonjour dear readers! Here’s apologizing for the lack of recent posting in lieu of spontaneous travels, rehearsals, pumpkin carving, cupcake baking, apple-cider drinking, etc…Needless to say we at the Royal theater have been busy at work on our newest production, a ‘re-vamp’ of the classic, La Bayadere which premieres November 10th! A clever evolution of Petipa’s classic, this romantic spin takes us to India under British colonization during the late 1800′s…Picture love triangles, Blue (bronze) Idols, Kingdoms of Shades and Saris and you’re well on the right track. Brimming with eloquent, ornamented costumes by the well known designer, Richard Hudson (Ratmansky’s Nutcracker for ABT, Golden Cockerel for RDB, and of course, the Lion King on Broadway) and a plethora of beads & baubles, this colorful rendition of the classic isn’t one to miss!
Last week, a few of the dancers from Royal Danish Ballet performed excerpts at the Guggenheim museum in New York City to stir excitement ~ Click here for a review and the full streaming of their show :)
As for now…a coveted ‘sneak peak’ into the costume room to start off the week!
I will wrap up by mentioning my prayers for the safety of those effected by Hurricane Sandy, my thoughts are with you all!
Delicate Decals & TuTu Tastles~p.e.
As I sit here writing, I’m relishing the warmth of a cozy day in on a rare Tuesday off…There’s nothing more satisfying than waking up the morning after a performance to a gentle rain shower and the luxurious opportunity to go right back to sleep. Oui?
Alas, fall has certainly arrived in Copenhagen…crisp mornings followed by stormy afternoons, brilliant blue skies fighting off gusts of resilient breezes and butternut squash beckoning from the markets. I love this season. I love the slow evolution of berries into stone fruits, the surplus of squash and the chorus of chanterelle mushrooms singing sweetly from their crate. I love an excuse to eat comfort food, stay warm & cozy and frequent candle-lit café’s when my day is done at the theater.
Remember these spiced nuts? Try garnishing your favorite fall soup with a generous sprinkle ;)
1 more show to go! Time flies when you’re wearing golden feathers…
Cheers to Fall’s annual invitation to embrace heart warming flavors & foliage!
Autumn Love & (candle) Light~ p.e.
This week I will have my personal premiere as the Golden Cockerel in Alexei Ratmansky’s new production, created for the Royal Danish Ballet. It’s been a long time coming…many a costume fitting, late night rehearsal, and a sore ‘necking from pecking’ (practicing my feathered habits)…and alas it has arrived!
I look so forward to performing for family and friends who’ve travelled from afar to share this experience with me…to all of whom I thank, sincerely, from the bottom of my heart.
Enjoy… I know I will :)
anticipated flights & feathers~
This past weekend, the Curtain rose on Royal Danish Ballet’s 2012-2013 Season with the world premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s The Golden Cockerel. An eager audience waltzed into the Opera house, and given that my personal premiere isn’t until October 2nd, I was lucky to be among them.
It’s always hard for a dancer to watch rather than dance. I suppose it’s the same for any other artist or athlete…the ‘inconvenience’ of knowing every detail about what you’re watching…I’ve found that twinging muscles and forgetting to breath have minor effects on the whole idea of ‘enjoying’ with those you sit amongst. Nonetheless we find our selves seeing far deeper into the performance for that very reason. We know what’s behind it. The hours and hours of rehearsals, costume fittings, run throughs, evening calls, last minute changes…It’s no wonder why I sometimes feel just as exhausted in my red velvet seat, as I would had I been up on stage…funny how life spins things.
Needless to say it was a Saturday night to remember. Timeless speeches and celebration of a breathtaking new creation, choreographed in no more than 5 weeks (!!!!!) It was such an honor working with this truly gifted, patient and professional choreographer, I only hope it’s the first of many future collaborations…Time to take flight!
…Oh, and in the mean time, I tried out this pretty ridiculously delicious roasted Nut recipe I came across in the new Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook..I added a couple more seeds and can certainly say that the bag of cashews I bought at the market last weekend just paid for itself…Stay tuned for more!
Here’s to new heights!
Birds & Words. ~p.e.
Every August the Det Kongelige Theater starts off with an outdoor performance on the lawns of the Rosenborg Castle, located right in the middle of the Kings Garden. Originally built as a summerhouse for the Royal family, the castle is now used as a museum which houses the Crown Jewels and other Danish Regalia of the like.
What I love about these picnic style affairs is the magic created within the realms of an open stage & an enthusiastic audience…enjoying sneak peaks of the upcoming season’s offerings. From the Opera’s Carmen to the Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty among others, it was no less than a collaborative feat of theater at its best.
I leave you with a few captured moments of my weekend…you’ll have to just imagine the resonating sounds of a symphonic orchestra bouncing brightly off the brick, castle walls and skipping out into the sunlight.
Here’s to Theater Previews & Performances in the Sun~
p.s. Remember these backstage shots from Beauty?
My 4th full season with the Royal Danish Ballet is off to an exciting start as we delve into ruffled tail feathers & folklore…
Over the next month, the Royal theater will play host to esteemed choreographer, Alexei Ratmansky (resident choreographer of American Ballet Theater), who is creating a brand new production of The Golden Cockerel — a Russian folktale originally written by Alexander Pushkin in 1834. The plot is based on the Legend of the Arabian Astrologer, a short story by Washington Irving, which has also been interpreted as an Opera.
Being part of new creations never fails to take me by surprise… It’s so inspiring to be surrounded by the talented minds and creative visions of others, and an honor to be a part of bringing their imagination to life. Over the next four weeks I am diving, feathers first, into the role of the Golden Cockerel — A majestical bird who’s determination, flighty energy & prowess earn it the reverence and trust of the entire empire it protects…While variations of swans, sylphs, fairies and snowflakes have all enabled me the chance to fly onstage, I look forward to the new heights this role might allow me to explore..
…and now, a sneak peak into my costume fitting from last week!
the sun is out in Copenhagen this weekend :)
What new heights will you reach for this season?
wild fabrics & feathers~ p.e.
Here’s introducing Capezio Europe’s new blog! ….Which they so kindly included me as a subject to interview among many other dancers from around the globe…
Click here to read about my journey to dance overseas, present passions and future aspirations as a dancer and culinary explorer!
Bon Voyage et Bon Appetit!
This past spring I had the honor of being featured amongst several other professional dancers who have managed to find balance in their lives off stage as well…Check out this excerpt from Dance Spirit‘s April Issue for a sneak peak into the lives of paralleled passions — Just goes to show that it’s never too hard to raise the barre…
Thank you Rachel and Dance Spirit for the shout out!
Last week here in Copenhagen was perhaps the sunniest we’ve seen all year…temperatures climbed to the mid 70′s and more people filled the parks than you can imagine ~ myself included :) It’s thrilling how quickly this city comes to life as soon as a triumphant sun lingers for a little longer than usual…
Needless to say, the hours that aren’t spent in the studio or on the stage are enjoyed by soaking up the rays of warmth so long anticipated in Scandinavia.
If you’re thinking iced coffee & rhubarb crumble in the park you’re on the right track…throw in a sprinkled cone of Vanilla soft serve overlooking the canal and you’ve hit the target my friends. One particularly lovely day last week I met a friend for lunch in Kongens Have (the King’s Garden). We sat their enjoying the fresh grass between our toes and the crisp breeze that cooled the sun on our faces…absolument joie de vivre! Afterwards we made our way to my favorite produce market, Torvehallen, where select boxes of blueberries literally stopped us in our tracks — Perhaps the largest blueberries I’ve seen to date. Now there is only one thing to do in this scenario and I’ll tell you what it is. 1. Taste said blueberries with enthusiasm 2. Question their magical origin (sunlight-exposed Spain in this case) & 3. Purchase as many cartons as you might be able to fit into your bicycle basket…and that is just exactly what I did. After a roof-terrace photo shoot to capture their sizable beauty, I can assure you they did not last much longer… :)
As for our recent premiere, I am thankful to report mostly positive reviews. It’s interesting to see the different responses of our audience to more contemporary programs, seeing as how this city is so deeply rooted in more traditional, story ballets…I find the Playhouse theater to be a perfectly intimate venue to get viewers in touch with less classical expositions of art & dance. A few more performances & alas, we’ll succumb to Summer!
The picture below graced the ‘Culture’ section of our big Newspaper here…Want to see a Trailer of the entire program? It’s All the Rage!
…a little peak into the Textile & Paint Workshop to see the making of our costumes for Yuri Possokhov’s Narcissum.
Blueberries, Rays & Reviews~p.e.
On a long lunch break this week I took it upon myself to do some royal exploring… Royal in the sense that only a historic, 138 year-old European theater can supply you…back passages, character shoe-filled closets, secret windows and doors…
I happened upon the textile & dying department which up until this point, I only considered to be a drop off door—behind which our shoes and various fabrics might be dyed or otherwise manipulated…little did I know this room goes on for ages! Stations and shelves, dress forms and dyes, all color coded and fanciful in anticipation of creating something new…Amongst the plethora of paintbrushes, I found myself bewitched, baffled & bewildered by two-toned tassels & splendid swatches of fabric.
Just past this secret garden of stains & tints I stumbled upon one of my new favorite theater gems…The Character Shoe Closet. A lovely woman from the Costume department proudly let me in on the completion of her recent undertaking…Shelves and shelves of colored character shoes of all shapes and sizes, lined up heal to toe & toe to heal to the likes of 5th position. Apparently these satin covered beauties found their former home amongst boxes in the theater’s basement, but are now displayed with a new ‘shelf-life’ ~ pun intended ~ waiting to be worn, tapped & treasured…
Recognize that Butterfly??
…and among my most exciting discoveries of the day, the dozens of nails that made up the original tap shoe!
Here’s to new discoveries, dyes & delights~p.e.
Well as the season draws to a close here at Royal Danish Ballet we are preparing for the likes of our final program, All the Rage.
This particular evening will include works (both new and revived) by well known choreographers including Wayne McGregor, Yuri Possokhov,Patrick Delcroix, and Tina Tarpgaard. This diverse array of contemporary dance will be exhibited in the intimate ‘Playhouse’, home mostly to plays in a black box theater.
Over the past few weeks I’ve had the honor of working with Yuri Possokhov on a new creation which will premiere in this program on May 26th. I love being a part of the ‘building’ process of a ballet…Most ballets, as you can imagine, were created long ago with little room for revision, and while the history of a piece adds much to the experience of dancing it, there is something special about performing a piece that was specifically ‘choreographed’ on you. You can take more artistic liberty…creative ‘ownership’ if you will..
Here are a few shots captured during the ‘creation process’ which by now is nearly finished..Next week will take us down Nyhavn Canal to this beautiful theater, where we’ll put the finishing touches on what will soon be a new piece of dance history.
Contemporary Creations & Captures.
With only two performances left of the lavish Lady of the Camellias, the moods, melodies & melodramatic scenes at the ballet have taken quite a turn ~
…think ‘leotard ballets’ and the refreshing (albeit slightly stressful) counts of Stravinsky’s score, as we prepare ourselves for friday’s premiere of the Balanchine & Stravinsky program ~ a fantastic trio of George Balanchine’s Apollo, Agon and Symphony in 3 Movements.
I think we are all enjoying the contrast of these two programs which exemplify, almost comically, the antithesis of each other by every means (costumes, sets, music, time periods…) I find and love that the complexity and extravagance of one leaves you humbly content with the simplicity of the other ~ a huge plus of dancing in a Company with diverse repertoire…
…and speaking of diversity….my dear roomie just returned from a trip to India where I humbly begged her to find me a Spice I have long coveted… can you guess? If it starts with Saf and ends with Fron, you guessed right! I recently stumbled upon this recipe (from Tartelette) on Pinterest for Saffron Cardamom Ice Cream.
….are you drooling???…well given my nightly indulgence of such creamy goodness & my recent acquisition of Saffron, I thought it was merely a test of fate. In no time the magical flavor combination was churning away…it was all I could do to photograph if before sitting down to a bowl… or two ;)
…oh the sweetness of exotic Spices & Stravinsky…
are you smiling?
Well Easter has past, Spring has sprung, and alas the Sun is here to stay…It’s been a little while since my last post, and I have to say I’ve seen knew sights, enjoyed new tastes and savored new experiences since. How was your Easter..?
I’ll leave you a little gallery of favorites to sum up a 2 day tour-de-force of London with my Mother and Cousin ~ who graced me with their presence to see Lady of the Camellias just before our holiday began…Speaking of the ballet…The demand for tickets has been so high, I am pleased to announce that we have added a performance on April 25th! If the next 6 (sold-out!) audiences are any bit as generous as last night’s, we could ask for little more … :)
Enjoy! I look forward to hearing from you…
….and re-caping pre and post Holiday Stage Time….
Here’s to the exhilaration of Holidays, traveling, performing and soaking up the Sun~
so good to be back…p.e.
…a little note hoping that April Showers will bring May flowers.
…one more sneak of Costume Room magic.
…and a premiere curtsy to her majesty, The Queen.
rainy days…impassioned displays..
Tomorrow evening the Royal Danish Ballet will premiere perhaps my favorite ballet to date. John Neumeier’s Lady of the Camellias is a dynamic combination of seamless steps, extravagant detail, tempting plot lines & exquisite choreography — accompanied by a timeless score of Chopin’s finest.
Over the past five weeks we’ve been rehearsing this lover’s tale. Costume fittings…late evening rehearsals…daily run-throughs…all culminating in the next month of our 12 performance-run.
Below I will share with you some pictures taken of rehearsals, one in the studio, the other on stage – I find it so intriguing to see the impact that lighting, costumes and overall ‘stage-energy’ can have on bringing choreography–and a story to life…
(despite the fact that we are without make-up, during a dress rehearsal…)
…Here my dear readers, a mere taste of the cake.
from a Page to the Stage. an unforgettable Story.
Happy first day of Spring! At last we have escaped the excuse of winter weather in high hopes of longer days and warmer rays.. It’s times like these I like to be more spontaneous.. enjoying a coffee in the sun, appreciating the smell of grass and the first sight of budding flowers. Spring produce is always tempting my palate at this point and I try to get more experimental. Recently I tried on a new recipe for size, a combination of specified ingredients and random additions that resulted in a version of Eggplant Parmesan. Rather delicious if I don’t say so myself…
Among other delights I decided to highlight one of my personal sources of daily happiness (…other than Chopin melodies, humorous colleagues and dancing for work & play…) Each day on my way to and from certain studios I stall while passing the Costume Room at the Royal Theater… A vast array of fabrics, threads, and seamless talent that make-up the magic, so crucial to telling the tale of a ballet. Recently the windows have been chock full of jewel tones, extravagant capes & ruffles and spools of silk & string. Our current production in the works–Lady of the Camellias, requires the outfitting of 19th century France…endlessly grandeur & beyond humble realms of beauty. We have the fortune of borrowing a majority of the costumes from the Paris Opera Ballet, whose stage we graced earlier this year…However the principal costumes have been created from scratch, and I am simply lost for words in attempt to describe them. Alas, photos will have to suffice..
Here’s to Spring Fever, alas awakened.
Bows & Upcoming Shows.
Come spring time I like to ponder the happenings of the past year in hopes of creating new, exciting & inspired expectations for the coming one. I like to think back on what I was doing this time last year…Last Spring I had the pleasure of touring the Crown Prince & Princess of Denmark’s castle, after a royal renovation. The Royal family was so kind as to share their progressive improvements to the Amalienborg Palace, where they invited artists to paint murals on different walls within, adding unique angles and urban decoration to an otherwise historically preserved gem.
What I loved about this bold approach to ‘redecorating’ was the way they tied metropolitan art (modern murals & lighting) into gold crowned molding and the history of the castle’s past. The jewel-toned paint colors of adjacent walls reflected just the right amount of Royal charm amongst empty bookshelves & white-washed wooden floors…Perhaps the most prominent detail that painted my memory were the antique mirrors— The rose-tinted panes of ancient glass were purposefully chosen to reflect the subject in his or her ‘best’ light — a ‘natural’ rosey glow, comme il faut.
As dancers we look at ourselves in the mirror all day long….perfecting this angle or that line…fixing our hair, scrunching a leg warmer…In a rehearsal for our upcoming production, Lady of the Camellias, I challenged myself to see beyond the mirror into the character I am trying to embody. Olympia is a confident courtesan, smitten by one too many suitors, who flanks upon the lovers of her ‘friends’ – one in particular, Armand. Her personality is confidently convincing, yet desperate with vulnerable indiscretion…
I love the idea of creating a character…taking on the past, present and future thoughts or actions of someone, even for a fleeting moment can be so liberating. A lot of the freedom in rehearsing this type of role comes from doing research behind it. From reading the novel to watching different versions of the ballet, understanding the context in which your character develops can make all the difference.
Be it rose-tinted reflections or the simple memory of ambling through royal castles, creating a character has to do with transporting yourself to another time, another place, another person. A process that I am learning to relish from start to finish…
Here’s to exploring Roles & Realities.
I write to you, just home from my second performance of The Lesson…Feeling a tid bit worn & weary, yet fulfilled to say the least…I thought I’d take the moment to share with you these images fresh out of my memory…as performances like these don’t easily subside come bed time…
This black & white collection of photographs from my recent re-premiere of The Lesson is a mere sneak peak from an entire album published online by a very skilled photographer and friend, complete with music from the ballet for dramatic effect :)
With humble appreciation, I would also like to share with you a link to our review from a well known Danish newspaper called the Berlingske…although it’s in Danish, you might recognize someone in a photo along the way… Enjoy! I sure did…
Bonne Nuit~ p.e.