What else do I enjoy besides the comforting flavors of stews, soups and hearty root vegetables this chilly time of year…? Well the equally soothing selection of wintry sweets of course! While Ice Cream is an obvious go-to all year through, there is just something about a Berry Crisp or Raspberry Crumble Bar that leaves me smiling all throughout December…
With 15 Sleeping Beauties behind us and a busy New Year ahead, I will leave you dear readers, with dreams of baked berries beneath oat-laden ceilings of crispy goodness…a nibble or two of bite sized happiness to carry you into 2013…and visions of a wintry wonderland I’m blessed to call home :)
Seasons of Snow.
One thing I absolutely anticipate this time of year is what I’ve come to know as ‘Christmas Cozy’s’…This type of hygge gathering is at best, a combination of lovely friends, favorite holiday jingles, and one too many plates of ‘Jul’ cookies & cakes. I prefer to go ‘potluck’ style, and this year had each darling guest contribute their favorite traditional goodies…I thought it would be festive to see an assortment of family favorites coming from different corners of the earth… Norway, Denmark, South Africa, America…I whipped up a loaf of Pumpkin Bread and some Spiced nuts to serve along with these Sesame bars…sprinkled the table with Clementines & Candles and the rest was a surprise with the arrival of each familiar face…think Saffron Buns…’Snowballs’ (chocolate covered marzipan)…Aebleskiver (just your average pancake ball of goodness rolled in raspberry jam and powdered sugar…!!!) Hazlenut cookies….tea, tea, tea and a glass or two of mulled cider…. et voila! Christmas at it’s coziest.
Among these indulgent moments I’d love to share with you a couple dressing room shots of my ‘fairy hair’ for Sleeping Beauty… Our hairdressers have been hard at work, braiding and twisting and turning nearly as much as we do down on the Stage…Enjoy! Any yuletide fare you’d like to share?
Shall we raise our Tea cups to Coziness?
Traditional Trades & Braids~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.
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?
Sigh. Alas we dancers at the Royal Danish Ballet are on a break from all things toile, tight, silky & satin… After 5 months of tireless devotion, we are released from all flexible ties and evening exhaustion for three weeks! So bare with me devoted dance readers, but I believe the coming posts will focus more on the Tea and less on the TuTu if you know what I mean…
I thought to make the transition smoother, I would just give a little mention to the glories of life in a Royal theater that despite sunny holidays in exotic places, will always keep me running back for more…
Here’s to early morning snowfalls while putting on stage make-up. Listening to the harp decorate an empty audience during intermissions. Sewing pointe shoes in the wings, surrounded by Fairies, Swans, Nymphs or what have you…Falling asleep weary and sore, but waking up feeling blessed to do it all over again. International styles, flavors and foreign languages brilliantly assembled to speak the same dialects of dance. And last but never least, the friends, family, roommates and treats that warmly welcome you back home…
I leave you with a slice of Walnut Cake & the first bite of Winter Break…
Love & Laughter, p.e.
This Christmas I had the pleasure of joining friends in the one and only, most perfectly charming city of cities (next to Manhattan of course…).
It is Paris I speak of, and although my previous visits have been sprinkled through the sunlit months of summer, this winter appearance was no less magical and certainly no less satisfying. Every cobblestoned corner & well adorned terrace left me anxiously content with all things French & S’il vous plaît-ing for more… As expected, I took many photos to capture and savor the tastes, sights, and smells of my daily menus…Alors, my next few posts will tempt you with crunchy loaves of buttery baguettes, seeping crepes spread generously with Nutella, and the glories of French theater among others, so I do humbly advise you to stay tuned as the adventures of ‘P.E. à Paris‘ unfold… Mais pour maintenant, a few pictures to invite you into La Ville-Lumière, arranged simply to set your mood and prepare your palate. Bon Appetit!
C’etait un bon voyage! More soon S’il vous plaît…
p.s. If you have a minute, jump over to balletnews where a recent interview I did was just featured…Enjoy!
Last night the Royal Danish Ballet put Christopher Wheeldon’s Sleeping Beauty to rest after 23 enchanting performances of foreign princes, spindles and fairytale magic. It was a truly spellbinding experience, and I can only say that I cherished every moment. From costume fittings to late night rehearsals, stage calls, photo shoots and performances, each one more engaging and enthralling than the last. It was an honor to work amongst so many talented individuals and artists, each who had their own way of spreading and sharing the magic provided by a classic story and mythical setting. So here is to my fellow dancers, incredibly talented choreographers and stagers, seamstresses, and designers who contributed so much to this fairytale. It was an unforgettable adventure from start to finish…
Photo Credits: David Amzallag
Alas, we bid farewell to our Royal Fairytale pour maintenant. Time for Christmas in the City of Lights, resting, relaxing & Holiday Merriment….
Joyeux Noel et Beaucoup de Bisous! p.e.
This morning I arose to a heavy snowfall outside my double paned windows, and smiled at the thought of staying in bed on this rare week day off. With 5 more performances of Sleeping Beauty this coming weekend, I decided it was a day for baking and blogging before we wrap up our Royal Fairytale…With just enough coconut flakes to spare, I decided on this delicate recipe for Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons that I stumbled upon recently in a Real Simple Article.
What I love about this easy recipe is the crispy, golden brown of toasted coconut flakes which pair beautifully with a gentle (yet generous) dip of chocolate…I hope they bring you the same fragrant remains and sumptuous flavors that they provided me…
Step one: Simple Clusters of coconut flakes, egg whites, sugar, flour and a simple pinch of salt and splash of vanilla extract…the finest, of course.
Step two: Gently dip and drizzle your golden baked, Coconut Macaroons in the finest of melted chocolates…
Step three: Refrigerate to let cool, serve and savor this exotic combination of flavors, married into a bite sized macaroon of merriment!
Here’s to flavors of summer in the heart of winter, relaxing days after hard work, and chocolate, which makes every moment more delicious.
Health & Happiness~p.e.
Hello my trustee readers. Today I found out about a ‘Top 10 Dance Blog’ Competition, hosted by Dance Advantage. I think this would be a great honor, and helpful in bringing more light & love to TuTus & Tea! With your help, I think we can make it happen! Here’s the simplicity of it. All you have to do is comment on this very post about the competition, and rally me some support! Maybe just a brief thought or two on how my blog separate’s itself from the rest… I would be humbled & happy to have your support!
So read, linger, leave a comment. Shed some light on this creative outlet of mine…these offbeat chronicles of a tutu with tea. Merci Beaucoup!
Our days at the Royal Theater are getting longer and longer as our 4-performance weekends begin…One minute I am attending to the Lilac Fairy, and the next thing you know I’m blessing the Baby Aurora with the Gift of Song or protecting her as a ‘Nymph’ during a mysterious ‘vision’. From the magical Prologue to the grand wedding in 3rd Act, I just can’t seem to get enough of this Fairy Tale…Whether I’m sewing pointe shoes in the wings, or Singing through my variation, the Old Stage is feeling more and more like home. See for yourself…
Pretty cozy, wouldn’t you say? Well with a little lighting, some ‘fantastisk’ set design, and luxurious fabrics, it only gets better…
See? I told you so…Perhaps you need a close up though to really appreciate the Secrets found in Satin…
Need I say more? Je pense, non. Instead, I will leave you with a sneak peak of my Pointe Shoe Shelf in the 4th floor heaven we like to call ‘The Shoe Room”.
And it’s a wrap pour maintenant. 10 Performances of Sleeping Beauty underway, with 13 more to go. Time for a two-day weekend filled with baking, blogging and everything BUT ballet ;)
Love & Laughter, p.e.
One thing that makes the frigid temperatures during the winter here perfectly acceptable is the city’s festive excitement and enthusiasm for Christmas. Everyday brings a new discovery of sights, smells, and simple customs that capture the cozy essence of every street corner and cobblestone . A captivating view of snow covered rooftops, a mulled wine decorated with spices, Christmas trees and markets lining each quaint rue…Even the theater is decorated with stockings and wreaths hung from statues, welcoming the public in for a performance…
I took this picture from the window of our highest studio, located at the very tip top of the Royal Theater. When my dad saw it, he asked when Mary Poppins was going to come floating down with her umbrella, and I really think he nailed it with that one… This captivating peak of winter is everything I love about Europe. Mystery. Rigid rooftops, Spires, and Domes of Marble Cathedrals. Looming clouds & authentic simplicity that can only be found in buildings that have withstood centuries of stories and humble history.
After my little photo shoot before class, I proceeded to go downstairs to primp and prep before show number six of Sleeping Beauty…Despite this wintry fairytale I find myself in, some work has to be done too of course…
On my way home I stopped to admire the absolute perfectness of the mystical moment pictured below. Something about freshly fallen snow on the branches of a Seasonal Tree gives me butterflies in my stomach.
And one more ‘Pose‘ to leave you with this Friday. Dancing here in Act One as one of ‘Aurora’s Friends’, a little curtsy to the royal court and we can call it a day.
Christmas Carols, twinkling lights, and decorated store fronts are all lovely treasures of this time of year, but perhaps my favorite part about Christmas is the subtle warmth and joy that seems to emanate from every cyclist and civilian that roam these city streets…The beauty of nature and weather we have no control of. The simplicity of snow and the smell of evergreens and cinnamon. Performing for families who have come to the ‘Old Stage’ for a FairyTale that further reflects the magic happening just outside those grand double doors.
Fresh fallen Snow & a Smile.
Food for thought: When it comes to sweet things, I hardly need to be tempted. Surprise ;) So of course when the holidays are upon us you can only imagine my excitement and anticipation for traditional holiday desserts…Cookies, cakes and heart warming seasonal beverages in my favorite ceramic mug. This past weekend my dear Danish Family hosted a ‘Thanksgiving Dinner’ right here in Copenhagen, and I can only tell you how well our conventional American dishes of ‘Thanks’ were translated by the Scandinavian palate. Of course I have to start with the Dessert Table, to which I added – if I don’t say so myself – a rather delicious Pumpkin Pie (no canned Pumpkin Puree here my friends…). Meanwhile, last night was my premiere as the Fairy of Temperament in Christopher Wheeldon’s Sleeping Beauty, so I thought I would sprinkle a few photos of that amongst my harmonious display of desserts…Enjoy!
Made with Love & Care…and lots…and lots of butter. For Recipe, see here!
Photo Credit (for above): David Amzallag
The Classic “New York Cheese Cake” made by my very talented ‘Danish Mother’. Needless to say, I had two pieces.
Photo Credit: David Amzallag
Citron Fromage made by my roommate’s father. Despite what you might think, this is not a French dessert, nor is there any ‘fromage‘ involved… It is in fact, traditionally Danish, and tastes, in my opinion of a crustless Key Lime Pie. Absolument délicieux!
Photo Credit: David Amzallag
What would life be without tempting, traditional desserts and a little temperament? Here’s a thought to leave you with. Read, linger, and let it last. ~p.e.
“A happy heart makes the face cheerful…the cheerful heart has a continual feast.”
- Proverbs 15: 13, 15
This weekend started with a bang as the World Premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s Sleeping Beauty hit the stages of Gamle Scene. After three performances in just over 24 hours, it was time to savor the 2 day weekend ahead of us and await anxiously, the reviews and critiques…As expected, the ballet was received very well, nearly sold out audiences and many a ‘filled star’. A dear friend of mine was kind enough to take and share these photos of me dancing the ‘Fairy of Song’. I think they express, fairly well, the excitement and fun I have while performing in this ballet. It’s all about the delivery, you see. And the dancing. and costumes. and music. and choreography. and set design. I think you get it :)
Photo Credits: David Amzallag
As I walked home in the snow after our ‘Premiere Party’, I delighted in the warmness that this city exudes despite the chilly temperatures… Christmas lights and small trees decorating Restaurant fronts, wool blankets laid over chairs for diners to cozy up with, and heat lamps ablaze…Slippery stone stair cases, and cobblestones covered in white. But perhaps the cherry on top of this long day was when I came home, greeted by my favorite scents of cinnamon and sugar, and I just knew the roomie’s were up to something spectacular, and potentially, very, very delicious. Et voila! I’ll leave you with a few photos to simply let you explore the thoughts, images, tastes, sights and smells that come to mind…May the mouthwatering commence!
Midnight Snack? Je pense, Oui.
Beauty & Butter~ p.e.
This morning on my way to the theater I got to enjoy our season’s first Snow Fall. A lovely, delicate white blanket that clung to branches and sat gently upon bike seats and cobblestones. Something about Snow makes cold weather so much more bearable, I just love it.
Don’t think for a second that this type of Nordic weather would keep locals off their ‘cykels‘ either.. I captured this lonely bike on my street, but walked a block or two to find the bike lanes just as crowded as usual. Snow proof tires? Je pense, Oui.
Around the cobblestoned corners I strolled to find our ‘box office’ in all of its Glory. Speckled in Snow Flakes and oh-so inviting…
I caught a quick glimpse of these icicles that hung dauntingly from one of the “Jule Market” stalls on Nyhavn and stopped to take one more picture before I dawned my tights and toe shoes for the day….
And alas, I arrived on August Bournonville’s Passage and made my way to the Stage door for another day of training, turning and a wee bit of rehearsing… What an ideal way to prepare for a day of Beauty…
Love & Light. p.e.
(Tornerose is the Danish translation for Sleeping Beauty)
Well the title pretty much says it all here. There’s nothing like whipping up a quick batch of mini muffins to take back to the theater for a late night evening call. Who doesn’t like a perfectly moist, mouthwatering treat to look forward to during that 20 minute break? And of course, where chocolate is involved, I am involved too.
I came across this recipe a few weeks ago and held onto it until the time was right. Well it was a tuesday evening. I had chocolate (naturally). I had a zucchini. The oven practically preheated itself…
Start by preparing your trustee ingredients: In your preferred mixing bowl, stir together 1/2 cup of melted butter, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 large egg. Add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 cup of finely grated zucchini, and 3 tablespoons of greek yogurt (sour cream also works here, but I didn’t have any, so greek yogurt was the perfect substitute). Next up, sift into your bowl 1 cup of all purpose flour followed by 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, mixing until perfectly combined. And for the final touch, stir in 1/2 cup (or more) of chocolate chips with abandon, anticipating the most relishing result…
Divide your batter into muffin tins (Mini, bite sized muffins are just more fun sometimes…) and bake on 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 14-15 minutes. If you prefer, you can even top one or two with a walnut half for extra embellishment… and a bit of omega 3 ;)
Feel free to do a bit of ‘food styling’, savoring of the chocolatey aroma that fills your kitchen, and take a picture or two before you devour more than one of these delightful bites of heaven…
Appreciate the buttery like moisture that the grated Zucchinis lend to these muffins, not to mention the health factor and smile when you get a bite of one or two of those delicious chocolate chips…always a pleaser. Here’s to ceasing the moment. Making the most of a two hour break & always having something satisfying and spectacular to look forward to.
As the saying goes… When life hands you sweetness in the form of chocolate & you happen to have a zucchini lying around…whip up a humble batch of Chocolate Zucchini Mini Muffins.
Recipe adapted from Marta Stewart.com
As our Fairy Tale ensues, each day is filled with new surprises, experiences, fittings, spacing and general theatrical magic...Recently we got to try certain ‘Nymph‘ costumes on in the Studio to compare lengths, movement, etc…and it really is rewarding to see it all come together. What a collaboration of talents…I feel truly honored to participate in such a story… But, of course this is only the half of it you see, as the real magic occurs on the Stage…
Sequins, Sautés and Silk….
Photo Credit: David Amzallag
Ahhh, another day at the theater, and an eventful one at that…A studio filled with Fairies, Cavaliers, Princes from far off lands and Royalty sprinkled about. Blue Birds, Cats, and evil Antagonists…Spindles and Roses and TuTus and Toile….I took a moment during a brief break from our FairyTale to capture the behind-the-scenes magic that makes it all happen. As our premiere date approaches (2 weeks from tomorrow!), it’s high time to sew some pointe shoes, dawn our fairy dust, and put our best, magical foot forward…
Below, one of Aurora’s Practice TuTus, guarded by her trustee bag of Satin Shoes and Regal Ribbon
A Bag of Treats and Toe Shoes and Tape…a common scene at the ‘workplace’ :)
And what would a day be without garlands of Roses, Spindles and Mystical subjects?
A Final sneakpeak is yours with this last…Une petite Pièce de résistance to leave you curious & convinced.
A lovely day is finished…Let’s see what plots and ploys tomorrow has to bring…xoxo
One of the hardest things about a lovely, quiet, Saturday morning in Copenhagen is when you have to wake up and go to work, knowing the rest of the city is still asleep…
One of the most wonderful things about going to work, however, is when your office is no less than a Royal Theater, located in the very center of a quaint, European city.
Such is Life. I woke up this Saturday, and enjoyed a brisk walk to the theater, a long day ahead of me…We had a few hours of rehearsal for the ‘Garland Dance’ in Sleeping Beauty, and I decided to capture the color, essence and simple spirit of this day in the studio…followed by our final performance of Swan Lake. This post is dedicated to all of my fellow ‘Swans’ who so brilliantly executed beauty, grace, support, strength and love throughout all 18 performances! Now it’s time for a little Beauty…Lets do it girls!
“Life is available only in the present. That is why we should walk in such a way that every step can bring us to the here and now.” -Tich Nhat Hanh
Peace. Love & Happiness.
This week started off with a photo shoot for our upcoming world premiere of Sleeping Beauty. To say that I enjoyed this experience would be an absolute understatement. Not only did I relish every moment on stage in these breathtaking new creations designed by the notable Jerome Kaplan, I felt as though I was in the midst of a Marie Antoinette era of luxury and enchantment…truly part of a fairytale. From the perfect pleating to the genius construction (both inside and out), these costumes are the most beautiful collaboration of design, talent, fabric, time and effort that could have ever been afforded to them. I am both honored and ecstatic to perform in them over the next two months, and so happy to be able to share the beauty with you…
Was it not Marie Antoinette who said, “Let them eat cake?” How fitting… I think we would have been friends :)
Au Revoir! ~
Here I will share with you a few Sneak Peaks into the lovely world in which I am living… The daily sights of a blooming ballerina, and the seasonal appreciation of a Floridian experiencing a real Fall…Here’s hoping for a delight on both ends!
Today I had another costume fitting for Sleeping Beauty, an upcoming production this Season. The darling seamstresses of the magical costume room were kind enough to give my Momma (who is visiting!) and I a timeless tour of their current projects…We became lost amidst the endless bolts of breathtaking fabric, timeless shades of ribbon and sketches of costumes on their way to perfect construction. There is so much that goes on behind that velvet curtain…
Below is a captivating shot of the audience of our Royal Theater, also known as ‘Gamle Scene’ or Old Stage. It was taken by my nearest & dearest Mommy as she anxiously awaited an endearing performance of Balanchine’s Serenade. Take a moment to notice the King/Queen’s ‘box‘, decorated with four guilded chairs located on the left. Across from their in the other Royal ‘box’ you would normally find the Ladies in Waiting. For this reason we refer to either sides of the stage as “Konger’s (King’s) Side” & “Damer’s (Ladie’s) Side”, as opposed to the conventional stage right and stage left. A royal way to mix things up :)
Photo Credit: Cheryl Elsbree, Sapid Spaces
As audiences cozy up inside, the fall leaves outside reflect contagious feelings of autumnal warmth, embracing every brick wall with effortless beauty…
It is not so often that I get to appreciate the theater from the other side of the curtain, so luckily we get a sneak peak of such formal affair thanks to Mommy, my honorary audience member for a recent Friday night premiere. Below is a humble reception of the audience during intermission…Quite a different crowd than the recent halftime frequenters at my brother’s football game a few days prior.
Photo Credit: Cheryl Elsbree, Sapid Spaces
Here’s to seasonal secrets from Royal Theaters and tiny, cobblestoned courtyards…Enjoy.