Tuesday, 30 November 2010

November Hits Hard!

after travel break, i arrived home to no heat in my apartment and it took 4 days to get someone out to fix it..... this wouldn't have been that big of problem before i left for travel break... but while i was gone WINTER HIT CPH
the no heat thing was definitely an issue and had you seen me all bundled up in a million layers and scarves and hats just hanging out in my room on my computer trying to recharge after so much traveling, you couldn't have helped but laugh. i almost wish someone else had been here to see it :P
and then life in Copenhagen got moving again-------and its moving FAST!
Sunday the 14th Clare and i when to my visiting families house for a cooking night with Inge my Danish mom. we stopped at her nieces on the way home and tries some traditional Danish holiday food glogg (spiced wine with raisins almonds and sometimes a bit of rum) and aebleskivers (these were actually a lot like oliebollen in Amsterdam, only softer)
once at the house we turned on the music and made dip with mushrooms and carrots to snack on then got to work on Shepard's pie and a layer cake! (layer cakes are really big in Denmark!)
here's my messy notes from cooking  :)
when john got home, we all ate dinner together and talked about our trips
it was a lovely homey night
back to classes and lots of homework!

wait Margaret's 21st Birthday was Thursday!!!  Wednesday night we took her out to celebrate... she was completly thrilled with the importance we gave the 'first legal shot' moment :P
 i made her a present :) ( then wanted to keep it for my own room haha)

Thursday,  while Margaret was meeting her family in town and getting them settled, Harry Potter 7 came out a day early here than in the states! my roommate Sarah is a die hard HP fan and we went with our other roommate Clare

i hated that the movie ended in the middle of the book (I'm not god with cliffhangers :P) so i came home, found the book in a pdf file online and proceeded to stay up all night reading the full story..... fun but was it really worth it the next morning?

friday i went to see another ballet!
(as usual, here's my critque paper)
            The night of Friday, November 19th, at the old Stage of the Royal Theater in Copenhagen, the dance performance I experienced was my favorite show I have been to this year. The program “Dance2Go” is an effort by the Danish Royal Ballet to offer a less formal presentation of dance for those both familiar and new to the dance world. Instead of one long ballet, the show shows two shorter ballets and a special pas de deux. It mixes ballet and modern dance and masculine and feminine dancing quite well. Before each piece a video was played that introduced the style, music, dancers and a bit of the process of how the dances were prepared for the showing. The three works shown on Friday were Serenade originally choreographed by George Balanchine, Les Bras de Mer  by Petr Zuska, and Jord (earth) by Jorma Uotinen.
            When Balanchine’s Serenade debuted in 1934, it was considered quite revolutionary because it was a ballet without an obvious storyline and there were elements of modern dance embedded in the choreography. The music is by Peter Tchaikovskyi and the orchestra was conducted by Anton Lastine. The moment the curtain rises the audience is given a picture of 17 women, simply dressed in light blue dresses of leotards and below the calf chiffon skirts designed by Karinska. They are spread over the stage standing in a parallel first position with their left arms raised in a high diagonal line and stretched straight with a bent wrist pointing their fingers to the ceiling. The ensuing dance is ballet with a touch of modern influence, plenty of movement and lifts, and beautiful grace on the part of the female dancers.  A few guys come onstage for some partnering and there was a charming trio section between one of the men and two of the females. N the whole, the shakiness of the male dancers left me feeling nervous for their partners. As elegant as this piece was, it did not really move me. It was pretty, but not breathtaking. And I have seen other works by George Balanchine that drew me in more.
            Les Bras de Mer , the duet choreographed by Petr Zuska to music by Yann Tiersen almost brought me to tears. Looking at what happens when a happy relationship fizzles out and leaves the partners trying to put back the pieces when the glue that once held them together is gone, the piece uses a table, a chair, and perpetual motion accented by photo moment pauses to give an amazing heartfelt performance. The dancers, Caroline Cavallo and Jean-Lucien Massot worked together in a way that made the audience fully believe the strength and intensity of their partnership. The piece opened with the chair resting on top of the table, Caroline sitting in the chair, and Jean-Lucien standing behind her with his hand on her shoulder. During first section of movement the teamwork of a tight relationship was emphasized by the fact that even though they were both going though different motions and neither stop moving, they were almost always touching or steering or being moved by or supporting their partner. What one did, affected the other and both partners directed the movement. As the dance continued problem came up, the movement intensified, and the despair, compassion, hurt feelings, confusion that both feel as the relationship crumbled could be seen pouring fourth from the dancing. Even with furniture tipping of and the dancers falling, the dance was full of a control and a physical strength that grounded the whole piece in deep emotion. At one point the movement paused and the stage was set in an opposite form of the opening scene. The table turned face down with its legs in the air, the chair upside down on top of the table, him sitting in the chair and she standing behind him with her hand on his shoulder. Movements from the beginning were repeated with a few alterations and it felts as though the dance had come full circle and would now end. Yet one last section began, with each dancers moving separately from the other. They did not divide the stage but their movement was on their own and the partnership had visually disappeared. The ending scene showed him in the back left hand corner facing upstage; as she stood in the downstage right hand corner blindly facing the audience. They had come so far from where they started that they were no longer even in each others lines of vision anymore.  This dance moved me both emotionally and kinesthetically. Not only was the performance itself remarkable, I also found the very modern movement that used the strength of the classically trained dancers pulled at my body and made me want to copy their movements. I could have continued watching this piece for a long time after it had ended.
            The final piece did not disappoint. It was a raw powerful masculine dance called Jord (earth) choreographed by Jorma Uotinen in 2005 when Scandinavian choreographers got together to put on a show about the basic earth elements. The music was by the band Apocalyptica, a cello group that started at a tribute band to Metallica. The songs they played were ‘The Unforgiven’, ‘Sad but True’, ‘Betrayal/Forgiveness’ and ‘Deathzone’. The set and lighting by Mikki Kunttu were a major part of this number. The stage was covered in red Australian sand, and the lights came from under curtains on either side of the stage creating an underground temple like atmosphere. Other elements that enhanced the ambiance were the fog and intense moving strobe lights that took over the theater during one section of the piece. The ground here became a living part of the piece as sand was thrown kicked and brushed around the stage by the moving dancers. Onstage, the 12 men wore red kilts, designed by Erika Turunen and jumped, turned, rolled, lifted, and slid around in powerful movements that gave way to calm sections of slower motions that we unexpected given the musicality of the piece. The dance was full of the discipline of hard physical training, of a sense of battle and preparation for war. At one point there was a partner section that seemed to show the brotherhood that forms in such volatile atmospheres. The unique use of the red sand gave new meaning to the dance teachers common instruction to ‘use the floor’ to enhance ones dancing. Every moment I was on the edge of my seat to see what would happen next.
            Dance2Go was a brilliantly danced evening that left me wanted more. As much as I love ballet, it made me realize how much I miss the mixing of modern and classical training that I am used to at home.
i was so in love with the middle piece that i found pieces of it on YouTube :) its not the same as the full piece but its still breath taking.
here's a link:

Saturday i went on a DIS trip to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
my roommate Charlotte and her cousin Lucas from Germany came too.
the architecture of the museum was the best part. the way they blended the building into the natural settle of the landscape from the outside and brought the outside into the rooms from the inside was a new layout for a museum that i really enjoyed.  The art itself was interesting too.
( i have a huge Asger Jorn poster in my room that was there when i moved in and when i walked into this room i recognised the work :))
that night i went out to my friend Amanda's host families house. she had the house to herself for the weekend and Kate, Julia and I came over for a hygge dinner night :)

Sunday Clare and i spent the afternoon at my visiting sister Natalie's apartment warming party/Kristina's birthday party. Nata lies new apartment is actually right on my way to practicum :)
it was a family party with yummy food and conversation. (when we sang the danish birthday song i could actually sing parts!!) i am so lucky to have been paired with a family like the Harris's! the more time i spend with them the more i like them and the more i feel welcome as a part of their tight little group. watching
 them move around each other so comfortably and physically makes me miss my own sister and parents more but I'm glad i can share a taste of their family comfort when i cant be with my own.  
the next week brought us---------------->>

we headed out to wander the city and meet Margaret and her sisters at a bar downtown.
the snowflakes were ACTUAL SNOWFLAKE PATTERN when they landed on us!! the star shape with the little spokes and everything. at home the snow seems to fall in big chunks or i dont know how but what but when i realized how detailed these were i was so sillily excited!


we went to see Tivoli Christmas! always such a magical place, it was even more fairytale frosted with snow and Christmas decorations :)
i want a pair of these SOOO BADLY!! its like walking with clouds on your feet, soft warm cozy clouds,
i got glogg to keep warm 
giant tree!
also, DIS added one last cooking class! a Christmas Feast :)
it was delicious and I'm glad i got to go back for another cooking adventure with Lena (our teacher)
YUM!! the apples were my favorite dish and the boiled potatoes and gravy.
 surprisingly, i really liked the red cabbage too!

Thanksgiving was the next day :)
i spend lunch time at practicum eating rye bread with butter and salami and cottage cheese and realized what id be doing if i were home.... an odd moment.
after nap time i spent two hours having a snowball fight with a bunch of little boys! being one of the few adults playing i was a MAJOR target lol. i was soaked by the time 2o'clock came around. :) but it was so fun!!

back at home we all grabbed bags and headed to Netto to get supplied for our feast. after putting everything together everything we could at our own apartment we packed up and shifted to the apartment downtown that Margarets mom and two sisters were renting for the week (with an actual working oven............ go figure)
all together, our menu was pretty impressive if i do say so myself:
carrots tomatos and mushrooms with dip
julebeer, cider and glogg
 uncle Hugo's chicken
Margaret's moms special salmon
mashed potatoes
broccoli with fried onion bits and cheese
 carrots and parsnips baked with sugar and honey
pumpkin pie
vanilla ice cream with cinnamon and honey
and fodebollers

we found some football on TV!
and got to enjoy the New England vs Detroit game :) it definitely completed the night 
 Since I couldn't spend Thanksgiving with my real family in Penn Valley,  I'm glad i had my N167 family to share it with here in Denmark.
 it was a pretty successful Thanksgiving all around.
 I even got to skype chat with with Mom, Dad, Dana, Grandma CJ
and Grandma Keke back home before i went to bed.
I hope you all had a special Thanksgiving with your families this year 
Here's to having plenty to be thankful for in our lives!
stay tuned for Helsinki Adventures with N176 :)