Sunday, 19 December 2010

Once Upon a December...

Tuesday after we got back form Finland i had my big Danish test and a developmental disorders paper due
-> but i got to end the night with another trip to the Royal Danish Ballet!

            Another week sped by and I found myself back in the Danish Royal Theater for one more wonderful ballet. Tuesday, November 30th the Danish Royal Ballet Company presented acclaimed choreographer Christopher Weelden’s version of Marius Petipa’s Sleeping Beauty. Lars Bjornkjaer and the Royal Danish Orchestra played Peter Tchaikovsky’s score beautifully. With major period costumes for the King, Queen and members of the court, graceful, colorful, modernized costumes that moved with the fairies, and lightly colored but flattering tutus and suit sets for the two main characters, Jerome Kaplan’s detailed costumes brought the characters on stage to life. His designs for the simple but stunning scenery, based on black and white photos taken at the Palace of Versailles, complemented the costumes and made the dancers on stage really stand out at spots of motion and depth. In the sets, even the chandeliers were designed to look two dimensional.
            Aurora was played by Caroline Cavallo (the female from the amazing duet in the Dance2Go show) and Ulrik Birkkjaer (who was also the prince in Swan Lake in September) danced the role of Prince Florimund. Aurora will be Caroline’s last star role before she retires on December 12th. Technique wise, Carolines age showed in the slight problems she had with the long balances demanded in the challenging Rose Adagio and again in the final duet with the Prince in Act 3 and in her reduced flexibility in arabesques and extensions. At first, this took away fro the performance for me, but by the end Caroline had won me over. Her acting skills and expressiveness in the rest of her dancing made up for any mistakes or hesitancy's I saw in the rest of her dancing. I was impressed.  (I was even more impressed to learn that she is over 40 years old. She definitely does not look it!) Together, Caroline and Ulrik were very good partners who seemed to bring out the best in each other. Their duet after the prince awakens the princess was absolutely stunning. Other dancers that stood for me were the blue birds and the cats in the third act. The bluebirds’ duet was flawless and the cats, whom Christopher Weelden added to the story with quirky and amusing choreography, added a lightness and sense of hilarity to the final act that I really enjoyed.
            It seems like almost everyone knows the story of Sleeping Beauty; the princess cursed by an angry fairy  to prick her finger and die on her 16th birthday but saved by another fairy who changes death to a long deep sleep with the promise of new life with the kiss from a handsome prince. The classic story got a face lift in this ballet with a few new aspects slipped in. The first act curtain opened to a giant frame with a picture of the sleeping princess taking over the stage. The first life we see are two women in skirt and jacket suits showing a family around ‘the museum’ in which the painting is found. As the darker museum lady moves the families attention onward, the little boy lingers and the light museum woman shows him two other paintings hidden behind the first. The Third painting is different, the boy can move into the picture! Upon this discovery the little boy runs away. When we look back to the painting, it has lit up from behind and the people in the image have come to life. During the first act, we see Aurora’s birthday party, the curse, her grow up to a beautiful 16 year old with marriage options, and the big moment when the curse is fulfilled and the Princess falls into a deep sleep as the Lilac Fairy puts the rest of the court to sleep as well. As the second act begins, we find ourselves back in the museum from the beginning, and the young boy has grown into a young man. A man who is still plagued by his memory of the beautiful princess and the painting he almost went into as a child. He is back to look at the painting once again and this time, the Lilac Fairy helps him and shows him how to come into Aurora’s world. After a duet with the image of the sleeping Princess, a short battle with Carabosse (the evil fairy) and her cronies, a magical kiss and a dance during which the Prince and Princess fall even deeper in love with each other, the rest of the court wakes as well and the King blesses the young couples wish to be married. Act three consists of the wedding preparations, the acts of entertainment during the wedding, and the happy couple sharing their love with everyone around them even as they are lost in their own world where only the two of them exist. It was an ‘And they all lived happily ever after’ ending to a love story ballet. I loved how many scenes there were and how many little details of the story were included in the production. It was a long night, but a very enjoyable one that I was sorry to see end. Though I am staying in Copenhagen the full year, I do not get to take this class again next semester. However, I do hope I will get the chance to see the Royal Danish Ballet Company perform a few more times while I am here.

the young princess
her birthday party
a curse
the Lilac Fairy
young Carabosse
the bluebird
Prince dreaming of his princess
Christopher Weldon added the cat characters for his version of the classic ballet. their movement was VERY feline and they added a bit of humor to the show

Wedding dance

This week we also had a Hygge party for my CMC class. We had gloog (mulled wine with almonds and raisins), ableskiver (ball shaped sweet pancake like things with powdered sugar and jam) and lots and lots of Jul cookies. we played a traditional Danish Jul game. 
you start with a small gift for the same number of people playing sitting in th center of the table. a die in a cup gets passed around the table. the first round, when you roll a 6 you take a present from the center.  When all the presents have been taken, you steal from other people. after 10 minutes, everyone who has a present (or presents) opens them. the round two starts. 10 minutes of trying to roll 6s so you can steal the present(s)
you want most. by the end of the game, some people have a few gifts, others have none, its all about how lucky you are at rolling 6's. the game is funny because everyone is trying to go as fast as they can and certain gifts become hot items that get passed all around the group. it was very fun! i won a box of chocolates and a CD.

on Thursday, i had to say goodbye to my kids at my Practicum site. i have loved spending time with my 2,3and 4 year olds! in another blog, I'm going to post my reflection paper from that class and you can hear a lot more about my days in the classroom.
hopefully, I'll get to work in the same class next semester so i can build my connections with the kids even more!

that Saturday Clare Sarah and I (and Sarah and Amy and other girls Amanda, Shelby and Julia) went on the DIS trip to the Lubeck Christmas Markets in Germany.
the whole town was spotted with Christmas markets! (after a VERY long bus ride with a ride on the ferry and the movie Love Actually) we spent the day exploring the street fairs.
Clare passed out for the first half of our bus ride
on the ferry over to Germany
AMECI'S PEOPLE!-> these were totally seawolf bites! only here they are a traditional dessert
the  ponies weren't even tied together, they just ambled along in the circle anyways
these booths were all over the place
Oh bratwurst, what a great breakfast 
so many treats
at this booth, i talked with a German woman for about ten minutes after I made a comment about the beeswax candles she was making and she asked if i wanted to make one to. She was so sweet!
inside the craft market hall
oh sunny days! so misleading... instead of being warm out its actually colder!
this is how the Us is advertised...... WOW
lively and fun folk musicians
special wines
hot punch and me not knowing Clare was taking my picture
all the flavors ( Sarah and i both got some Dragons blaze (cherry and honey wine) and Sarah also got some Fairies Gold (sticky pear flavored wine)

a Disney characters merry go round ride
best potatoes!!!! ( oh yum just thinking about them makes me want some!)
the towers and lights looking over the streets made it even more beautiful
there was food EVERYWHERE
We went to the famous marzipan shop,
Produzent feinstes Marzipans
the lights at night made it even more magical
We had dinner with all the DIS students
some little nisse (elves) 

The ride home took a lot longer than it was supposed to. But we watched two Christmas movies i had never seen before: Miracle on 34th Street ( Dana that little girl and you were TWINS as children) and its a Wonderful Life.
It was such a great festive Christmas filled day!

No comments:

Post a Comment