(the lovely and pleasant view on the EuRail train from Milan, Italy to Dresden, Germany)
I then travelled by train to Milan, Italy, home to another critically-acclaimed company, Teatro alla Scala. The theater itself possessed so much history, in which I had the opportunity to learn about in person. While in Italy, I also decided to take a day trip to Rome, where I visited another historic theatre, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma. When in Rome!
Milan :: Rome, Italy
"The world we live in is full of changes. We are inspired to explore the relativity between the presence of the artist within the reality of life. We hope you will join us on the creative voyage into our world where dance and its importance will be investigated." And what an incredible adventure it’s been. How surprisingly ironic it was for me to read this perfectly fitting excerpt on the first of many programs I watched abroad. Paul Lightfoot, Nederlands Dans Theater’s resident choreographer and reciter of this insightful quote, erased all worries and fears my mind concocted during the months leading up to my trip. He and his beautifully danced choreography simply spelled out my reasons for needing to explore the world of dance and reassured me that, in that moment, I was just where I needed to be.
Alongside tackling The Joffrey Ballet’s hectic schedule and its 22-city tour, I spent most of my work year planning a two-month summer trip to cities I felt were the most influential in the dance field. My first stop, the Netherlands, home to two of Europe’s most prominent companies, Het Nationale Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater, became an excellent introductory choice, both artistically and culturally. I had the privilege of attending two superb performances and taking company class with both theaters. My first night in Europe, I took a train from Amsterdam to Den Haag to watch Paul Lightfoot and Sol León’s School of Thought, so brilliantly performed by the stunning dancers of NDT. The very intimate piece included a series of solos and duets that depicted the situations and struggles of every relationship, whether it being with someone else or with one’s self. The extremely innovated and powerfully moving performance ended with the company singing John Lennon’s Imagine. Despite my jet lag, I not once during the performance became fatigued, for I felt so involved and found myself dreaming my reality. I also watched Het Nationale in Rudi van Dantzig’s Romeo and Juliet, a technically strong and seemingly effortless performance. Both theaters so graciously welcomed me when taking company class. It was somewhat intimidating, however more so inspiring.
Amsterdam :: Den Haag, The Netherlands
Son of Chamber Symphony - main pas de deux, 3rd pas de deux, Stanton Welch
Forgotten Land - White pas de deux, Jirí Kylián
Nutcracker - Sugar Plum Fairy, Arabian, Mirlitons, Rose, Robert Joffrey
Sea Shadow (Opening Night pas de deux), Gerald Arpino
Nine Sinatra Songs - 1st pas de deux, Twyla Tharp
Light Rain - pas de deux (gala), Gerald Arpino
We don’t know about you, but if we were a ballerina pirouetting our way through a performance, the first thing we’d want to put on afterwards would be a pair of slippers
second half of my grant check arrived! :)
The best time I had on stage thus far in my career was when I performed the Sugar Plum Fairy in Robert Joffrey’s Nutcracker with my handsome prince and partner, Rory Hohenstein!