Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Monaco is Paradise

I'm in the airport in Nice, on the way to Berlin, but wanted to show you some pictures. I'll tell you about paradise later!!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Today the girl at the Zurich train station counter made my day.

She was helping me plan a route from Zurich to Monaco on Sunday. All routes require at least 3 changes but some are cheaper than others because I can use my Eurail pass. Anyway, it came up that I recently took two night trains in a row, and was mildly sick of the CNL experience. But here's the best part. As she was handing me the ticket she said "you know, you don't look like you've been traveling. You look pretty energetic."

Beaming, I let her know that I've been traveling since January.

That nice, beautiful girl made my day.

Incidentally, the Zurich ticket area is worse than the DMV for waiting. I was B623, here's a picture.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The tourist in Paris

After two days in a row sleeping on night trains, I'm happy to re-visit my last days in Paris. I went to the Palais Garnier, where you can see lots of ridiculously extravagant rooms. Unfortunately there was a rehearsal in the theater and no matter how much I begged, I couldn't see the Chagall ceiling. I cried :(

I've included a postcard of the ceiling, not to fool you, just to show you why I cried.

I tried on zillion dollar ruby and diamond rings at Cartier. I'm not allowed to mention the person who allowed this but it was fun to play dress up with him or her.

I went to Le Musee d'Orsay and saw beautiful Van Gogh paintings, among others. I'm so happy I've gotten some nice museums in on this trip :)

I had a wonderful lunch with my new friend Olaf. He spends half his time in India, and showed me amazing pictures while we ate Indian food.

Easter and the Monday after were packed with tourists in Paris. Everything was closed, and it rained a lot.

I found a photo booth in the metro station and took dorky photos like the ones in Amelie.

I went to Berlin yesterday for a rehearsal and am glad I did. It was fun to see my new friends again and work on something fun.

Now I'm in Basel, kind of exhausted. My train was delayed so I missed class this morning, but will take a short train to Zurich for a class there this evening.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Paris!

Beware, some of these images may invoke the feeling that I am a pathetic tourist, but I've been having a fabulous time being one! Some images or ideas are also painfully contradictory, like the enormous crane under the Eiffel tower that everyone was trying to avoid in their pictures, but I decided was too important a sight to pass up. Also, I saw these adorable baby ducks, and then 45 minutes later had a duck salad and foie gras.

I found a great ballet studio in Bastille, studio Harmonique, and visited the modern art museum yesterday, seeing contemporary art from Mexican artists and American painter Christopher Wool.

This afternoon I'm meeting the long lost relative (I think??? maybe we can clarify the connection,) Olaf Van Cleef, artist in India and Paris and heir to the Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry company. I can't wait!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Berlin: double take

It's been an amazing week in Berlin! The beautiful spring weather didn't exactly hold up, but otherwise it was full of new experiences, productive dancing, and a lot of fun. Here is why I had such a great time:

I took class with Statsballett Berlin every morning last week. Leslie the administrator was friendly and welcoming, even letting me dump my coat in her office while I took class. I also got to see a friend from the past. Weronika danced in the ballet I choreographed for the New York Chroeographic Institute at the School of American Ballet, spring of 2007. It was great to see her, all grown up now and flourishing as a soloist in the company.

I also made two new friends through neighbors of my mom in Manhattan. Piet is a member of Blue Man Group here in Berlin, and is currently working on a theatrical movement project through a distant collaboration with his old drama/movement teacher in the states. He asked me to be a part of the project, which will be presented in a studio setting in Berlin the last week of April (my european debut!!) I had a chance to get to work over the past few days, and before I knew it, I started feeling like I was contributing to something great. Since the piece is still in the early stages of exploring concept and movement vocabulary, it's really a perfect time to get to know everyone. We each bring something very different to the table, but I think that's what gives the project such great potential. It's too bad that I won't be back until the week before the shows, but I got the feeling when I left today that we're on to something pretty interesting. I hope I will not be forgotten over these next few weeks.

Piet also got me tickets to Blue Man Group last Sunday evening! I had been working with 2 of the 3 Blue Men all day, so it was hysterical to see them perform the show. I had really good seats so I could spot them right away, and I was cracking up the entire time. If you've never seen the show you've got to go; it's one of those things you think you know because you've seen all the posters and commercials, but the real thing will just blow you away.

The other friend I made was Bryce, an opera singer living in Berlin and performing in a show here. Bryce met me to talk about introducing myself to the opera world as a dancer, and had great suggestions and a huge list of contacts to get me started on my search for summer opera employment. We had a great time together, although ate some bad noodles at an Asian food stand at the train station, and were both sick the next day. I have since contacted my first opera company, and have begun to wrap my mind around how dancers are hired for operas, and which companies hire per production. I'll keep you posted as I learn more.

Probably the highlight of my trip to date was my afternoon spent at the Hamam, a womens Turkish bathhouse in Sch├Ânberg. This was three hours of bliss in heated marble steam rooms with large individual bowls of hot water and a gold metal bowl used to scoop the water onto your body. I got a body scrub down from a lady, and enjoyed the quiet of a lazy afternoon with nothing to do but lounge around feeling like Queen Sheba. I left feeling like I hadn't been staying in hostels for the last three months; this vagabond has found the remedy for transforming into a human again.

I would like to rate Grand Hostel Berlin as the #1 hostel visited on this trip, with comfortable and clean rooms, single beds with down comforters (no bunks!) friendly staff, and central location. There was no breakfast but the bakery around the corner sold the best latte and yogurt muesli I could have asked for.

Sorry for the lack of pictures, I know it's lame. All I can say is that I was having too much of an excellent time to remember to take any :/.

On to a night train to Paris!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I figured out how to add photos

I should have titled this: I put you on blog overload after not making a peep in two weeks!!!

The girl in the mask is Sarah.

Face in cream

The pictures of a girl putting her face in her ice cream are of Sarah, not me. I don't know if you think we look alike but I just wanted to clarify! There's a nice picture of us on Facebook but I don't know how to put it in the blog.

Updating you to my whereabouts

I had a wonderful week in Dresden, taking class with the amazing Semperoper and spending time with my friend Sarah Hay! We took the train to Leipzig on Saturday, and met up with Andrew Brader and Drew Grant, visiting from Ohio. I also met their friend Tyler. I spent the week traveling and auditioning with Drew and Andrew, in Leipzig, Chemnitz, Zwichau (sort of,) Kiel (baby Copenhagen,) and Amsterdam.

In Amstedam we saw the Anne Frank House, Rjyk museum, and Dedamia, an incredible Handel opera which I absolutely loved. We sat in the second row, right by the first violin, and I was in complete heaven the whole time.

I stayed an extra night in Amsterdam before taking the train to Berlin yesterday. Here I am taking class with the company in the mornings, meeting with people who know the Europe opera world (I want to have a non-singing role in a production this summer!) and finding a yoga studio.

It's pretty weird to be in a city where a month ago (or was it 2?) it was bitterly cold and miserable, and now... It's spring!!! I am infinitely happier to walk around exploring all day, and the world just seems brighter and more full of possibility.

That reminds me: the train from Copenhagen to Dresden parked on a ferry that rushed us through the sea. I was very excited and hoped I would see a whale. I was also lonely because I realized that I didn't have anyone to share the excitement with. Maybe it wouldn't have been as exciting if I hadn't been alone though. I made sure to take a picture of myself for my mother :)