Saturday, May 1, 2010

48 Hours

I figured today I'd give a glimpse into my daily life--not that I'm especially fascinating, but it's something to write about, and yesterday and today offer good examples of both my free day and work day schedules.

Yesterday was Friday, and in Denmark, something called "Stor Bededag," which basically means Big Pray Day/a day off from work. Basically, from what I know, in the days of yore Danes had "pray days" sprinkled liberally throughout the calendar year. Then, a German guy came into office and decided it would be efficient to combine the pray days into one Big Pray Day...and there you have the explanation for yesterday being a "free day" for me :) Most of the shops were closed, and I elected to catch up on some much-needed sleep, rising at the semi-decent hour of 11:30am. I futzed around on the Internet, changed out of my pajamas at noon, and made a trip to Lagkagehuset for a pastry and a latte. After I was done eating and stumbling through a Danish newspaper, I went to work to do some laundry and sauna. (Yes, we have washers and dryers at the theatre; and yes, we have a wonderful lovely sauna.) I came back home at around 2, Skyped with family, noodled about the Internet some more, ate dinner and watched my favorite movie ever, Amelie. I fell asleep reading British Elle at 10pm. It's official: I do indeed live the most exciting life ever.

Today was a work day for the ballerinas (and ballerinos) of Royal Danish Ballet, despite most other government-sponsored jobs having the day off. (Here in Denmark, May 1 aka May Day is a big excuse to find a park in Copenhagen, start drinking beer well before afternoon hours, and basically do that all day. General frivolity seems to be the description of May Day celebrations.) At any rate, I got to the theatre at 9 to change and warmup and get coffee from the Kantine. There is a small group of us who get to work at pretty much the same time every day, and we've dubbed ourselves "The Breakfast Club." So I sat and chatted with TBC, others arrived, and at 10 we had (optional) morning class with our boss, Nikolaj Hubbe. (Daily class is technically optional, though my personal physical makeup requires that I take every morning. Plus, I enjoy ballerina class.) At 11:30, we had rehearsal for Serenade--the Holy Grail of Balanchine ballets, in my humble opinion--for an hour. I. Love. That. Ballet. 12:30 meant lunchtime today. (On performance days, lunch is shortened to 35 minutes and starts at 12:30; non-performance days, we have a leisurely 45 minutes though break starts an hour later.) At precisely 1:05, I had a 55 minute rehearsal for the Kim Brandstrup world premiere, debuting in our final program starting May 20. To end my rehearsal day, I trekked up to the studio known as Siberia for an hour's work on Jerome Robbins' fabulously weird The Cage.

After my last rehearsal, a couple of girlfriends and I took advantage of that awesome sauna. Then I showered, did a little grocery shopping before the stores closed at 5, and now I am home, blogging and Tweeting and Facebooking and all sorts of virtual communicating. Since I have a performance of Othello at 8 tonight, I will take a nap--or at least lie down and do absolutely nothing!--for about an hour. (Fun fact: Ballet dancers, at least at RDB, are big fans of naptime. Never call your friends between the hours of 4 and 6 on performance day. It's naptime.) I'll head over to Skuespilhuset to be there around 7, and get my greasepaint on and pigtails ready to soldier forth at 8. Othello is quite short, clocking in at 45 minutes, and we have tomorrow off, so following the performance a bunch of people from our little group hope to go out and celebrate May Day for a bit...take advantage of a few hours of blissful normalcy.

So there you have it. 48 hours in the life of a ballerina child. It's not exactly Page Six-worthy stuff, but it's a daily life I rather enjoy :)


Mikael said...

That, CaDarling, is a wonderful insight into The Secret Life of Tutus. Thanks!

And thanks for the offer of tickets... working on the logistics in Life With Rugrats.

Oda said...

I am so happy that I just found your blog! I am a ballet student at the Norwegian Ballet school in Oslo, and in a few years, I hope to be joining RDB. Copenhagen is such a beautiful city, and it is not far from home - for me, that is.

Thank you so much for sharing these small things about professional life. It makes the dreams of aspiring young dancers come a lot closer! At least for me :)