Monday, May 24, 2010

A peek inside the theatre...and a crushed dream

A long weekend (which, amazingly, isn't over yet!) has been filled with all of the following: sunshine; ballerina dancing; a friend's huge party at the Hotel Skt. Petri; beer and hot dogs consumed while sitting on milk crates at my favorite nighttime place, Mesteren og Lærlingen; sauna time, Lagkagehuset time, sleeping time; three pairs of pointe shoes sewn; and multiple loads of laundry done. On this holiday Monday, I've decided to take a virtual photographic tour of some of my favorite little-seen places in the theatre.

I'll start by reiterating: I love working at the "old theatre." Our dressing rooms--one for every two people--are like our second homes; we spend so much of our time where we work that switching dressing rooms could be considered a big move. (I know I have a lot of crap in mine; pictures of family everywhere, pointe shoes, all of my leotards and tights and warmups, sneakers, towels, multiple packages of American drugs (Tylenol/Advil/Emergen-C/etc), sewing kits, hair supplies, candy, toiletries, four jars of imported peanut name it, it's probably in my dressing room.) We can do everything there: eat in the Kantine; do laundry in the machines on each floor; sleep on the cots in our dressing rooms; sauna; shower; have everyday clothes altered or mended by the wardrobe department; pick up a seemingly endless supply of free pointe shoes/ballet slippers/toe tape/Stitch Kits/Hot Stuff glue/ribbons/elastic/toe pads/2nd Skin; get our hair cut by the hairdressers (appointment necessary, and nothing fancy, but still); work out in the gym; get massages and physical therapy; and obviously ballerina dance. I feel really privileged to work in a place with so many luxuries and awesome facilities; a lot of dancers don't get so much. Here, then, are pictures of some of the backstage rooms I love so much.

The hairdressers. I love this place. We have some fabulous Swedish ladies who will make our hair all pretty--no easy feat with my mane--and who make me laugh.

There are mildly creepy styrofoam heads all up in the hairdressers. Some for the ballet (I wore a lovely, Emma-esque wig for En Skærsommernatsdrøm), and some (like pictured above) for the new My Fair Lady production.

THE SAUNA. One of my favorite places in the building. I talk about it often, and I feel like people don't believe me when I say, "We have a sauna at work." Photographic evidence: We have a sauna at work!

The casting board as it is right now; this is where they post cast lists for the pieces we perform. Updated fairly often, it's an experience of visual overload. Sometimes I can't deal with it. Too many papers. I show up at 10am and go from there.

Outside the ladies' wardrobe department, racks and racks of ballerina costumes. Most of these are for next season's Swan Lake.

The wardrobe department is a magical room, with fabric and needles and dress forms galore. Organized chaos reigns supreme. I love it.

And now, for an image of a dream forever crushed...*WARNING: The following image may not be appropriate for all audiences. It may cause nausea or extreme disgust; if you have a strong aversion to feet, or anything remotely gross, please stop reading here.*

Yes, it's sad but true: My dreams of being a foot model are forever crushed. These are my feet, at the end of a long season. They don't look much better at the beginning of the season, but they've achieved a particularly impressive state of "gnarliness" by this point. People are always curious about dancers' feet--morbid wonderment, I can only assume--so here you go. (I've learned to always wear slip-ons when I go back home and am introduced to my parents' friends; for invariably at some point, my mother will say, "She's a ballerina, you should look at her feet, they're GROSS!" At which point I am expected to remove my shoes and, like something out of Ripley's Believe it or Not, expose the monstrosities that are my feet.) No, the bumps don't hurt, and neither does the bruised toenail. No, I don't get many blisters; I do get corns frequently, and they are miniscule points of highly concentrated pain which I am reduced to bandaging up or (if I'm feeling very brave) digging out with the aid of sterilized tools. (Note: This isn't recommended; please if you're reading people really should go see a podiatrist to have it done, but I don't have the patience to take a day off from work to do so. My method works for me, with no side effects of infection, but this doesn't mean I advocate it.) I risk remaining eternally single by posting this photograph, but that's a risk I'm willing to take.


Sandra Høj said...

Oh, no. I was all envious of your life up until that painful last picture. Now I see hot you truly deserve the sauna, the costumes and the graceful way you probably move. Avavav. :-) Sandra

Henrik said...

I just found your blog, great! Are you with the Royal Danish Ballet?
If you want, check out my blog on ballet -
I'll check back later for more! :)

C. Talcott said...

Sandra, they don't hurt so much trust me :) the bark is definitely worse than the bite in this case...but the work perks do help ;) (everyone should have a sauna, for real)
and hi henrik! yes i'm with RDB, finishing up my first season...your blog is fantastic thanks for sharing :)

Oda said...

Wow, I love reading all of this. You are so lucky, and I want to live the same way in a few years - if only I could work hard enough!

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Anonymous said...

Personally, I think they are beautiful, not ugly at all.