Last night marked the end of the Royal Danish Ballet's 2009/2010 season. Due to a "pre-stress fracture" sort of foot injury that happened on Wednesday night during Serenade, my season had unfortunately ended early. (Mid-jump in our last entrance of the ballet, my foot basically decided to go on holiday early. Onstage. Not fun. I don't get injured often--knock on wood--so when I do, I'll just say this: I don't deal with it well and get paranoid. And also: It sucks, I can't put it any more honestly. But it is part of being a dancer sometimes, and I was told dancing on it just to be able to finish the season on Saturday would have made it worse. The math was simple; not what I wanted to hear, but in the end, the smart decision in the long run.) And today, as is tradition at RDB and as a first-year company member, I spent over two hours with other newbies cleaning up the aftermath of last night's festivities. Fun fact: Ballerina people are MESSY PARTY PEOPLE. But back to happier topics.
After the boys' Danseur Noble performance closed out the season, the Royal Danish Ballet celebrated in style back at the old theatre in Kongens Nytorv. From 10:30 until...well, honestly, whenever, the dancers (and friends of dancers) gathered in B Salen, the big studio on the first floor, for drinks and music and general end-of-season, all-out celebratory activities. Speeches were made--we bid fond farewells to Nehemiah Kish (leaving for Royal Ballet), Aurore Casanova (leaving for Switzerland), and Claire Ratcliffe (retiring after 21 years in the company!). For the first three hours, my good friend Cecilie Lassen played DJ, and after that a hired outside guy took over. The music was fantastic, and loud, and my ears are ringing today but I don't care. (Plus, peanuts were one of the snacks offered, so that made me pretty happy.) At around 1am, two of my best new friends Constantine Baecher and Martin Stauning, along with myself (and Charlie, who unfortunately couldn't make it to the party but was there in spirit), presented our skit for the party. We had recorded fake voicemails for RDB's "sick hotline"--people calling in tidal-waved on vacation in India; awaiting a shipment of their trademark blue mascara; etc--and it turned out to be a total hit. After our little moment in the spotlight, the party continued until sunrise. Which, to be fair, is quite early in Scandinavian summertime. We danced--me like an idiot, because that's how I roll--and talked and walked around the theatre and laughed and acted like goofballs.
At some point--a very late/early point--my friend James, along with Stauning and a bunch of others, brought me where I had wanted to go since the beginning of the season: the roof of Det Kongelige Teater. I'm not sure it's exactly legal, but we went, and I experienced something so wonderful. That is, a perfect Sunday sunrise over an eerily quiet early morning Copenhagen. We all just walked around, soaking up the views (and some much-missed Vitamin D, after the seemingly endless winter this year) and taking pictures and talking about everything and nothing. It was perfect, and I was so glad I hadn't gone up there before last night/this morning. I can't properly describe how amazing it was to end the season and begin "sommerferie" up there, looking out over Copenhagen, so hopefully the pictures below will give an inkling of an idea. After we were done, we climbed down and went into Studio H, a studio even higher up in the theatre than the previously mentioned St. Ny, aka "Siberia." We listened to Stauning play the piano (a former RDB dancer, he is now studying at the Conservatory and is a gifted composer, as well as one of the most wonderfully funny, unique people I've met). I just sat there, as he played and other people talked, and closed my eyes, and experienced this moment of complete, utter, true happiness.
After a while, we went back down to go our separate ways home. I changed out of my sparkly dress and into sweats and a tshirt. As I walked across Knippelsbro, surveying the fallen bikes and alcoholic debris littering the street from the previous night's end of Distortion wildness, I had a thought: Maybe all those old people and birds and other early-morning sorts of creatures are onto something. Because at 6am, in the quiet sunshine, Copenhagen is fantastically peaceful. I approached Lagkagehuset, that pastry mecca I love so much, as I neared my apartment. The bakery opened in an hour, but was receiving its deliveries and the doors were open. Walking past, I heard from inside the sounds of opera singers. I poked my head in to find a group of soaking wet, professional opera singers serenading the employees of Lagkagehuset. One of them saw me and asked if I was from the ballet, and when I said yes, she said they were (clearly) from the Opera and had just gone swimming in the Kanal, and were now buying some bread for the way home. I couldn't help but grin as she told me this; and making my way to my apartment, I was overwhelmed with a slightly sappy thought: This place, this city and this theatre and these people, all of it is home.
Copenhagen as the sun comes up...
Stauning and I (and my new haircut) enjoying the early morning.
Copenhagen waking up.
A perfect way to end the season, and the evening. Og nu: Sommerferie :)