Six of OBT’s dancers are studying at a week-long intensive at Tivoli Ballet School in Copenhagen, Denmark. Soloist Candace Bouchard shares her experience so far:

From my first moments in the city, Copenhagen has taken me by the hand and shown me its magic. Cobblestone sidewalks give way to pedestrian streets along the canals lined with outdoor cafes, where street musicians space themselves at just the right intervals to provide you with a constant soundtrack to your stroll. While there are things that remind me of home – fit and friendly people, bicycles everywhere, tons of green space, food cart pods – Copenhagen is one of the oldest cities in Europe, and the landmarks from throughout the centuries lend the city a cultural identity and weight that Portland is still very much in the process of developing.

Candace Bouchard and Jordan Kindell exploring Copenhagen. Photo by Avery Reiners.

The six of us are sharing a gorgeous apartment in Christianshavn, which is the oldest part of the city. Our windows look out on a canal, and we have lots of great bakeries and cafés all around. We walk nearly everywhere. The city is flat and well-planned and very compact. Over the weekend, we took a boat tour through all the canals and the inner harbor, giving us a chance to see much of the city’s best architecture from the water. There are centuries-old palaces and churches with towers and gold-trimmed spires, but also bold newer structures, including two of the three theaters where the Royal Danish Ballet performs.

The apartment building. Photo by Avery Reiners.
Katherine Monogue in the Copenhagen apartment. Photo by Avery Reiners.

The workshop is taking place in the famed Tivoli Gardens. It’s a little strange to us, but Tivoli actually has its own ballet company and school. The studios sit right next to the biggest roller coaster in the place! It’s a beautiful theme park, small and captivating and quaintly elegant – very different from the sprawling Six Flags near where I grew up. We plan to spend an evening or two after rehearsal riding the rides and maybe seeing a short ballet performance at the Peacock Theater.

That’s all for now! In my next post, I plan to share our experiences so far in the Bournonville workshop. We have plenty to learn, and our teachers are the absolute authorities on the style. We have lots to look forward to!

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