As you may have seen on my calendar, the company is heading on a trip. We will be travelling all the way to Bangkok, Thailand for a week and performing the beloved ballet ‘The Nutcracker’ at the Bangkok’s 18th International Festival of Dance and Music. We will be dancing Youri Vámos’s ‘Nutcracker – A Christmas Carol’, a ballet we premiered the first year I joined the company. It was actually the first premier I experienced as a professional dancer back in 2010.
Going on tour with the company is always very exciting. Since joining, I have travelled to Korea, Switzerland and Bangkok, loving my time performing in different places. Dancing somewhere new has such a different feeling to being comfortable at our home theatre. New dressing rooms, training on stage, different backstage crew. But it is a great chance to have fresh experiences and the performances always bring me something new.
As I will only be performing a small role, Frau Cratchit, I will use this chance to work alone and get my foot back to its healthy self. And even though I will be taking a step back I will still be packing all the things a ballerina needs on tour.
Probably the most important things for a ballet dancer to pack are her point shoes. No one wants to forget those – probably twice as many pairs as I will actually need in my suitcase and one pair in my hand luggage, just incase. A ballerina is never over prepared with too many point shoes.
As well as the shoes and dancewear, and pilates ball, and foot roller, I like to stock up on anything my body may need to help it perform at its best. After such a long flight and working in a different time-zone and climate, it can be hard for the muscles to adjust. Our timetable will be full of run-throughs and dress rehearsals, so I have packed a stash of goodies to encourage and help my body, and prevent any injury.
Drinking lots of water is number one priority. It will help with swollen ankles after the flight and keep me hydrated in the hot and humid climate. Plasters for the feet, Tiger balm and massage oil for aching muscles. Ibuprofen, in case of any inflammation from the heavy schedule. I have been using Comfrey cream on my foot and taking lots of magnesium and calcium so all these will be joining me on the trip. I am also packing a Magnetic Therapy cushion which was suggested to me for my foot. The hairpins… well a dancer always has hundreds of those.
It is good to know all of us will be packing similarly and if someone needs something at least one of us will have it. Tour can be a difficult time, especially when a company is away for an extended period (a week is not too bad). But I think it is an excellent opportunity for the company to bond together and support each other, and especially have fun because we are all in it together. Bangkok will be great: yummy food, buzzing city, Thai massages till 2 am, so excitement will be flowing through us all the whole week.
So all packed up and dressed in our new tour t-shirts, we are ready to hit the road. It will be a trip to remember I am sure, and I can’t wait to share the time with friends. Good energy and power to us all, may it be a good one.
Goodbye Germany, hello Thailand. Karlsruhe StaatsBallett is back.