Euro Tour: Part 4

Nov 03 2015 | Posted in Blog

The RWB Company is taking Moulin Rouge® - The Ballet to the stages in Europe with a six week tour of Germany, The Netherlands, and Italy. Follow Katie Bonnell and Ryan Vetter of the Corps de Ballet as they explore Europe!​

Missed the other entries? Find them here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3


Katie

Hello from Holland!

We have been in the Netherlands for the past week and a half and my Dutch is officially a lot worse than my Deutsch. Luckily English seems to be the unofficial second language here so there haven’t been any problems communicating with people.

The company was lucky enough to have 4 days off in a row which was just what the doctor ordered after a long 11 hour bus ride from Friedrichshafen to Rotterdam. Most of the company (myself included) spent part of their time off exploring Amsterdam. What an incredible city. I instantly fell in love, despite the impressive number of tourists. The buildings are stunning. Remember what I said in my last post about the architecture being old and beautiful in Germany? Amsterdam takes that to an entirely different level. I could walk those streets for hours on end and never get board with what I’m looking at. Truthfully, that’s how I spent a lot of my 3 days there. Some other highlights from my trip include visiting the Ann Frank House, stumbling upon a Sunday morning market right next to the famous “I Amsterdam” sign in the museum square, taking in all of Amsterdam from the top of a Ferris wheel, and of course, seeing Dutch National Ballet perform “Giselle” (Oh my god their feet are beautiful. Along with the rest of them of course).

My attempt at a picture with the 'I Amsterdam' sign. Too many people!!
My attempt at a picture with the ‘I Amsterdam’ sign. Too many people!!

Rotterdam is quite different. Much less “touristy”, this city is known as the architecture capital of Holland. Most of the city’s centre was flattened during World War II, which allowed architects to test the limits of their imaginations. The buildings here are so modern and innovative, yet there are still areas that display the old style that I have come to love about Europe. During this leg of the tour, we stayed in apartments rather than a hotel since we were going to be staying here so long. The apartments were beautiful and the view was incredible. It was like a little taste of home, being able to cook for ourselves and having room to socialize with friends when we weren’t at the theatre.

The shows are being very well received here. We had a small reception with representatives from one of our sponsors, Air Canada, after our last show in Rotterdam; it was so nice to mingle and hear what people thought of the show. I got to speak with a travel agent and his wife who had never seen a ballet before and thanks to us wanted to see more. I feel so lucky to have a career that can inspire a taste of culture and art in other people’s lives.

Getting ready for our "run-out" show in Venlo
Getting ready for our “run-out” show in Venlo

After a brief return to Germany, we will be heading to Rome!! This is the city I’ve been looking forward to the most. I can’t wait!!

PS- following up from my previous post: tiny beds are definitely a Europe-wide phenomenon.


Ryan

Holland was beautiful! It was interesting because I could actually feel the difference in the culture between Germany and Holland. Germany always has a sense of a small community, where Holland felt more like your typical big city vibe. I’m not saying one was better than the other, but I thought it was worth mentioning because it was something I didn’t expect. It’s incredible how in Europe each small country maintains it’s integrity, despite the closeness of so many different cultures. This impressed me.

The shows in Rotterdam and Venlo went very smoothly. Before these shows happened, the company had several days off. One of these four days was my birthday, October 24th, for any stalkers out there who want to know the exact date. A bunch of us travelled to Amsterdam from Rotterdam to see what we would see. It was chaotic. Chaotic is the best word to describe Amsterdam. There are so many people out and about all the time. I’ve never experienced a city with so much energy before. Growing up on the prairies of Sioux Falls, South Dakota (again, for the stalkers out there) this was completely new to me. We all enjoyed our time off, but we were excited to get back to the stage doing what we came to Europe to do: Perform. When staying in Rotterdam we got to share apartments with four people each as opposed to a hotel room with two people. This was an interesting experience for most of us because sharing an apartment with a kitchen and actual living space with other people is different than just sharing a hotel room, which is what we’re typically used to. We all enjoyed the luxury of feeling more at home, and I think we all got to know each other a little more, for better or worse.

Our apartment in Rotterdam
Our apartment in Rotterdam
Cube apartments in Rotterdam
Cube apartments in Rotterdam

The theater in Rotterdam was very modern looking, as was much of the architecture in the city, as most of it was burned to the ground in WWII. It’s eye-opening to gain knowledge of that infamous time in world history from the European perspective. While in Amsterdam, a group of us visited the Anne Frank house. She was such an inspiring person, and her story is one that deserves to be shared.

Theatre in Rotterdam
Theatre in Rotterdam

With 29 days on the road and only 8 days left of the European tour, I think some of us are getting a little homesick. Europe has definitely treated us well, but I think we’re missing, or at least I’m missing, the daily routine in Winnipeg. The novelty of tour begins to wear off around this point in a long tour like this one. With that said, we are all still very excited to continue showing Europe what the Royal Winnipeg Ballet has to offer, but we are excited to be back to our home base in just a few days. Fifteen shows down and six more to go!