Saturday, August 2, 2008

Laura-Jane Visits the USA

Birmingham Royal Ballet has a nice, long summer break which means Mathias is here in the USA for about a month. It also meant that there was time for Laura-Jane to visit without cheating her family out of time with her too. So, Laura-Jane came for about ten days. She flew into Dulles Airport, just outside Washington, DC. This allowed Mathias to take her to the Kirov Academy of Ballet, his old school, and introduce her to his Anatoli Kuchkeruk, his mentor and teacher. From there, Steve (the driver!) went further Lenzelhof, my parent's lakeside cabin. Above is a view of beautiful Lake Linda. Below, Steve and my Dad have a motor...

....but Mathias and Laura-Jane has two oars. Everyone had a blast.

It was a whirlwind of a visit...just twenty-four hours! Then they headed to South Carolina via Foamhenge in Virginia. This hilarious tourist attraction is quite near Natural Bridge....but there's nothing natural about Foamhenge. Laura-Jane has never actually been to you think this is a good substitute?! (It is built to scale!)

There's also this strange Merlin sculpture at Foamhenge.

Not to be outdone by the natural beauty of Lake Linda, Mathias decided to show Laura-Jane the river near our house. They took the kayaks to Saluda Shoals park for a hot afternoon.

We forgot to take any photos when visiting the Pickens County Museum of Art and History. I was thrilled, however, to show off my solo exhibition "Blues Chapel" to the two. Then, the last full day Laura-Jane had was spent in Charleston. They enjoyed about twenty minutes on the beach before a storm blew in....but the winds made the boogie-boarding excellent....and they didn't have enough time to get sunburned.

(Above: Laura-Jane and Mathias at the battery in Charleston.)

On one of the days in Columbia, Mathias took Laura-Jane to the State Museum where they had fun posing with some of the displays.

We've heard from Laura-Jane. She arrived home safely. We hope the rest of her summer goes well....and we'll miss her.

Mathias' Year in England

(Click on any image to enlarge!)

Mathias recently finished his second year with Birmingham Royal Ballet. This year he didn't have his own flat (apartment) but rented a room from another couple dancing with the company. This allowed him to save money and travel. It also meant that he had no regular Internet access, no "permanent address", and existed mostly out of his suitcase while on tour.

Several wonderful things happened during the year. Mathias got the chance to dance several soloist roles...and even the principal part of Benno in Swan Lake. The photo above is Mathias as Benno. Dancing the prince was his friend Jamie Bond.

Steve and I were able to visit during the season....most recently while BRB was touring to Manchester with Giselle and a triple bill that included Card Game. These photos are from the "third" deal in Card Game. Mathias danced a solo as the two of hearts.

Manchester is also the home of Mathias' favorite soccer team....or, as they say in the UK, football club. Mathias went and toured Manchester United's stadium, trophy room, and lockers while there.

Yet, one of the most important things that happened during the year is LAURA-JANE...Mathias' girlfriend. Together they visited her family in Scotland. Below is a photo from this trip.

Above and below are images of Laura-Jane with her parents....and even the family dog!

Both Mathias and Laura-Jane turned twenty this spring. To celebrate, they flew for a long weekend to Paris! Below are some of the photos they took.

On there first evening in France, Mathias planned a reunion with a former Kirov classmate, Adrianna. Adrianna was from Mexico. She left the Kirov after Mathias' second year...that's something like six years ago. They kept in contact but hadn't seen each other until this reunion in Paris. Adrianna is no longer dancing but a student in Paris. Here are the two couples!

Unfortunately, Mathias forgot his other camera chip in England. Thus, I've got no photos to share from the trip the company took to Japan for a month....or anything else from the first part of the year! Yet, this is pretty good to get these photos from Mathias!