Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Arriving at SIBA

....(the writer wishes to remain anonymous)

OMG this is awesome ...the landscape! I have never seen anything like it!! Clear blue sky!! It looks like fairytale land under me...mountains ,lakes, forests, colorful fields and then those villages full of thousands of red roofed houses!!  WOW
I am on my way to Austria Salzburg to be exact, Mozart , Mozart-KUGELS, the yummy chocolate balls I heard about and Sound of Music revisited!!!

How I wish Mom and Sis could see this....But most of all I can't wait for my 4 week ballet workshop SIBA, in Salzburg...
I am lost in daydreaming  as the stewardess sweeps my little table off...time to put our seat belts on, we are ready to land. This is my first trip to Europe!  We cheer the pilot for our safe landing!!! I MADE IT

Now I pray all my luggage got here o.k.....I probably brought too much stuff...dressy, cold and warm weather clothes,  tights and leotards galore!!!, laptop, shoes ect.  LOL!!  My costume for a possible solo performance at the Gala show at the end of the workshop is in an extra bag and  my pride and joy!!! My Mom slaved over it all by hand....only 10 pieces are selected by our artistic director Peter B. ..Cross my heart and hope to heaven I get one solo....then, while dancing I'll have to imagine I am a principal dancer of the NYCB  

Pass control, waiting for those bags to roll by ....SIGH !! all my stuff made it!!  Now I am nervous about being picked up as promised....after 25 hours of planes and airports I feel like a spacecadette and look awful   What if  I stand there lost  with not a word of German???  My hearts beats faster...then suddenly.....   there she is!!! With a huge smile!!! our director of the workshop, NILI   " Lauren"?? "  YES!!" We hugged and I said :" how did you recognize me so fast" and she said: " I saw your beautiful face and bearing"   I loved her the minute I saw her and  suddenly felt very safe....even her name Nili is sort of cool


  1. I can relate to these experience very much! My first arrival to Salzburg was full of the same wonder and amazement! Also, much anticipation and excitement to meet and work with master artists. Salzburg is the perfect "Home" for artistic inspiration.

  2. I have attended several summer programs before SIBA but after my first summer in beautiful Salzburg, I have not been to any other program since. This summer will be the FOURTH time I’ve had the privilege to attend SIBA and I’m just as excited as I was the first time.
    Nili is one of the most generous and warm individuals I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. Always kind and helpful, Nili would do anything for the students of the program. Whether it’s scheduling physio or doctor’s appointments for you, providing advice for where to shop or good restaurants, or even bringing your meals to your room when you’re ill, Nili is truly the mother of the program.
    The instructors of the program are all wonderful and supportive. Each class I’ve taken has provided valuable feedback and instruction when it comes to technique and artistry. Each teacher is concerned with making you the best dancer you can be in the short time they have you. It’s very obvious you’re working with knowledgable, experienced, and highly qualified instructors.
    Peter’s choreography is brilliant. Each time I perform Bolero, I understand more of the subtleties and intricacies of the movement and the thoughtfulness of the choreography. Working with such talented and experienced choreographers is such a treat.
    When not in class, you are given free reign to experience all that Salzburg has to offer. You never feel confined by this program - You are always treated like the adult that you are.
    I recommend SIBA to all of my fellow dancers. This summer I will be bringing 3 or 4 fellow dancers with me and I’m beyond excited to share this wonderful experience with them.

  3. Dear Liz, thank you so much for your kind words, I only do what I like to do... and SIBA is my baby.... and all the students my children.... should I not take good care of my children? LOL looking forward to have you with us again and your friends too

  4. It seems that our anonymous students has written a full diary of the workshop she has attended, and sending me chapters to publish.... I hope you will enjoy reading her experience, and also will give you an idea what to expect at SIBA !!!!

    CHAPTER 2:

    We taxied to my new 4-week home, a boarding school complex occupied only for the school year, up on a hill!!! they even have their own church because Salzburg is VERY catholic!!!!!!  and as we dragged  the luggage up the entry stairs another smiling face met us... Wolfgang ,Nili's assistant!!! " like Mozart, what else!"  He immediately took the heavy stuff and we elevated to the first floor....the girl’s residence.....the temp was at least 99 degrees...we were sweating and drenched   "July in Salzburg" Wolfgang said " very good for dancing, no warm-up needed!!!"

    Nili sat me down in her cosy office, I am the first student there ..... I almost dozed off while she checked her computer and we did last business ect..but Wolfgang's cheerful mood kept me laughing...  He then lead me to my room ..I was very curious as to who??? would be my room mate!!! I read and stared at : "LUDMILLA" at my door!!  OMG!!! a Russian and I in one room! What if she doesn’t speak a word of English, is homesick, ,messy or depressed??   No, this is mean of me, seriously, I am o.k., no longer shocked LOL!!  It will be an adventure, right?

    Nili is calling me to her office! I smell pizza!  How did she know this is exactly what I am craving right now? It even is veggie. I am vegetarian but not vegan.... I wouldn't have strength if I refused milk, cheese or eggs, says Mom...
    It is night for me ... 7 hours ahead of our home time...I am definitely ready for beddy bye , but first a mail home." Got here safely, am in heaven"  Thank God my i-phone and laptop have not lost much juice...

    Conked out , too tired to unpack, had a nightmare about ending up in Siberia with my summer clothes on......suddenly, lost in dreamland, I heard a loud knocking at my door...I shot up in bed, my mouth wide open......" Hallo, Lauren, I am Ludmilla from is soo nice to meet you, but I only speak small English" 
    She looked like an angel on a cloud------I was not sure this was for real  ...she is gorgeous from head to toe and she only had ONE bag!!!! LOL   I fell out of bed trying to shake her hand.... then we both laughed so hard that she fell on her bed.......

    Sunny Sunday!! we are almost 90 students now!!!  from 18 Nations, Nili said ...even 15 boys in a floor above us! OMG..... 4 are from faraway Israel...HOW mysterious !!! I am already planning to arrange some sort of a "accidental" meeting so Milla and I can sit at a table in the diningroom with them....and learn a few words of Hebrew LOL!!......Today is auditon for the 2 groups we are divided in, intermediate and advanced  Ballet ,Modern and Jazz  !   I love Jazz but is has to be fun and sort of silly, so you can feel relaxed and smily all the time!!!  But first :  there was a SUPER getting- to- know- party which was soo much fun.. the teachers introduced themselvesI and it felt like a huge family because everyone was so cordial and supernice to us......

    We put on our best skinnystrapped leotards with a cutup T-shirt  over it and cool legwarmers...then my Milla ( we decided to drop the Lud) said we needed some makeup and the best perfume we had.  She said we had to start managing our career at an early age and try to get all the attention we could get!!! And smile smile smile LOL!!!! Even if we didn't have that perfect technique, the first impression from the teachers made all the difference!!! WHOW!!! what wisdom from a former communist country!!!!  Well we will see... In an audition teachers mostly look at the arches, extensions, port de bras. and how fast you are .......I heard Peter might even choose some of us to join his Salzburg Ballet this session which us supposed to be small but world class...

    HURRAY!!! Milla and I made it into the advanced group!!!! we hugged and danced around and she pointed to the makeup, laughing!!! I am sooo happy to have her as my room mate... she said I must come to visit her in Kasakstan and of course I invited her to my home too!! ....We noticed some kids sitting in a corner all by themselves, obviously sad and some even cried.....suddenly we felt terrible but then we saw Nili go up to them  and give them a hug and a pepup talk ...her hugs are like medicine!!!....and I want to be just like her when I grow up...but not until I made it to a principal in the New York City Ballet, had a solo in Swanlake and the Sugarplumb Fairy in Nuts......


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