Photos by Mark A. Philbrick
This past week brought Contemporary Dance Theatre’s Central European Tour to a close. The group’s travels have been exciting and enlightening for all involved, and they were disappointed to see them end.
The week started off with a good-bye to the marvelous city of Budapest and short drive to nearby Slovakia. The company was met by a group of full-time missionaries, who devoted their P-day to guiding the dancers around the incredibly picturesque city of Bratislava. With introductions to the Bratislava Castle, St. Michael’s Tower and a mostly intact old town, the dancers were charmed by the architecture, kind people, and of course, the authentic cuisine, which included sheep cheese hulasky and perogi.
The performance that night in the Old Town Main Square was a definite highlight of the tour. With a square full of onlookers, perfect weather, a brightly lit stage, colorful costumes, engaging music, and a backdrop of 14th and 15th century architecture, the conditions could not have been more perfect for such a memorable performance. The senior missionaries commented that this might actually have been the largest Church sponsored event to ever take place in Slovakia.
With a square full of onlookers, perfect weather, a brightly lit stage, colorful costumes, engaging music, and a backdrop of 14th and 15th century architecture, the conditions could not have been more perfect for such a memorable performance.
The next morning Contemporary Dance Theatre (CDT) traveled again by bus to the exquisite city of Vienna. First stop was to the group’s workshop location, where the dancers included local Young Single Adults in preparation for a flash mob event to happen later in the afternoon. Next, accompanied by some of the Young Single Adults, the BYU group was able to visit the historic and overwhelming beauty of Vienna’s old town including Schonbrunn, Hofburg, and St. Stephen’s Dom. Then at the designated hour, several LDS Young Single Adults and others congregated for the actual flash mob event in front of Karlskirche. Despite the supposed anonymous nature of the event, several people sought out the group asking for a repeat of the performance.
The last stop for the group was in Würzburg, Germany. The group traveled there by bus, stopping along the way to visit the historic Dachau Concentration Camp—a sobering event for all. The festival in Würzburg, Ballettage 2015, provided wonderful accommodations for the CDT dancers and an amazing theatre for the group to perform in at their last concert. The group was honored with a sold-out crowd, most of them quite cultured in the language of dance. After a very physical yet engaging performance, the dancers received an energetic standing ovation by the German audience, thrilling the CDT dancers. They could not have asked for a better finish to a marvelous tour.