Author: Portia C.
May 04, 2017

“Being around people from all around the globe, and being united by our shared respect and pure passion for our art form is incredible.”
My class and I were disappointed when we found out we were the only grade not performing in AI17. For over a year, NBS and the 20 other schools participating have been preparing for AI17. Our academics, breaks, and evaluations were all scheduled around this one week. Unfortunately, as grade nines, we are a bridging year between juniors and seniors. We’re too young to dance with the seniors but too old to perform with the juniors.
To get my class excited, we were given a research project with other students our age from EESA/CPD de l’Institut del Teatre in Barcelona on the history and people attending AI17. However, as most people have experienced with video calling, our calls were unsuccessful. “Can you hear me? We’re having trouble hearing you.” With the time difference posing as another annoying obstacle, the project eventually fizzled out.
However, it’s amazing how things always work out! Our exposure to internationally renowned ballet celebrities started a week before AI17 even began. I distinctly remember looking up at the schedule… and there it was… “Bournonville Repertoire Workshop”. We were stoked! Jumping off the walls, absolutely ecstatic! With its very unique, modest yet generous style, I knew it was going to be a great joy to learn. Not only that, we were going to be part of the AI17 BUZZ!
Mr. Albrechtsen, a master of Bournonville ballet, came a week early and our Bournonville adventure began. During the first class of Bournonville, my brain was overwhelmed; in a good way. It was a sponge soaking up all of the information. For every second of class, I was busy remembering all the intricate details characterized by the style; which finger to emphasize, the simple port de bras I am not used to, where the head faces. Not to mention, the little, fast, and deceivingly hard footwork. How do the Danish make it look so effortless? It is definitely a fun challenge. With more practice, I can see us getting the hang of it, but of course, we’re just learning the basics. It’s terribly sad to think Friday will be our last Bournonville workshop. I will always carry what I’ve learned with me and hope to build on it during the rest of my dance career.
Between having a guest teacher all this week, Bournonville workshops every other day, watching students from all over the world, and spectating the lively dress rehearsals, it has been a beehive here at NBS. Even though my class is not performing, we are so unbelievably lucky to take part in AI17. I’ll admit, in many ways it is nice to experience AI17 from a step back. I can experience the different styles of ballet from each school and watch amazing dancers without the pressure of performing and taking classes in front of all the other prestigious schools. What a great opportunity for everyone participating in AI17!
Only three more days left! I now understand why Assemblée Internationale is such a big deal. I never want this week to end. To think, the next one will be in another four years, and I’ll be graduated by then! It is like waiting for the next Olympics. Being around people from all around the globe and being united by our shared respect and pure passion for our art form is incredible. I will never forget AI17!