Monday, September 14, 2009
DANCING TO CONNECT, German Edition, Volume IV
Dateline: Dessau -- Our team of 12 has arrived in the former East German city of Dessau which is actually now the joined city of Dessau-Rosslau. The day after a 20-hour journey from New York, Barry Steele, our intrepid production designer and I went to the nearby Wolfen-Bitterfeld (yup, another joined city) where we reconnoitered with the technical crew at the Stadtisches Kulturhaus. Gabi Schuckelt, the wonder woman from the US Consulate Leipzig who coordinated all the details of our project here served as our chauffeur, translator and hospitality manager all rolled into one. As usual, Barry wasted no time in building team-spirit with the tech guys and promising them a full light plot by noon tomorrow. Meanwhile, the dancers were locating the local fitness center, and then were given a walking tour of Dessau by two delightful high school students who had practiced their English and carried out the role of tour guides with aplomb. We all ended up meeting with teachers and principals from all the schools that will participate in Dancing to Connect this week (I think there are at least 8 schools in all, representing 4 different cities). The meeting itself was a delight: Hosted graciously by US Consul General Katherine Brucker and Public Affairs Officer Jim Seward, we dined at the local Brasserie L'Appart and the delicious food and wines made a warm environment in which the orientation process could occur.