For the first time, a bus full of ADA Physical Theatre students and staff headed off to beautiful Ljubljana for a four-day intensive study tour at Španski borci. We are so excited to share with you the experience of four students: Ziggy, Molly, Brydon and Briar! Read on to see what they have to say:
Ziggy Schulting: Physical Theatre, Skidmore College NY
Last Wednesday evening, 26 bright-eyed and semi-disoriented ADA physical theatre students found themselves in Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana to continue their studies with the acclaimed Tomi Janežič and to embark on new movement adventures with five young dancers and choreographer Iztok Kovač who together comprise the EnKnapGroup. Despite the long days filled with rigorous academics and emotionally and physically draining work, we all managed to find time to explore this unique city—and even have a little fun. Below are the 10 most compelling reasons that you shouldn’t count Ljubljana out when planning your next Euro vacation destination.
10 REASONS THE CITY OF LJUBLJANA IS UTTERLY UNDERRATED:
10. Museums – specifically The Museum of Contemporary Art – MG+MSUM and the Museum of Modern Art (which happened to be about less than 100 meters away from the hostel where we stayed). So if you’re a museum fan—there’s plenty to be seen.
9. The City Center – Ljubljana’s city center is quite large (despite the city’s size). While the outskirts of the city seem intriguing and lively, it’s nothing compared to the bustling nightlife that you can find along the Galeria River.
8. The Views – the Ljubljana views are surprisingly striking; from Dragons guarding the streets in the middle of the city to graffiti littered all over the outskirts, the range of views are aesthetically pleasing and unparalleled.
7. The People – everyone in the city is incredibly kind, willing to help, and excited to interact with strangers. From the men and women working in the hostel to strangers I met on the street, everyone seemed more than happy to chat and talk about what they loved about their home.
6. English Speakers – because Slovenia is a rather small country, everyone speaks English in order to communicate more effectively with other nations. Even between inter Eastern European relations, the countries correspond in the English language. This makes it much easier to find your way around (and of course ask questions if you get lost).
5. It’s off the beaten path – since it’s not a typical European city, its easy to avoid that touristy vibe that permeates other European cities (like Florence, Rome, Dublin, Amsterdam, etc.) I found the experience all the more authentic and enjoyable without the typical (and often annoying) American tourists.
4. Doughnuts – and other food too. But seriously the Slovenian bakeries are no joke. They fill their doughnuts with chocolate and vanilla frosting and cover them with more frosting and nuts and sprinkles. And just take my word for it, get one. Or ten.
3. Bike Friendly – a great way to get around the city is via bike. There are bike lanes on all the major roads and it’s a healthy, convenient, and popular way to get around. All the young kids are doing it! And actually, the old ones too. Plus, it’s super cheap and easy to rent bikes at shops or hostels you may be staying at.
2. Metelkova – is an ex-military barrack and was officially squatted in September 1993. This squat has now become one of the hottest club scenes in all of Slovenia. This nightlife hub appeals to all types of party animals – from low-key drinkers to hard-core partiers. You want it? You can find it at Metelkova.
1. The Art – last but not least, Ljubljana is home to amazing art of all shapes and forms. From highly progressive theatre festivals in repurposed power plants to the incredible graffiti that lines the streets; wherever you go in this city and whoever you encounter, it is not disputable, art is important and art is thriving in this beautiful city.
Molly Cook: Physical Theatre, Goucher College MD
The best part of Ljubljana study tour was the ability to make connections with great artists. If I hadn’t gone to Ljubljana I would never have made connections to Iztok Kovač or any of the professional EnKnapGroup dancers. In all performance arts connections are extremely important. So not only was Ljubljana an incredibly fun city it was also helpful for my future career as an actress.
My favorite experience in Ljubljana was the full day workshop with Tomi Janežič. Psychodrama is such an interesting concept to me and I enjoyed being able to dedicate an entire day to it. Psychodrama helps to connect the ensemble and create a stronger group dynamic.
The only complaint I have is that I wish we could have stayed longer. I learned so much in the few days we were in Ljubljana but I feel like there was still so much to take in. Ljubljana is a very artistic city and it was an amazing experience.
Brydon Geisler: Physical Theatre, Muhlenberg College PA
The trip to Ljubljana was fantastic and I felt it really contributed to another side of physical theatre that I haven’t experienced before. The movement workshop with the En-Knap Group showed a unique way to devise choreography involving everyone in the group, in addition to learning a bit of world-class choreography from Iztok Kovač. The Tomi Janežič acting workshop took an unconventional approach with work in the field of psychodrama. The personal approach to acting focused on helping the actors “get in touch” with their emotions to better inform their acting. I was personally moved by the sessions and felt a deeper connection amongst the group of actors I was a part of. There was lots of walking and not too much time to sightsee, but the time was filled with a unique and special opportunity to work with renowned contemporary theatre makers in Slovenia. There was great food, and I had an experience that I will treasure for years to come.
Briar White: Physical Theatre, Coastal Carolina University SC
Before coming to the Accademia, I had never even heard of Slovenia. So when I learned that I’d be studying in its capital for three days, I didn’t really have any high expectations. Once I arrived, I was happily surprised to find out how beautiful Slovenia was, specifically the city of Ljubljana, and could see all the amazing things the city had to offer. What I loved the most about the city was the amount of graffiti. It was everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE. In the states, graffiti is frowned upon and, yeah ILLEGAL. But in Ljubljana, there was so much spray paint art that it really brought out a new artistic flavor of a country’s culture I had never seen before. The city embraced it and I was enamored by it. 10/10 would recommend 😉