New York and Vienna: Christmas trips round up

Pupils jetted off far and wide at the end of last term, not on family getaways or returning home for the Christmas break, but for a selection of school trips. Sixth Form members of the Art, History of Art and Drama departments departed for New York City to soak up the cultural delights of the ‘Big Apple’. Meanwhile, members of the German Department nipped over to Vienna to soak up some of the culture and atmosphere at the fabulous Christmas markets.

Head of Academic Drama, David Aldred, and Head of History of Art, Nicola Hunter, discuss the academic and cultural highlights of the trip, whilst you can also watch Lower Sixth Former, Damola Otegbola’s, exceptional film of the trip below.

Nicola Hunter writes – We had a packed trip as far as History of Art was concerned: the Frick, the Guggenheim, the Met, MoMA, the Whitney, the Brooklyn Museum. Each of these collections is fantastically interesting, different from the others, and special exhibitions abounded. The Frick is always a high point – it was made as a personal collection in what was a private house, and the setting is calm, uncrowded, and suited to contemplation – the works are both varied and memorable (for example, Holbeins of Thomas Moore and Thomas Cromwell face each other across a fireplace).  To take the other extreme, The Met is vast and the possibilities of what you choose to see are enormous so you have to make up your mind and then ‘go for it’. One art historian said she lost her way in the Egyptian Department to the extent that she had to look up the floor plan on her phone to find her way out! After visiting the Brooklyn Museum (largely to see ‘The Dinner Party’), we walked back to Manhattan over the Brooklyn Bridge – a fantastic experience in itself. We walked whenever we could – criss-crossing Central Park for example, and walking the High Line, ending at one of our destinations, the Whitney Museum with the Statue of Liberty in the distance – and this gave everyone something of a feel for the geography of this amazing place.

David Aldred writes – New York provided rich experiences of drama both on and off Broadway. First stop was Ellen’s Stardust Diner where musical theatre actors sang and danced across the tables as they served up our burgers and fries. On Broadway, the whole group enjoyed the film inspired musical, School of Rock which featured a class of child prodigies rocking the house with their instruments live on stage. A smaller group of theatre enthusiasts checked into the McKittrick Hotel to experience Sleep No More, Punchdrunk’s immersive interpretation of Macbeth, which was both thrilling and eye opening. After the show, we went back onto the set with two of the actors for a most informative talk back. We are hoping this experience will inspire immersive theatre projects back at Teddies. There were also opportunities to watch modern dance drama at MoMA and a couple of our theatre pupils took their own initiative and went to Dear Evan Hansen, one of the hottest tickets on Broadway.

The German Department’s trip to Vienna is always a popular choice for pupils, with this year being no exception. There is a selection of photographs from the trip available below.

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