Tours en l'air organizes ballet-themed escorted holidays to see the best companies perform great ballets in beautiful places. You can join a trip from anywhere. A highly knowledgeable balletomane who has enjoyed 100s of performances in over 20 cities around the world,I speak English, French, and German, and am a Travel Industry Council of Ontario certified Travel Counsellor. I also teach ballet appreciation courses. Twitter: @thewordlady Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katherine.barber.37
Tours en l'air Ballet Holidays are offered in partnership with CWT Victor Travel, TICO # 1892647

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Ballet Trivia Quiz Answer

NYCB's artistic director, Peter Martins, is originally from Denmark. Over the years, many male dancers trained in the Royal Danish Ballet have joined New York City Ballet. What do Danish and NYCB male dancers have in common?

a) they like to drink beer
b) they look great in tights
c) they dance with great speed and intricate footwork
d) all of the above

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Weekly Ballet Trivia Quiz

NYCB's artistic director, Peter Martins, is originally from Denmark. Over the years, many male dancers trained in the Royal Danish Ballet have joined New York City Ballet. What do Danish and NYCB male dancers have in common?

a) they like to drink beer
b) they look great in tights
c) they dance with great speed and intricate footwork
d) all of the above

Answer will be posted tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Observe or try a ballet class at Canada's National Ballet School

As part of Culture Days, the NBS is offering a lot of great opportunities:

Free Observation Experience – Saturday, October 1

On Saturday, October 1, NBS  will welcome visitors to the Betty Oliphant Theatre to observe students in the Professional Ballet Program during their morning classes. Registration is not required.
The following classes will be open for observation:
9:00am-10:30am Grade 10 Girls
10:45am-12:15pm Grade 12 & PSP women
12:45pm-2:15pm Grade 11,12 & PSP men

Free Dance Classes – Sunday, October 2

Sunday, October 2 sees NBS opening its studios and providing free classes in the following areas. Ballet classes and the Musical Theatre class begin at 11am and are all one hour. The Urban dance class begins at 12.15am and is one hour.
  • Registration is required, so sign up now to reserve your spot!
Ballet Class, 5-7 years
For those 5-7 years old – take a ballet class with Canada's National Ballet artistic staff. You'll have a live accompanist play for you and experience the wonderful studios at NBS' award-winning facility. Begin with the barre before moving around the studio – experience the joy of movement – no previous ballet experience required.
Ballet Class, 8-13 years
For those 8-13 years old – take a ballet class with Canada's National Ballet artistic staff. You'll have a live accompanist play for you and experience the wonderful studios at NBS' award-winning facility. Begin with the barre before moving around the studio – experience the joy of movement – no previous ballet experience required.
Ballet Class, 13-21 years
For those 13-21 years old – take a ballet class with Canada's National Ballet artistic staff. You'll have a live accompanist play for you and experience the wonderful studios at NBS' award-winning facility. Begin with the barre before moving around the studio – experience the joy of movement – no previous ballet experience required.
Adult Ballet Class
Adults, aged 21+ will be given a ballet class taught by artistic staff at Canada's National Ballet School. No previous experience is required. You will begin with warm-up exercises at the barre and then move into the centre of the studio for additional movement exercises. You'll have a live accompanist play for you and experience the joy of movement in NBS' award winning facility.
Musical Theatre Class, boys only 8-12 years
Take a class with one of the 'Billys' from the New York production of Billy Elliot - The Musical. Your teacher – an NBS student – will teach a routine from the show, offered only for boys, 8-12 years old.
Urban Dance Class, all ages
Come and take an urban dance class at Canada's National Ballet School. No previous hip hop experience is required, just bring your inner rap-stylin' star and get ready to have some radical fun.

Updated master calendar of ballet in Europe, Canada, & US

My master performance calendars for ballet performances in North America and Europe have now been updated with the most recent information. Visit the "What's on in ballet" page.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Group Discounts on Toronto Ballet Performances

Please check our "Toronto Ballet and Dance Outings" for updated information on group discounts on ballet performances.

Ballet Trivia Quiz Answer

A former soloist with New York City Ballet once said: “If I go to hell, I will not be afraid of the devil. Because I have worked with...

b) Jerome Robbins

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Weekly Ballet Trivia Quiz

A former soloist with New York City Ballet once said: “If I go to hell, I will not be afraid of the devil. Because I have worked with...

a) George Balanchine
b) Jerome Robbins
c) Igor Stravinsky
d) Peter Martins

Answer will be posted tomorrow.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Paris in Chicago: BOOK NOW!


This is a great (and rare) opportunity to see one of the world's top companies, Paris Opera Ballet, performing jewels of the French repertoire in a fabulous city without the cost, time commitment, or jet lag of a trip to Europe. Please note the signup deadline is September 29th. We currently have the few remaining excellent orchestra seats on hold, but tickets are already on sale to the general public and going fast even this early, so this trip has to be booked now.


CWT Victor Travel
101 - 8800 Dufferin Street, Concord, ON L4K 0C5

TICO registration #1892647

Tours en l'air
Ballet Holidays
escorted by
Canada's Word Lady, Katherine Barber

Paris Opera Ballet in Chicago
28 June – 1 July 2012
4 days, 3 nights, 2 ballet performances

REGISTRATION AND DEPOSIT DUE DATE: 29 September 2011


Seize this opportunity to see the world's oldest ballet company as it performs masterpieces of the French repertoire on a rare tour to North America. The Paris Opera Ballet is still considered one of the world's top ballet companies; this program lets you thrill to the virtuosity of their impeccable classical technique in ballets rarely if ever seen in North America, and be transported by the beauty of the quintessential Romantic ballet.


Thursday 28 June
Arrive Chicago; check in to the brand new Radisson Blu, located across from the Harris Theatre. Evening: 3-course welcome dinner & performance of Giselle.
Friday 29 June
Daytime: private guided tour of the Chicago Art Institute, followed by afternoon tea. 
Evening: performance of Serge Lifar's display piece for classical virtuosity, Suite en Blanc, Roland Petit's tragic L'Arlésienne to Bizet's stirring music, and Béjart's Bolero to Ravel's driving score.
Saturday 30 June
Morning at leisure. Suggested activities: take a beginner or more advanced ballet class at the Joffrey Ballet Academy; shop along the Magnificent Mile. Afternoon: guided tour by boat focusing on Chicago's stunning architecture. Rest of day at leisure. 
Sunday 1 July
Check out of hotel. For the recreational ballet student: possibility to take a morning class given by Joffrey Ballet Principal Dancer Fabrice Calmels (optional, subject to availability and class fee). Depart Chicago.


REGISTRATION AND DEPOSIT DUE DATE: 29 September 2011

Total Package CA$1399 per person based on double occupancy
Single supplement: CA$300
All prices valid till 29 September 2011

LAND-ONLY PACKAGE allows you the flexibility of arranging travel from your most convenient departure point, on the dates and times you prefer, and to extend your stay if you wish. Please call Victor Travel at 416-736-6010 to book your air travel.

Package price includes:
* Excellent orchestra seats for 2 performances
* Private guided tour of the Art Institute of Chicago

* 3 nights twin share accommodation with breakfast in the centrally located four-star Radisson Blu (travellers wishing to share will be put in touch with one another)
* Architectural boat tour
* One 3-course dinner
* One afternoon tea

* Ballet enrichment program: ballet notes and informal pre-performance talks and post-performance reviews with tour leader
* All taxes, service fees, and surcharges

Not included:
* Airfare
* Items of a personal nature, e.g. telephone calls
* Meals and transfers not specifically mentioned in this itinerary
* Optional second performance of mixed program on Saturday afternoon
* Beverages with meals
* Cancellation and hospital/medical insurance

Terms and Conditions:
Non-refundable initial deposit payment of CA$750 per person is required at time of registration, no later than 29 September 2011, to secure your space for this package**.
Single supplement, optional airfare (price available on request) and optional cancellation and hospital/medical insurance are also payable at this time.
Final payment due 2 May 2012, and total package price is fully non-refundable.
All cancellations must be received in writing at CWT Victor Travel to the attention of Lucy Nati.
RBC out-of-province health insurance and trip cancellation insurance are available through CWT Victor Travel and STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. Price will vary according to birthdate. Premium must accompany the deposit and is non-refundable.

For more information: toursenlair@gmail.com or 416.693.4496

GET MORE BALLET OUT OF LIFE WITH TOURS EN L'AIR
Visit toursenlair.blogspot.com for ballet appreciation courses,
other fabulous escorted vacations for ballet lovers, and more

**The deposit is fully refundable in the event of cancellation of the trip by the travel agent



Roberto Bolle and Hamburg Ballet

Roberto Bolle fans will love this new poster for John Neumeier's Orpheus from the Hamburg Ballet. For an interview with Roberto, see this post.





Meanwhile, carrying on with the series of cool kaleidoscopic images ("choreographed" by Neumeier himself, I believe) here is a new one:




Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kings of the Dance 2011-12 tour dates

Kings of the Dance world Tour 2011 www.ardani.com
October 5, 6, 7
Moscow, Stanislavsky Theatre
www.stanmus.com

October 8-9
St. Petersburg, Mikhailovsky Theatre
www.mikhailovsky.ru

October 11
Riga, Opera House
www.opera.lv

October 13
Novosibirsk, Opera House
www.opera-novosibirsk.ru

October 15-16
Kiev, Opera House
www.opera.com.ua

October 21-23, 2011
Costa Mesa, Segerstrom Center for the Arts
www.scfta.org

February 24-26, 2012
New York, New York City Center
www.nycitycenter.org

I will be organizing a trip to New York to see the Kings and New York City Ballet. For info, click here.

Monday, September 12, 2011

3 short beautiful videos from Houston Ballet

Les Patineurs


In the Night





(Robbins may have been a pain to work with -- see this week's Ballet Trivia Quiz -- but he sure made beautiful ballets!)

Ballet Trivia Quiz Answer

On one occasion, the dancers showed how much they appreciated the way Jerome Robbins treated them in rehearsals by

d) failing to warn him while he backed up and fell into the orchestra pit as he was giving them corrections

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Weekly Ballet Trivia Quiz

On one occasion, dancers showed how much they appreciated the way Jerome Robbins treated them in rehearsals by

a) sending him an enormous bouquet and a large box of chocolates
b) writing a glowing letter to the Editor about him to the New York Times
c) going on strike
d) failing to warn him while he backed up and fell into the orchestra pit as he was giving them corrections

Answer will be posted tomorrow.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pirouettes and Profiteroles

The New National Theatre in the Shinjuku area of western Tokyo, home to the National Ballet of Japan under Artistic Director David Bintley, is an elegant theatre with much use of natural wood.

Although unfortunately an elevated expressway is right in front of it, there is a beautiful reflecting pool with large rocks in it to add some Japanese tranquillity.















A remarkably civilized phenomenon I took advantage of at a recent performance by Noriko Kobayashi Ballet Theatre was the availability of miniature cream puffs with chocolate sauce at intermission. As I strolled and scarfed my profiteroles, I was able to admire the beauty of the traditional kimonos that you will always find someone wearing at a performance in Japan. I highly recommend Japan as a ballet destination; for hotel recommendations, check out my Travel Tips for Ballet Lovers tab.

Ballet Trivia Quiz Answer

Balanchine is famous for saying: “Ballet is...”

d) woman

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Weekly Ballet Trivia Quiz

Balanchine is famous for saying: “Ballet is...”

a) very expensive
b) fiendishly difficult
c) extraordinarily beautiful
d) woman

Answer will be posted tomorrow.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Birmingham February 2012 trip


CWT Victor Travel
101 - 8800 Dufferin Street, Concord, ON L4K 0C5
TICO registration #1892647
presents

Tours en l'air
Ballet Holidays
escorted by
Canada's Word Lady, Katherine Barber

Birmingham, Oxford, and the Cotswolds
24 February – 1 March 2012
7 days, 6 nights, 2 ballet performances

Birmingham Royal Ballet
Hobson's Choice
a comic tale of boots, booze, love, and laughter
from award-winning choreographer David Bintley
Daphnis and Chloe, The Two Pigeons
uplifting stories of young love’s survival when tested to breaking-point
featuring some of Frederick Ashton's most ravishing pas de deux, like this one:






Friday 24 February
Arrive Birmingham; check in to Holiday Inn, located 2 minutes walk from the Hippodrome Theatre. Early evening: Meet a BRB Dancer event or Royal Ballet Sinfonia recital.
Saturday 25 February
Day at leisure. Suggested activities: visit Birmingham's fine art gallery, with its impressive collection of pre-Raphaelite art, and take a tour of the Town Hall that looks like a Greek temple, both nearby. Also interesting are the jewellery museum and the Cadbury Experience chocolate museum. Evening: 3-course welcome dinner and performance of Hobson's Choice, about a feisty young woman defying her father to marry a poor shoemaker.
Sunday 26 February
Daytrip by private coach. Travel through the picturesque Cotswolds to the beautiful historic Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill. Visit the palace. Return directly to hotel.
Monday 27 February
Day trip by train to Oxford. Private guided walking tour of colleges.
­Tuesday 28 February
Day at leisure. Suggested activity: take a short train ride to nearby Stratford-upon-Avon. **Possible BRB event to be confirmed.
Wednesday 29 February
Day at leisure. Three-course farewell dinner before evening performance of Daphnis and Chloe and The Two Pigeons.
Thursday 1 March
Check out of hotel; leave Birmingham.


REGISTRATION AND DEPOSIT DUE DATE: 26 September 2011

Total Package CA$1599 per person based on double occupancy
Single supplement: CA$250
All prices valid till 26 September 2011

LAND-ONLY PACKAGE allows you the flexibility of arranging travel from your most convenient departure point, on the dates and times you prefer, and to extend your stay if you wish. Please call Victor Travel at 416-736-6010 to book your air travel.

Package price includes:


* Premium orchestra seats for 2 performances
* Birmingham Royal Ballet Dancer Talk or Royal Ballet Sinfonia Recital
* 1-year membership in the Friends of Birmingham Royal Ballet, including two issues of the magazine Entrechat 
* 6 nights twin share accommodation with breakfast in the centrally located three-star Holiday Inn Smallbrook Queensway (travellers wishing to share will be put in touch with one another)
* Day excursion by private coach to the Cotswolds and Blenheim Palace, with accredited tour guide
* Admission to Blenheim Palace
* Day excursion by train to Oxford
* Private walking tour of Oxford
* Two 3-course meals
* Ballet enrichment program: ballet notes and informal pre-performance talks and post-performance reviews with tour leader
* All taxes, service fees, and surcharges


Not included:


* Airfare
* Items of a personal nature, e.g. telephone calls
* Meals and transfers not specifically mentioned in this itinerary
* Beverages with meals
* Cancellation and hospital/medical insurance

Terms and Conditions:
Non-refundable initial deposit payment of CA$750 per person is required at time of registration, no later than 26 September 2011, to secure your space for this package**.
Single supplement, optional airfare (price available on request) and optional cancellation and hospital/medical insurance are also payable at this time.
Final payment due 2 January 2012, and total package price is fully non-refundable.
All cancellations must be received in writing at CWT Victor Travel to the attention of Lucy Nati.
RBC out-of-province health insurance and trip cancellation insurance are available through Carlson Wagonlit Victor Travel and STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. Price will vary according to birthdate. Premium must accompany the deposit and is non-refundable.

For more information: toursenlair@gmail.com or 416.693.4496

BALLET MAKES LIFE BETTER - GET MORE BALLET OUT OF LIFE WITH TOURS EN L'AIR

**The deposit is fully refundable in the event of cancellation of the trip by the travel agent


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Travel Tips for Ballet Lovers

Check out the new "Travel Tips for Ballet Lovers" tab, with information about affordable hotels and recommended restaurants near theatres and opera houses. Currently includes info on Hamburg, Japan, Stuttgart, and Vienna, and will continue to expand. Also useful even if you're not going to see a ballet!

Youth America Grand Prix documentary premiere

First Position, a documentary about contenders in the Youth America Grand Prix competition, will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, screening dates
  1. Sunday September 11
    Isabel Bader Theatre
    3:30pm
  2. Saturday September 17
    TIFF Bell Lightbox 2
    12:30pm

    Tickets go on sale September 3.