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:
Tours en l'air Ballet Holidays are offered in partnership with CWT Victor Travel, TICO # 1892647


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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Tea and Tutus: Cinderella and Onegin

Tours en l'air Ballet Holidays


Tea and Tutus 

Get more out of the ballets in the National Ballet of Canada's November season
 Image result for cinderella kudelka
1) Cinderella
Thursday 27 October*

 Image result for onegin canada
2) Onegin
Friday 18 November*

*If you would like to attend but cannot come on these dates, please contact me anyway; if there is sufficient demand I will add extra dates.
Full afternoon tea (sandwiches, mini-quiche, scones, cream, and jam, fruit and petits fours, pot of tea) including tax and tip, and illustrated one-hour talk by  
Katherine Barber

2:30 pm


T-Buds Tea Lounge

2nd floor (17 steps)

3343 Yonge St, Toronto

At the corner of Yonge and Snowdon/Fairlawn

3 blocks north (about 5 minutes walk) of the north (Ranleigh) exit of Lawrence subway station

Space is limited to only 24 ballet-lovers.
To buy your ticket, please contact

Katherine Barber at 416-693-4496 or before October 18.



If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Bolshoi Cinemacast Golden Age Cast and Synopsis

I have to say I found this ballet quite awful, with ugly music and costumes, tedious choreography and a trivial but nonetheless hard-to-follow story, but you can make your own mind up when it is shown in cinemas on October 16 (Cineplex in Canada, for US screenings click here:

Time and place of action - seaside town in the south of Russia; the 1920’s. This was the period of the New Economic Policy (NEP) which allowed private enterprise and trade and, as a result, shady operators and petty criminals flourished. The Golden Age Restaurant is their favorite haunt - here a young dancer, Rita, who appears under the name of Mademoiselle Margot, and her partner, Jacques, in point of fact Yashka, leader of a local gang of bandits, entertain a mixed public of "fast livers". Helping Yashka with his ’jobs’ are his bandit cronies and his friend, Lyuska.
During the town festival and general rejoicing Boris, a young fisherman, member of the satirical agitprop theatre for working youths, meets Rita. They begin to fall in love. But, suddenly, Rita disappears into the crowd, Boris rushes after her. Boris’s search brings him to The Golden Age Restaurant. To his astonishment, he recognizes the dancing Mademoiselle Margot to be Rita, the girl he is looking for.
Boris and Yashka fight over Rita. She is attracted by both young men, by the sincerity and depth of their feelings for her. Boris’s young fishermen friends start a brawl with members of the gang of bandits. Yashka tries to make a run for it, but he is caught. Rita is free: leaving the restaurant forever, she goes off with her beloved Boris to start a new life.

Act I
Scene 1
The town festival. Among the crowd of revelers is Rita. The performance by the agitprop theatre of working youths gets underway. The actors are young fishermen, one of whom is Boris. Rita and Boris are getting to know each other when the former suddenly disappears. Boris hurries off in pursuit.

Scene 2
His search for Rita brings Boris to The Golden Age Restaurant, which is patronized by Nepmen. A variety show is in progress at the center of which are the music-hall stars Mademoiselle Margot and Monsieur Jacques. To his astonishment, Boris recognizes Mademoiselle Margot to be the girl he is looking for. Their joyful reunion doesn’t go unnoticed by Jacques.

Scene 3
The gang of bandits, led by Jacques - Yashka, agree their next ’job’. Lyuska lures two drunk Nepmen, whom the bandits attack and rob.

Scene 4
Returning to the restaurant in his guise of variety artist, Monsieur Jacques catches sight of Boris and Rita dancing. He picks a quarrel with Boris. Rita boldly throws herself between them.

Scene 5
Boris and Rita remain alone. They declare their love to each other.

Act II
Scene 6
Not used to suffering defeat, Monsier Jacques tries to win back Rita, but she rejects his advances and runs off.

Scene 7
In their den, the bandits are ’living it up’. Yashka is inciting them to undertake a new ’job’. He is furious at being turned down by Rita and longs for revenge.

Scene 8
Fishermen are at work on the seashore. Rita turns up in search of Boris. The loving couple are left on their own. The gang of bandits suddenly appears and surrounds the two young people. Yashka’s mates throw themselves at Boris who is outnumbered. Rita runs off for help. Friends come to the rescue and, together with Boris, they go after the bandits.

Scene 9
At the restaurant, the usual clientele of Nepmen are relaxing. Rita’s thoughts are with Boris. She finds the restaurant atmosphere unbearably oppressive, but she has to go through with her number.

Scene 10
Rita decides to leave The Golden Age Restaurant for good. But Monsieur Jacques bars her way, demanding her love. Lyuska overhears their conversation. Seething with jealousy, she throws herself at Yashka knife in hand. Yashka kills her.

Scene 11
Grabbing hold of Rita as hostage, Yashka tries to make a run for it. He is caught by Boris and Rita is freed. Rita and Boris are overjoyed to be back together again: from now on they will be inseparable. Their joy is shared by their fishermen-friends.

Rita, a young girl, who appears under the name of Mademoiselle Margot,in a variety show at The Golden Age Restaurant Nina Kaptsova
Boris, a young fisherman, who is also an actorwith the agit-prop theatre for working youths Ruslan Skvortsov
Yashka,Leader of a local gang of bandits; he is also Monsieur Jacques – Rita’s partner Mikhail Lobukhin
Lyuska, friend and accomplice of Jacques Ekaterina Krysanova
Variety show compere at The Golden Age Restaurant Vyacheslav Lopatin

If you love seeing beautiful places and things, and bingeing on ballet, please check out my other outstanding ballet trips by clicking here. Booking for the following trips is now open.

Bordeaux and Toulouse, July 2017 only 6 spots left (more info here:

Monday, September 26, 2016

Svetlana Lunkina & Friends gala Toronto

Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto.
Tickets available soon! Watch this space for updates.

If you love seeing beautiful places and things, and bingeing on ballet, please check out my other outstanding ballet trips by clicking here. Booking for the following trips is now open.

Bordeaux and Toulouse, July 2017 only 6 spots left (more info here:

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Ballet and Art in Florida in March

I am currently planning a ballet trip to Florida for next March. Below is the itinerary. Price coming soon. If this trip tempts you, email me at to have  your name put on the priority signup list (this is not a commitment, just an expression of interest).

Ballet and Art in Sarasota and

Fort Lauderdale

8 – 12 March 2017

5 days, 4 nights

2 ballet performances

+ 2 optional

Wednesday 8 March

Arrive Sarasota; check in to the 3-star Hotel Indigo in downtown Sarasota, 5 minutes walk from the theatre. Suggested activity: Sarasota Opera: Italian Girl in Algiers.

Thursday 9 March

Morning: Private guided tour of John and Mabel Ringling's mansion Ca' d'Zan, inspired by Venetian palazzos. 

Afternoon: Private guided tour of the highlights of the Ringling Art Museum. Special exhibition: A Feast for the Senses: Art and Experience in Medieval Europe, focusing on the period 1300-1500, when societal changes prompted a new interest in human experience, the enjoyment of nature and the pursuit of pleasure. Sacred and secular paintings, tapestries, metalwork, and manuscripts reveal the role of the senses in courtly ritual and religious practice. Evening: Three-course welcome dinner.

Chagall's The Lovers

Friday 10 March

Morning: Guided tour of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and visit the exhibition Marc Chagall’s Cote d’Azur: The Artist’s Botanical Imagery and Inspiration Found on the French Riviera at the Gardens’ historic Christy Payne Mansion. The centrepiece of the exhibit will be Chagall's 1937 painting “The Lovers” on loan from the collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Horticultural displays will offer a view of the French Riviera environment that inspired the artist. The Tropical Conservatory will feature the flora of St. Paul de Vence, the picturesque village where Chagall spent the latter part of his life. Plant life there features bromeliads, bougainvillea, orchids, and citrus trees. Outdoors in the lush Bayfront gardens, visitors will find eloquent quotes that illustrate Chagall’s deep reverence for nature. Afternoon at leisure. Suggested activities: Go to the beach! Shop in the boutiques. Evening: Dinner before Sarasota Ballet all-Ashton performance: Scenes de Ballet, Two Pigeons. Meet Sarasota Ballet Artistic Director Iain Webb.

Saturday 11 March

Day at leisure. Suggested activities: Take a boat cruise on Sarasota Bay and see dolphins and manatees. Optional extra performances (afternoon and/or evening) Sarasota Ballet all Ashton performance: Scenes de Ballet, Two Pigeons.

Sunday 12 March

Morning: Check out of hotel. Transfer by luxury coach to Fort Lauderdale. Brunch. Afternoon: Miami City Ballet' performance: Walpurgisnacht Ballet (Balanchine), The Fairy's Kiss (Ratmansky), Polyphonia (Wheeldon). 4 pm (approx): Transfer to Fort Lauderdale Airport.

If you love seeing beautiful places and things, and bingeing on ballet, please check out my other outstanding ballet trips by clicking here. Booking for the following trips is now open.

Bordeaux and Toulouse, July 2017 only 6 spots left (more info here: )

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tours en l'air September newsletter

Dear Balletomane,

In this newsletter:

PRICE REDUCED on Paris-Holland trip

July 2017 Toulouse-Bordeaux

Bolshoi Ballet in the Cinema


PRICE REDUCED on Paris-Holland trip
I have modified the program for the May Paris-Holland trip to take us toThe Hague instead of Amsterdam, with a very slight change of dates but almost all of the original program included. This has resulted in quite a dramatic price reduction, especially if you are travelling on your own. You can still visit Amsterdam as it is less than an hour by train from The Hague and trains run every 10-15 minutes. Our hotel is only 5 minutes from the train station. Also, airfares are amazingly low at the moment! A Toronto-Paris/Amsterdam-Toronto is currently selling at less than $700 Canadian!! Please have a look at the new brochure here:

July 2017 Toulouse-Bordeaux
I am thrilled to announce that the "History" element of my Toulouse-Bordeaux "Food-Wine-History-Gardens-ballet" trip will be further enriched as we will be joined for the entire trip by eminent French historian Prof. Martha Hanna of the history department of the University of Colorado.
Dr. Hanna is the author of the award-winning book Your Death Would be Mine which recounts the impact of the First World War on a peasant couple in the Dordogne, so she is very familiar with the region we will be visiting and will be happy to share her knowledge with us. Another of her specialties is the French Revolution, in which Bordeaux played a significant role.
I still have a few spots left! Info here:

View ballets online from The Australian Ballet

For the first time ever, you can stream full performances of The Australian Ballet for only AUS$8. First up: Wayne McGregor's Dyad 1929 and La Sylphide. More info here:

World Ballet Day Tuesday, October 4

20 hours non-stop exclusive backstage footage from 5 of the world’s leading ballet companies to be streamed on facebook live for the first time. More info here:

FREE! Visit the National Ballet of Canada and watch company class September 30th

Free ballet classes at National Ballet School October 2

Bolshoi Ballet in the Cinema
The season opens with Yuri Grigorovich's The Golden Age on October 16 (1255 in Canada at select Cineplex Theatres).
In a seaside town where business and the Mafia are flourishing, the Golden Age cabaret is the favourite nightly haunt of dancers, bandits and young revellers. The young fisherman Boris falls in love with Rita, a beautiful dancer, but she is also the friend of a local gangster… A satire on Europe during the Roaring ’20s, The Golden Age makes for an original, colourful and dazzling show with its jazzy score and music-hall atmosphere. This ballet – which can only be seen at the Bolshoi – has everything: mad rhythms, vigorous chase scenes and decadent cabaret numbers. With this passionate love story featuring beautiful duets between Boris and Rita, the Bolshoi dancers plunge magnificently into every stylised step and gesture.

Royal Ballet cinemacasts in Canada and the US
Unfortunately still no word on whether any cinema chain will be picking up the Royal Ballet cinemacasts in Canada and the US.

A stunning pas de deux from David Dawson's Tristan and Isolde performed by Dresden SemperOper Ballett's Courtney Richardson and Fabien Voranger. I wish The National Ballet of Canada would acquire something by David Dawson, but in the meantime I guess we'll just have to travel to Dresden or Het Nationale Ballet - Dutch National Ballet to see his fabulous choreography. 

The fabulous Dutch ballerina Igone de Jongh

The “Three Vans” great Dutch choreographers. You can see ballets by them on my Paris Holland trip!

A fun take on the cygnets

Great season trailer from Dresden. You can see this great company on my May trip to Prague and Vienna.

for more fabulous
ballet-themed escorted vacations,
ballet appreciation courses, and more
You are receiving this email because you subscribed to Tours en l'air. You can unsubscribe from this mailing list by replying to this email with the heading UNSUBSCRIBE.

Katherine Barber
Tours en l'air Ballet Holidays
201 Hanson St, Toronto, ON Canada M4C 1A7 416.693.4496
Tours en l'air Ballet Holidays are offered in partnership with CWT Victor Travel, TICO 1892647

Monday, September 19, 2016

Paris and Holland trip now booking - LOWER PRICE

For a user-friendly PDF of this brochure, please click here: 
CWT Victor Travel
101 - 8800 Dufferin Street, Concord, ON L4K 0C5

TICO Ontario registration #1892647


Tours en l'air

Ballet Holidays

escorted by

Canada's Word Lady,

Katherine Barber

Paris and The Hague

in Tulip Time

3 – 12 May 2017

10 days, 9 nights

3 ballet performances + 1 optional

The world's first ballet company,

Paris Opera Ballet, plus Dutch National Ballet in an all-Balanchine program, and its Junior Company performing works by the three major Dutch choreographers,

Hans van Manen, Rudi van Dantzig, and Toer van Schayk

Wednesday May 3 PARIS

Arrive Paris. Check in to 4-star Les Jardins du Marais hotel near Place de la Bastille. Day at leisure.

Thursday May 4 PARIS

Day at leisure. Evening: 3-course welcome dinner overlooking the Eiffel Tower.

Friday May 5 PARIS

Monet's house, Giverny
Day trip by private coach to Claude Monet's house and garden at Giverny. Private guided tour of the Musée des Impressionismes. 3-course lunch. Return to Paris.

Saturday May 6 PARIS

Day at leisure. Evening: 2-course dinner before Paris Opera Ballet performance: In G (Robbins), La Valse (Balanchine), Bolero (Cherkaoui) at the historic Palais Garnier opera house.

Sunday May 7 PARIS

Day at leisure. Afternoon: Private guided tour of Paris Opera Garnier. Evening: Optional Paris Opera Ballet performance: Trio, Workwithinwork (both Forsythe), Walkaround Time (Cunningham).


830am: Check out of hotel. Transfer by luxury washroom-equipped private coach to The Hague. Noon: Arrive Ghent, Belgium.12-minute cruise by private boat along the canal to central Ghent. Lunch, followed by private guided 90-minute walking tour of historic Ghent, with a visit to St. Bavo's Cathedral and van Eyck's masterpiece “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb”. Free time to stock up on Belgian chocolate, have a waffle at an outdoor cafe, or stroll along the canals. 4:30pm: Depart Ghent for The Hague. 8 pm: Arrive The Hague. Check in to the centrally located 4-star Mercure Den Haag Central.


Tuesday May 9 THE HAGUE

Morning at leisure. Midday: Depart by private coach for the spectacular Keukenhof Garden

Visit Keukenhof (about 90 minutes). Afternooon: depart Keukenhof for the university town of Leiden. Walking tour and canal boat tour of Leiden. Dinner before evening performance by Dutch National Ballet Junior Company: works by the three major Dutch choreographers, Hans van Manen, Rudi van Dantzig, and Toer van Schayk, plus 3 other works. Depart theatre by private coach and return to hotel (25 minutes)  

Wednesday May 10 THE HAGUE

Day at leisure. Suggested activity: hop on a local train to Delft or Gouda, only 30 minutes away, or to Amsterdam, 50 minutes away.

Thursday May 11 THE HAGUE

Morning: guided private tour of the Mauritshuis museum collection of paintings by Rembrandt, Hals, Rubens and Vermeer, including “The Girl with the Pearl Earring” and special exhibition “Slow Food: Still Lives of the Golden Age”. Afternoon at leisure. Evening: 3-course farewell dinner followed by performance of Dutch National Ballet: Theme and Variations, Apollo, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Tarantella (all Balanchine).

Friday May 12 THE HAGUE

Check out of hotel and depart The Hague.


Total Package CA$4599 per person

based on double occupancy

Single supplement: CA$1169

TO BOOK: 416.736.6010 x. 234

toll-free 1-866-699-0199

All prices valid till 29 September 2016

Package includes:

9 nights double-share accommodation

Daily breakfast

Premium seats for 3 ballets

Transfer by private luxury coach from Paris to The Hague, with sightseeing stop in Ghent

Private guided walking tour of Ghent and canal boat cruise

Day excursion by private luxury coach to Giverny

Admission to Monet's house and garden

Admission and private guided tour of the Musée des Impressionismes in Giverny

Day excursion by private luxury coach to Keukenhof and Leiden

Admission to Keukenhof

Walking tour and canal boat cruise in Leiden

Private guided tour of Mauritshuismuseum

Private guided tour of Garnier opera house

Four 3-course meals, one 2-course meal

Beverages with group meals (mineral water, tea or coffee, and 1 glass wine or beer or soft drink)

Tips for group meals, bus excursions, and guides

Free wifi in hotels

Ballet enrichment program: ballet notes and informal pre-performance talks and post-performance reviews with tour leader

For more information:


phone: 416.693.4496



for more fabulous escorted vacations

for ballet lovers and

information on

Katherine's highly popular

ballet appreciation courses


Not included:


Meals and transfers not specifically mentioned in this itinerary

Items of a personal nature, e.g. phone calls

Cancellation insurance

and hospital/medical insurance

All items and activities listed as optional in this brochure

You may use RBC reward points or RBC certificates towards the purchase of any or all components of these arrangements

This program must be sold as a package. Extra hotel nights can be added on (subject to availability), but we cannot offer individual components separately or break the package into shorter installments. As a significant benefit of the Tours en l'air package is sharing the complete experience with those with common interests, we do not offer an “accommodation only” option.

Travellers wishing to share will be

put in touch with one another.

Mobility issues should be discussed with the travel agent before registering

LAND-ONLY PACKAGE allows you the flexibility to arrange travel from your

most convenient departure point,

on the dates and times you prefer,

to use your frequent flyer points,

or to extend your stay if you wish.

Victor Travel's experienced agents

will be happy to assist you with

flight arrangements.

Terms and Conditions:

Non-refundable deposit of CA$2000 per person is required at time of registration, no later than

26 September 2016, 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 9 February 2017, and total package price is fully


Added hotel nights are fully non-refundable

All cancellations must be received in writing at Carlson Wagonlit Victor Travel to the attention of Lucy Nati (

Manulife out-of-province health insurance (for Ontario residents holding an OHIP card) and trip cancellation insurance are available through Victor Travel and STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. Price will vary according to birthdate. Premium must accompany the deposit and is non-refundable.

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


Paris Opera Ballet performing at the Palais Garnier

Dutch National Ballet performing works by “the three Vans”