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, 101 - 8800 Dufferin Street, Concord, ON L4K 0C5, 416-736-6010, TICO # 1892647

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

British Friends of Ballet Nacional de Cuba

This organization was formed three years ago with the worthy aim of financially supporting the Cuban dancers, who are perennially short of money. They have just launched an appeal to help fund a new program featuring excerpts from the big classics, Magia de la Danza. Please contact the Chairman of BFBNC, Norman Vaughton, at ndv@talktalk.net for more information.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Great quote from George Balanchine

"I'm a little leery of the word 'inspiration'. I like the word 'deadline' better."

I found this in Birmingham Royal Ballet's Members' Newsletter, Entrechat. Become a member of BRB's Friends (I recommend it highly) at www.brb.org.uk

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cuban National Ballet

A group of 21 of us had a fabulous time at "Stars of Cuban National Ballet" in Mississauga last night. The program included the amazing Viengsay Valdes in a Don Quixote pas de deux unlike anything I have ever seen. She has absolutely astounding balances, and fouettes that stay nailed to the same spot on the stage. You can see her on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ub3yUMwbKo8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Crr7H-Wqd70
The Cuban men are renowned for the ability to jump, and this was much in evidence, especially in a fun piece for five men, Accents, choreographed by Eduardo Blanco. Their jumps are remarkably high, but with very soft, quiet landings. One of the men wowed the audience with his ability to do fast pirouettes, slowing down with incredible control while lowering his pointed foot to "cou de pied" on the ankle.
The only downside was that, as I have noticed before, Cuban National Ballet's costumes tend to be quite ugly, with very old-fashioned designs often overloaded with ruffles on the upper body.
The legendary Alicia Alonso was in attendance and received a standing ovation from the audience.