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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Friday, December 30, 2011

@BRB Cinderella on TV

David Bintley's fabulous new Cinderella with Birmingham Royal Ballet will be broadcast on British Columbia's Knowledge Network Wednesday, January 11, 9-11 pm Pacific Standard Time (ie starting at 6 pm Eastern Time). Repeats Thursday January 12 at 1 am. Outside BC, if you have Bell satellite TV, this is available on channel 268. Elisha Willis and Iain Mackay star, and the costumes by John Macfarlane are magnificent. Well worth watching!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Ballet Trivia Quiz Answer

The classic so-called “Giselle arms” crossed in front of the chest with the palms facing up, were in fact first used in La Sylphide by the most famous ballerina of the Romantic era, Marie Taglioni, who adopted this pose because

b) crossing her arms in front of her body disguised the fact that they were disproportionately long

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Weekly Ballet Trivia Quiz

The classic so-called “Giselle arms” crossed in front of the chest with the palms facing up, were in fact first used in La Sylphide by the most famous ballerina of the Romantic era, Marie Taglioni, who adopted this pose because
a) while doing a pirouette with her arms in the classical position in front of her waist at one performance, she quickly had to cross them to avoid whacking her partner, who she realized was standing too close to her, and a reviewer praised it as beautiful choreography
b) crossing her arms in front of her body disguised the fact that they were disproportionately long
c) she felt it best conveyed the ethereal quality of a disembodied spirit
d) it was a secret signal to one of the wealthy patrons of the Paris Opera that she would meet him in her dressing room afterwards

Answer will be posted tomorrow.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Robert Tewsley book now available!

For all fans of Robert Tewsley, who danced with The National Ballet of Canada, Stuttgart Ballet, Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet, and guested with Birmingham Royal Ballet, Rome Opera Ballet, Vienna State Ballet, Bavarian State Ballet, Ballet of La Scala and many others: a BOOK about him has come out today (bilingual English/ German), including over 200 pictures, many from his time in Canada! For immediate delivery you can order on www.verlag-koenigshausen-neumann.de/advanced_search_result.php?XTCsid=a73a7437fdd2cfad5a17f565efb3b0a8&keywords=tewsley&x=0&y=0, available very soon on amazon.

Ballet for the visually impaired @BRB - it can be done!

Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Birmingham Hippodrome recently joined forces on a fantastic initiative to make ballet accessible for the visually impaired. Read more about it by clicking here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Duato's new Beauty live via internet

Nacho Duato's new Sleeping Beauty for the Mikhailovsky Ballet will be live-streamed on the internet, December 20th at 7 pm Russian time (1 pm Eastern standard time).
Cast:
Princess Aurora — Svetlana Zakharova
Prince Desire — Leonid Sarafanov
Lilac Fairy — Ekaterina Borchenko
Fairy Carabosse — Rishat Yulbarisov

http://www.mikhailovsky.ru/en/afisha/shows.html?date=2011-12-20&sh=926

NYCB performs Balanchine's Nutcracker on TV

New York City Ballet performing Balanchine's Nutcracker is on "Live from Lincoln Center" on PBS. Check www.pbs.org for local listings, but if you're in the Toronto area, here are the listings for our PBS stations:
Rogers Cable: WNED Buffalo Thursday December 15 @1130 pm (because so many little kids are awake wanting to watch a kiddies' ballet at that time of day!) and Sunday December 18 at 3 pm
Bell Satellite: WGBH Boston Thursday December 15th at 9 pm
                        KCTS Seattle Tuesday December 20th at 8 pm PST (ie 11 pm EST)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Great Nutcracker backstage video from Nat. Ballet of Canada

Here are some great backstage shots, featuring Tina Pereira as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Etienne Lavigne as Peter/The Prince

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ballet Trivia Quiz Answer

What event during a performance of Giselle was an important turning point in the career of Vaslav Nijinsky?

b) He refused to wear shorts over his tights, and the Maryinsky fired him.

Neumeier's Mermaid on TV

John Neumeier's The Little Mermaid (definitely not the Disney version!) will be broadcast this Friday, December 16 on PBS. Check www.pbs.org for details.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Weekly Ballet Trivia Quiz

What event during a performance of Giselle was an important turning point in the career of Vaslav Nijinsky?
a) He lost his mind during the mad scene and spent the rest of his life in an asylum.
b) He refused to wear shorts over his tights, and the Maryinsky fired him.
c) He tripped over his sword and cut his calf muscle, thereafter not being able to attain the elevation for which he was famous.
d) It was the first time Sergei Diaghilev saw him dance.

Answer will be posted tomorrow.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Heather Ogden and pointe shoes

Nice clip here, with footage of Guillaume Côté and Heather Ogden in the National Ballet of Canada's Nutcracker.

Dancebelt stuffing? Fun interview with Guillaume Côté

Check out this fun interview with Guillaume!
Don't forget, you can see him and the other Kings of the Dance, as well as New York City Ballet in some great Balanchine and Robbins, plus meet an NYCB dancer and more, on our trip to New York in February. Signup deadline is looming!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Funny and Clever intro to Modern Dance

Ever went to a modern or contemporary dance concert and felt completely lost? Gesel Mason (dancer) and Cheles Rhynes (narrator) offer this hilarious, but true, primer called "How to Watch a Modern Dance Concert or What in the Hell are They Doing on Stage?"

Monday, December 5, 2011

Celia Franca biography

“The Pursuit of Perfection: A Life of Celia Franca” written by Carol Bishop-Gwyn, launches Saturday December 10! This penetrating biography of Celia Franca, founder of The National Ballet of Canada, is the perfect book for anyone interested in dance, the arts or Canadian institutions. Meet the author at a book signing Saturday 2:30 to 3:30 pm at TheatreBooks (11 St Thomas St).

Ballet Trivia Quiz Answer

Most modern productions of Giselle follow the original in having a German Renaissance setting, which was chosen because

d) The Opera wanted to save money by reusing sets and costumes from other ballets

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Weekly Ballet Trivia Quiz

Most modern productions of Giselle follow the original in having a German Renaissance setting, which was chosen because
a) the librettist Théophile Gautier felt it was the most romantic possible setting
b) other ballets set in the German Renaissance had been big moneymakers for the Opera
c) a wealthy patron of the Opera was a huge fan of the German Renaissance
d) The Opera wanted to save money by reusing sets and costumes from other ballets

Inspiring! Ballet for the blind, deaf, and mute

I just found this amazing photo gallery about the Association of Ballet and Arts for the Blind, in Sao Paulo. The association was founded by ballerina and physiotherapist Fernanda Bianchini in 1995, when she decided to teach classical ballet to the blind for free.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Great 3e etage trailer - Paris Opera Ballet dancers

I'm really enjoying this trailer from the 3e étage group (dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet). You can read my review of their performance at last year's Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur by clicking here.

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

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

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David Hallberg and Stephen Colbert

Don't miss David Hallberg on The Colbert Report next Wed, Dec 7, 11:30pm EST on Comedy Central.If you want to see David performing live, check out our trip to New York in February to see him and the other Kings of the Dance, PLUS New York City Ballet!

See the interview here (if you are in Canada):

and the dancing here:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kings of the Dance, NYCB in New York Feb. 24-27 Sign up by Dec. 19

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

Tours en l'air
Ballet Holidays

escorted by
Canada's Word Lady, Katherine Barber


New York
24 – 27 February 2012
4 days, 3 nights
2 ballet performances (+1 optional)

Guillaume Côté and the Kings of the Dance
New York City Ballet
See 5 of the hottest male ballet stars in the world, 
PLUS the world-famous New York City Ballet performing its signature repertoire,
meet an NYCB dancer and visit the NYCB wardrobe 

New York City Ballet Donizetti Variations. Photo © Paul Kolnik
  
  Guillaume Côté and David Hallberg, photo © Nikolai Krusser
the mind-blowing Ivan Vasiliev 
  
Friday 24 February
Arrive New York, check in to the 4-star Park Central Hotel, steps from the City Center theatre. Evening: 3-course welcome dinner. Performance: Kings of the Dance: Opus 3 showcases the power, athleticism and artistry of five of today’s most celebrated male ballet stars:
Guillaume Côté (National Ballet of Canada)
David Hallberg (American Ballet Theatre, and now the first American to join the Bolshoi Ballet)
Ivan Vasiliev (Mikhailovsky Ballet, formerly Bolshoi Ballet)
Denis Matvienko (Mariinsky Ballet)
Marcelo Gomes (American Ballet Theatre)


Program (subject to change, casting subject to change):
ACT ONE

JAZZY FIVE (Choreography by Mauro Bigonzetti)
Performed by David Hallberg, Marcelo Gomes, Guillaume Côté, Ivan Vasiliev, Denis Matvienko

ACT TWO

KABURIAS (Choreography and Costume by Nacho Duato)
Performed by David Hallberg

TUE (Choreography by Marco Goecke)
Performed by Guillaume Côté

GUILTY (Choreography by Edward Clug)
Performed by Denis Matvienko

LABYRINTH OF SOLITUDE (Choreography by Patrick De Bana)
 Performed by Ivan Vasiliev

STILL OF KING (Choreography by Jorma Elo)
Performed by Marcelo Gomes

WHO I THOUGHT I WAS (Music by Guillaume Côté; Choreography by Marcelo Gomes)
Performed by Leonid Sarafanov

KO’d (Music by Guillaume Côté; Choreography by Marcelo Gomes)
Performed by David Hallberg, Guillaume Côté, Denis Matvienko, Ivan Vasiliev, Leonid Sarafanov
  

Saturday 25 February
Day at leisure.
Optional afternoon performance of
New York City Ballet:  
Allegro Brillante: a bravura piece set to Tchaikovsky's 3rd Piano Concerto about which Balanchine said: "It contains everything I know about the classical ballet in 13 minutes."
Zakouski (Martins)  

Fancy Free (Robbins)
Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3
(Balanchine, includes Theme and Variations)
Evening: 3-course dinner, then
meet a New York City Ballet dancer who will give us a tour of the David H Koch theatre, followed by a “First Position” discussion before the New York City Ballet performance of:
Donizetti Variations:
Balanchine's cheerful and sunny tribute to Bournonville
Agon: one of the major ballets of the 20th century, Balanchine's homage to modernism Fancy Free: the entertaining story of three World War II sailors on shore leave that launched Jerome Robbins' career as a choreographer and formed the basis for the musical On The Town.
Sunday 26 February
Day at leisure
Monday 27 February
Visit to New York City Ballet costume shop.
Check out of hotel and depart New York.

Total Package CA$1199 per person based on double occupancy
Single supplement: CA$250
All prices valid till 19 December 2011
REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT DUE DATE: 19 DECEMBER 2011


LAND-ONLY PACKAGE allows you the flexibility of arranging
travel from your most convenient departure point,
on the dates and times you prefer. Extend your stay if you wish.
CWT Victor Travel's experienced agents will be happy to help you.


Package price includes:
Excellent orchestra seats for 2 ballet performances
Pre-performance talk and tour of the David H Koch Theater by an NYCB dancer
First Position” pre-performance talk
3 nights double-share accommodation (one king or two queen beds) in the Park Central Hotel
3-course welcome dinner with wine
3-course pre-performance dinner
Visit to New York City Ballet costume shop
Hotel porterage
Ballet enrichment notes and informal post-performance reviews with tour leader
All taxes, service fees, and surcharges
Not included:
Airfare
Items of a personal nature, e.g. phone calls
Meals and transfers not specifically mentioned in this itinerary
Ticket to optional 2nd NYCB performance
Beverages with meals
Cancellation and hospital/medical insurance

Terms and Conditions:
Non-refundable payment in full of CA$1199 per person is required at time of registration, no later than 19 December 2011.** Single supplement, optional second NYCB performance ticket, and optional cancellation and hospital/medical insurance also payable at this time.
All cancellations must be received in writing at CWT Victor Travel to the attention of Lucy Nati (lucy@cwtvictortravel.ca).
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 payment for the package and is non-refundable.


For more information, please contact me: toursenlair@gmail.com or 416.693.4496


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

For preliminary information on our April trip to Stuttgart and Munich, 
please click here.

Some videos to whet your appetite: 
Kings of the Dance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65vH34pKLU8

Agon: (snippets here, though the soundtrack of the video is not the music for the ballet):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UO9Cq-n_zp0
 
Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3 (the expanded version of Theme and Variations, seen here performed by Dresden SemperOper Ballet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGDC5ZA0vRI
 

BALLET MAKES LIFE BETTER - GET MORE BALLET OUT OF LIFE

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Stuttgart and Munich in the Spring

I'm very excited about a trip I'm currently planning to Stuttgart and Munich at the end of April.  Stay tuned for details, but it's shaping up like this:
Friday April 20th: Arrive Stuttgart
Saturday April 21st: Morning: Walking tour of Stuttgart, including a visit to the Saturday morning flower market. Afternoon at leisure to visit Stuttgart's art galleries or the Mercedes-Benz Museum, have a soak at one of Stuttgart's mineral baths, indulge in some coffee and cake, or stroll through the beautiful Schlossgarten.
Evening: Stuttgart Ballet performance: The Lady and the Fool (Cranko), Gaité Parisienne (Béjart)
Sunday April 22nd: Visit to the Versailles of Baden-Wurttemberg, the castle of Ludwigsburg
Monday April 23rd: Evening: Stuttgart Ballet performance: 3 new works by Mauro Bigonzetti, Edward Clug, Marco Goecke
Tuesday April 24th: Day excursion to the picturesque university town of Tubingen, followed by a visit to Schloss Solitude and John Cranko's grave
Wednesday April 25th: Transfer by luxury coach to Munich (approx. 2 hrs), stopping halfway to visit the old town of Augsburg. Watch Ballet Augsburg company class. Walking tour of Augsburg. Lunch with Robert Conn, Artistic Director of Ballet Augsburg.
Evening: Birmingham Royal Ballet performance: The Dream, Checkmate, Take Five
Thursday April 26th: Morning: Guided tour of the Bavarian State Ballet's home, the Nationaltheater; Walking tour of Old Munich. 
Evening: Bavarian State Ballet performance: Goldberg Variations (Robbins), Gods and Dogs (Kylian)
Friday April 27th: Day excursion to the Bavarian Alps, visit to one of King Ludwig's castles, Linderhof, the baroque monastery of Ettal, and the town of Oberammergau.
Evening: Bavarian State Ballet performance:Illusions -- Like Swan Lake (Neumeier's Ludwig II -themed version of Swan Lake)

(translation of German parts to come)
Saturday April 28th: Visit to the Nymphenburg Palace, Munich
Evening: Bavarian State Ballet performance: Scènes de ballet, Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan, Voices of Spring (all Ashton), Song of the Earth (MacMillan)
Here is Voices of Spring, performed by the Royal Ballet's Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg


and Scenes de Ballet, performed by Miyako Yoshida:


Sunday April 29th Evening: Bavarian State Ballet performance: Daphnis and Chloe (Kohler), Whichever way he looks (Mannes)

(translation of German parts to come)

For some cool pics of Bavarian State Ballet ballerinas in locations around Munich, visit the Ballerina Supremacy website.

Ballet is not for the faint of heart!

"Robert Tewsley puts Tetley’s Rite of Spring at the top of his endurance list. “It’s 30 minutes of relentless dancing where you have to push yourself to the limits of your strength to achieve what the ballet is trying to say: dancing to death and then rebirth,” says Robert, who even broke his finger and knuckle in one performance."
Read more about the physical demands of dancing in this great article by Canadian Stuttgart Ballet Principal Evan McKie: 
If you're interested in seeing Evan dance (which you should be!) why not come along on our Stuttgart Munich trip in April? Preliminary info here.




"Never be afraid to push harder than you think you can." Robert Tewsley living up to his word in Tetley's Rite of Spring. To order the book, visit amazon.de: http://www.amazon.de/Robert-Tewsley-Dancing-borders-Grenzen/dp/3826046064/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1319129396&sr=1-1

Steven McRae guests in National Ballet of Canada Nutcracker

The Royal Ballet's Steven McRae will be guesting in the role of Peter on Dec 11 at 5:30 pm and Dec 15 at 7:00 pm.

Complete National Ballet of Canada Nutcracker Principal Casting as follows (to see casting by date, scroll down)
The Sugar Plum Fairy
Heather Ogden
(Dec 10 at 2:00 pm/ Dec 11 at 1:00 pm/ Dec 28, 30 at 5:30 pm)
Sonia Rodriguez
(Dec 10 at 7:00 pm/ Dec 14, 17, 20 at 7:00 pm)
Greta Hodgkinson
(Dec 11 at 5:30 pm/ Dec 15, 16 at 7:00 pm/ Dec 18 at 1:00 pm)
Elena Lobsanova*
(Dec 17 at 2:00 pm/ Dec 22 at 7:00 pm/ Dec 27, 29, Jan 3 at 1:00 pm)
Tina Pereira
(Dec 18, Jan 3 at 5:30 pm/ Dec 21, 23 at 7:00 pm/ Dec 28, 30 at 1:00 pm)
Stacey Shiori Minagawa
(Dec 24, 31 at 1:00 pm/ Dec 29 at 5:30 pm)

Peter/ The Nutcracker
Guillaume Côté
(Dec 10 at 2:00 pm/ Dec 11 at 1:00 pm/ Dec 28, 30 at 5:30 pm)
Piotr Stanczyk
(Dec 10 at 7:00 pm/ Dec 14, 17, 20 at 7:00 pm/Dec 24, 31 at 1:00 pm/Dec 29 at
5:30 pm)
Steven McRae+
(Dec 11 at 5:30 pm/ Dec 15 at 7:00 pm)
Aleksandar Antonijevic
(Dec 16 at 7:00 pm/ Dec 18 at 1:00 pm)
McGee Maddox*
(Dec 17 at 2:00 pm/ Dec 22 at 7:00 pm/ Dec 27, 29, Jan 3 at 1:00 pm)
Etienne Lavigne
(Dec 18, Jan 3 at 5:30 pm/ Dec 21, 23 at 7:00 pm/ Dec 28, 30 at 1:00 pm)

Snow Queen and her Icicles
Elena Lobsanova, Nan Wang, Brett van Sickle
(Dec 10 at 2:00 pm/ Dec 10 at 7:00 pm)
Stephanie Hutchison, Etienne Lavigne, Patrick Lavoie
(Dec 11 at 1:00 pm/ Dec 16 at 7:00 pm)
Elena Lobsanova, McGee Maddox, Aarik Wells
(Dec 11 at 5:30 pm/ Dec 15 at 7:00 pm)
Stacey Shiori Minagawa, Etienne Lavigne, Patrick Lavoie
(Dec 14, 17 at 7:00 pm/ Dec 27 at 1:00 pm)
Jenna Savella, Nan Wang, Brett van Sickle
(Dec 17 at 2:00 pm/ Dec 22 at 7:00 pm/ Dec 28, 30 at 5:30 pm/ Dec 29, Jan 3 at
1:00 pm)
Alexandra MacDonald*, Brendan Saye*, Ryan Booth*
(Dec 18, 24, 28, 30, 31 at 1:00 pm/ Dec 20 at 7:00 pm/ Jan 3 at 5:30 pm)
Stephanie Hutchison, Nan Wang, Brett van Sickle
(Dec 18, 29 at 5:30 pm/ Dec 21, 23 at 7:00 pm)

Baba, Marie and Misha’s Nurse
Alejandra Perez-Gomez
(Dec 10, 17 at 2:00 pm, Dec 11 at 5:30 pm/ Dec 15, 20, 22 at 7:00 pm/ Dec 27,
29, 30, Jan 3 at 1:00 pm)
Lorna Geddes
(Dec 11, 18 at 1:00 pm/ Dec 16, 23 at 7:00 pm/ Dec 28, 30 at 5:30 pm)
Lise-Marie Jourdain*
(Dec 10, 14, 17, 21 at 7:00 pm/ Dec 18, 29, Jan 3 at 5:30 pm/ Dec 24, 28, 31 at
1:00 pm)

Uncle Nikolai
Jonathan Renna
(Dec 10 at 2:00 pm/ Dec 11 at 1:00 pm/ Dec 18, 28, 30
at 5:30 pm)
Robert Stephen
(Dec 10, 15, 17, 20 at 7:00 pm/ Dec 11 at 5:30 pm)
Jirí Jelinek*
(Dec 14, 21 at 7:00 pm/ Dec 24, 31 at 1:00 pm/ Dec 29 at 5:30 pm)
Noah Long+
(Dec 17 at 2:00 pm / Dec 22 at 7:00 pm/ Dec 27, 29, Jan 3 at 1:00 pm)
Kevin D. Bowles
(Dec 16, 23 at 7:00 pm/ Dec 18, 28, 30 at 1:00 pm)
* Debut.
+ Guest Artist

 Casting by date: Sugar Plum/Peter/Snow Queen/Icicles/Baba/Nikolai

December 10, 2 pm: Ogden/Côté/Lobsanova/Wang/van Sickle/Perez-Gomez/Renna

December 10, 7 pm: Rodriguez/Stanczyk/Lobsanova/Wang/van Sickle/Jourdain/Stephen

December 11, 1 pm: Ogden/Côté/Hutchison/Lavigne/Lavoie/Geddes/Renna


December 11, 530 pm: Hodgkinson/McRae/Lobsanova/Maddox/Wells/Perez-Gomez/Stephen

December 14, 7 pm: Rodriguez/Stanczyk/Minagawa/Lavigne/Lavoie /Jourdain/Jelinek

December 15, 7 pm: Hodgkinson/McRae /Lobsanova/Maddox/Wells/Perez-Gomez/Stephen

December 16, 7 pm: Hodgkinson/Antonijevic /Hutchison/Lavigne/Lavoie/Geddes/Bowles

December 17, 2 pm: Lobsanova/Maddox/Savella/Wang/van Sickle/Perez-Gomez/Long


December 17, 7 pm: Rodriguez/Stanczyk/Minagawa/Lavigne/Lavoie/Jourdain/Stephen

December 18, 1 pm: Hodgkinson /Antonijevic/MacDonald/Saye/Booth/Geddes/Bowles

December 18, 530 pm: Pereira/Lavigne/Hutchison//Wang/van Sickle/Jourdain/Renna


 December 20, 7 pm: Rodriguez/Stanczyk/MacDonald /Saye/Booth /Perez-Gomez/Stephen

December 21, 7 pm: Pereira/Lavigne/Hutchison/Wang/van Sickle/Jourdain/Jelinek

December 22, 7 pm: Lobsanova/Maddox/Savella/Wang/van Sickle/Perez-Gomez/Long

December 23, 7 pm: Pereira /Lavigne/Hutchison/Wang/van Sickle/Geddes/Bowles

December  24, 1 pm: Minagawa/Stanczyk/MacDonald/Saye/Booth /Jourdain/Jelinek

December 27, 1 pm: Lobsanova /Maddox/Minagawa/Lavigne/Lavoie/Perez-Gomez/Long

December  28, 1 pm: Pereira/Lavigne/MacDonald /Saye/Booth /Jourdain/Bowles


December 28, 530 pm: Ogden/Côté/Savella/Wang/van Sickle/Geddes/Renna

December 29, 1 pm: Lobsanova  /Maddox/Savella/Wang/van Sickle/Perez-Gomez/Long

December  29, 530 pm: Minagawa/Stanczyk/Hutchison/Perez-Gomez/Jelinek

December  30, 1 pm: Pereira/Lavigne/MacDonald /Saye/Booth /Perez-Gomez/Bowles

December 30, 530 pm: Ogden/Côté/Savella /Wang/van Sickle/Geddes/Renna

December  31, 1 pm: Minagawa/Stanczyk/MacDonald /Saye/Booth /Jourdain/Jelinek

January 3, 1 pm: Lobsanova /Maddox/Savella/Wang/van Sickle/Perez-Gomez/Long


January 3, 530 pm: Pereira/Lavigne/MacDonald /Saye/Booth /Jourdain/Bowles

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ballet Trivia Quiz Answer

The original production featured which elements:
a) a live horse
b) Wilis flying on wires
c) Albrecht reunited with Bathilde at the end
d) all of the above

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Weekly Ballet Trivia Quiz

The original production of Giselle featured which elements:
a) a live horse
b) Wilis flying on wires
c) Albrecht reunited with Bathilde at the end
d) all of the above

Answer will be posted tomorrow.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ballet Trivia Quiz Answer

Adolphe Adam, the composer of Giselle, also wrote which famous Christmas carol:

c) O Holy Night
(called "Minuit, Chrétiens" in French)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Weekly Ballet Trivia Quiz

Adolphe Adam, the composer of Giselle, also wrote which famous Christmas carol:
a) Joy to the World
b) Hark, the Herald Angels Sing
c) O Holy Night
d) Jingle Bells

Answer will be posted tomorrow.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Behind the scenes at Ratmansky's Romeo

Click here for great rehearsal footage of the National Ballet of Canada's new production, including Guillaume Cote, Jiri Jelinek, Elena Lobsanova. 
http://www.cbc.ca/live/video-behind-the-scenes-at-the-national-ballets-romeo-and-juliet.html

and some live performance footage:


Scenes from The National Ballet's Romeo And Juliet from Douglas Brown on Vimeo.

Review here.

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

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

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Ballet Trivia Quiz Answer

Giselle's librettist Théophile Gautier was in love with the first Giselle, Carlotta Grisi, but ended up marrying her

b) sister

Osipova Vasiliev quit Bolshoi for Mikhailovsky

A report in today's TASS reads:
"Virtuoso young dancers have decided to pursue a career in the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, reported today Bolshoi spokesman Katerina Novikova. Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev resigned last Sunday - she said."
More details here
 If you're a fan of Ivan Vasiliev, why not join us on our trip to New York to see him and the other "Kings of the Dance", enjoy a New York City Ballet performance or two, and other ballet-themed events. Click here for more info. 

Edward Villella pushed out at Miami City Ballet

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/14/arts/dance/edward-villella-and-the-miami-city-ballet-board.html?_r=1

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekly Ballet Trivia Quiz

Giselle's librettist Théophile Gautier was in love with the first Giselle, Carlotta Grisi, but ended up marrying her
a) niece
b) sister
c) daughter
d) understudy

Answer will be posted tomorrow.

Monday, November 7, 2011

$1 tix for Love Lies Bleeding

For special offer for Alberta Ballet in Toronto November 9th or 10th, click here:
http://www.mirvish.com/enews/2011/llb/index.html

Ballet Trivia Quiz answer

The word “Wili” is derived from which English word or expression:
a) will o' the wisp
b) willy-nilly
c) give someone the willies
d) none of the above

The word is ultimately from a Croatian word vila (nymph, fairy, spirit), which came into English via German and French.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Weekly Ballet Trivia Quiz

The word “Wili” is derived from which English word or expression:
a) will o' the wisp
b) willy-nilly
c) give someone the willies
d) none of the above

Answer will be posted tomorrow.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Conversation with Guillaume Cote

http://balletnews.co.uk/cupcakes-conversation-with-guillaume-cote-principal-national-ballet-of-canada/
If you want to see Guillaume and the other "Kings of the Dance" strut their stuff, don't miss our New York trip in February (for details click here)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

National Ballet of Canada Romeo & Juliet casting

Romeo
Guillaume Côté (Nov. 16, 19, 23 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 26 at 2:00 pm)
McGee Maddox (Nov. 17, 24 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 20 at 2:00 pm)
Aleksandar Antonijevic (Nov. 18, 26 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 24 at 2:00 pm)
Naoya Ebe (Nov.19 at 2:00 pm/ Nov. 22, 25 at 7:30 pm)
TBA (Nov. 27 at 2:00 pm)
Juliet
Elena Lobsanova (Nov. 16, 19, 23 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 26 at 2:00 pm)
Heather Ogden (Nov. 17, 24 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 20 at 2:00 pm)
Greta Hodgkinson (Nov. 18, 26 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 24 at 2:00 pm)
Sonia Rodriguez (Nov.19 at 2:00 pm/ Nov. 22, 25 at 7:30 pm)
TBA (Nov. 27 at 2:00 pm)
Mercutio 
 Piotr Stanczyk (Nov. 16, 18, 19, 23, 26 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 24, 26 at 2:00 pm)
Jonathan Renna (Nov. 17, 24 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 20 at 2:00 pm)
Keiichi Hirano (Nov. 19 at 2:00 pm/ Nov. 22, 25 at 7:30 pm)
Benvolio
Robert Stephen (Nov. 16, 18, 19, 23, 26 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 24, 26 at 2:00 pm)
Christopher Stalzer (Nov. 17, 24 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 20 at 2:00 pm)
Dylan Tedaldi (Nov. 19 at 2:00 pm/ Nov. 22, 25 at 7:30 pm)
Tybalt 
 Jiří Jelinek (Nov. 16, 17, 19, 23, 24 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 20, 26 at 2:00 pm)
Etienne Lavigne (Nov. 18, 26 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 24 at 2:00 pm)
Kevin D. Bowles (Nov. 19, at 2:00 pm/ Nov. 22, 25 at 7:30 pm)
Paris Brett van Sickle (Nov. 16, 18, 19, 23, 24, 26 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 24, 26 at 2:00 pm)
Patrick Lavoie (Nov.17, 22, 24, 25 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 19, 20 at 2:00 pm)
Lord Capulet Etienne Lavigne (Nov. 16, 17, 19, 23, 24 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 20, 26 at 2:00 pm)
Kevin D. Bowles (Nov. 18, 26 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 24 at 2:00 pm)
Jonathan Renna (Nov. 19 at 2:00 pm/ Nov. 22, 25 at 7:30 pm)
Lady Capulet Joanna Ivey* (Nov. 16, 17, 19, 23, 24 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 20, 26 at 2:00 pm)
Stephanie Hutchison (Nov. 18, 26 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 24 at 2:00 pm)
Alejandra Perez-Gomez (Nov. 19 at 2:00 pm/ Nov. 22, 25 at 7:30 pm)
Lord Montague Aarik Wells (Nov. 16, 17, 19, 23, 24 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 20, 26 at 2:00 pm)
James Leja (Nov. 18, 22, 25, 26 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 19, 24 at 2:00 pm)
Lady Montague Juri Hiraoka (Nov. 16, 17, 19, 23, 24 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 20, 26 at 2:00 pm)
Lise-Marie Jourdain (Nov. 18, 22, 25, 26 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 19, 24 at 2:00 pm)
Duke of Verona Peter Ottmann (Nov. 16, 18, 19, 22, 23, 25, 26 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 19, 24, 26 at 2:00 pm)
Rex Harrington (Nov. 17, 24 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 20 at 2:00 pm)
Friar Lawrence Tomas Schramek (Nov. 16, 18, 19, 22, 23, 25 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 19, 24, 26 at 2:00 pm)
Peter Ottmann (Nov. 17, 24 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 20 at 2:00 pm)
Nurse Lorna Geddes (Nov. 16, 19, 22, 23, 25 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 19, 26 at 2:00 pm)
Alejandra Perez-Gomez (Nov. 17, 24 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 20 at 2:00 pm)
Rebekah Rimsay (Nov. 18, 26 at 7:30 pm/ Nov. 24 at 2:00 pm)

Bolshoi Live Sleeping Beauty casting

For the live broadcast on November 20th, Aurora will be danced by Svetlana Zakharova and the Prince by the Bolshoi's new American recruit David Hallberg. See what all the fuss is about!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Ballet Trivia Quiz answer

The ballet master in Degas's famous painting The Dance Lesson is which of Giselle's choreographers?
a) Jules Perrot

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Weekly Ballet Trivia Quiz



The ballet master in Degas's famous painting The Dance Lesson is which of Giselle's choreographers?
a) Jules Perrot
b) Jean Coralli
c) Marius Petipa
d) Peter Wright

Answer will be posted tomorrow.

Fabulous Manon images

 Robert Tewsley and Akiko Tachiki in Noriko Kobayashi Ballet Theatre's performances of MacMillan's Manon in Tokyo, August 2011.



Thursday, October 27, 2011

An important Fille mal Gardee performer in his "dressing room"

Thanks to Steven Monteith of Birmingham Royal Ballet for this adorable picture of the pony awaiting his star turn in La Fille mal Gardee outside the theatre in Plymouth where BRB is currently performing.
For more about this particular star pony, visit BRB's entertaining post on their touring blog. and this post from the Theatre Royal Plymouth.

German TV spot about Roberto Bolle

http://www.ndr.de/fernsehen/hamj14265.html
 The beautiful Ballet Man
Many of the posters of Roberto Bolle advertising the performances of "Orpheus" at the Hamburg Ballet have been stolen. What makes the dancer so popular? We met him during rehearsals.
Since he has been dancing on the world's ballet stages, it's become clear: seldom has ballet been so sexy.
His charisma is so appealing. His style is so virtuosic.  Roberto Bolle has enchanted Presidents, the Queen, and the Pope. Now the Hamburg audience can swoon over his Orpheus.
Since the age of 7, he has danced. He doesn't smoke or drink and follows a strict diet.
"My whole life always revolves around dancing. Even when I'm on holiday by the sea, I work out, even if it's just swimming."
Two years ago, John Neumeier created on him the role of Orpheus, a mythical story of fate, confronting love and death. Then he injured his back and had to cancel his performances. Once he was back on his feet, he was so busy with engagements around the world that only now can he find his way back to Hamburg to carry on with this particularly emotional choreography, where every movement is imbued with feeling. Yet the worry that he could still injure something remains.
"A ballet dancer is an athlete. We always have to deal with injuries and pain. But you learn that quickly, right at the beginning of your career, you just have to live with physical pain."
Only the icy autumn wind is  too cold for this Italian. Besides, in Hamburg he's happy he doesn't have to hide behind a hat and sunglasses. In Italy everyone recognizes him. Of course he is pleased by that but on the other hand he enjoys the moments where he can do what he wants in peace. For example, forbidden things. His only vice: dark chocolate.
"Of course there are moments when I let myself go. For example Christmas... panettone, cream cakes. I break the rules with a clear conscience!"
He buys two chocolate bars. He could eat them all at once. But he'll make them last for two days.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ballet Trivia Quiz Answer

The music for Giselle's first-act solo is by:

b) Ludwig Minkus

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Miami City Ballet on PBS October 28

Balanchine's "Square Dance" (music by Antonio Vivaldi and Arcangelo Corelli) and "Western Symphony" (music by Hershy Kay) and Tharp's "The Golden Section" (music composed and performed by David Byrne). Miami City Ballet Dances Balanchine and Tharp airs Friday, October 28 at 9 p.m. as part of the PBS Arts Fall Festival
http://video.pbs.org/video/2151623251#
Check your local PBS station for times.

Weekly Ballet Trivia Quiz

The music for Giselle's first-act solo is by:
a) Adolphe Adam
b) Ludwig Minkus
c) Jean-Madeleine Schneitzhoeffer
d) a wealthy patron of the Paris Opera

Answer will be posted tomorrow.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Almost 2000 ballet performances in Europe and N America

Check out my master calendar, now updated to include La Scala and Rome 2012 season and ABT spring season, by clicking on the "What's on in Ballet" tab.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

An interview with Karen Kain

Karen Kain was recently the guest at the Star Talks series at the Toronto Public Library:

Evelyn Hart drops in

I was teaching my "Introduction to the National Ballet of Canada Season" ballet appreciation course last night at the NBOC's headquarters in Toronto, the Walter Carsen Centre. We were watching a video of the Rose Adagio when who should waft in from passing by in the corridor but former Royal Winnipeg Ballet superstar Evelyn Hart. She told a delightful story about being Aurora: "On the morning of the performance, 9 o'clock, you choose your pointe shoes for the Rose Adagio and you think, yes, these are PERFECT, just right. Then by noon you start thinking, oh no, maybe those aren't the right ones. By 5 pm, you're thinking, oh for sure they aren't right, and an hour before the performance you're going through 30 pairs of pointe shoes trying to figure out which ones will do! But of course it's all psychological because you're just so worried about those balances!" Here she is, performing the Rose Adagio in what clearly were the right pointe shoes!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ballet Trivia Quiz Answer

The peasant pas de deux was introduced into the scenario of Giselle
a) so that the mistress of one of the Paris Opera's wealthy patrons could have a solo

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Weekly Ballet Trivia Quiz

The peasant pas de deux was introduced into the scenario of Giselle

a) so that the mistress of one of the Paris Opera's wealthy patrons could have a solo
b) so that fashionable Parisians could spend more time eating and drinking before arriving just in time for the mad scene
c) so that the mistress of the choreographer Jean Coralli could have a solo
d) because audience members complained that the original production was too short and they weren't getting their money's worth

Answer will be posted tomorrow.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Kings of the Dance and NYCB weekend

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

Tours en l'air
Ballet Holidays

escorted by
Canada's Word Lady, Katherine Barber


New York
24 – 27 February 2012
4 days, 3 nights
2 ballet performances (+1 optional)

Guillaume Côté and the Kings of the Dance
New York City Ballet
See 5 of the hottest male ballet stars in the world, 
PLUS the world-famous New York City Ballet performing its signature repertoire,
meet an NYCB dancer and visit the NYCB wardrobe 

New York City Ballet Donizetti Variations. Photo © Paul Kolnik
  
  Guillaume Côté and David Hallberg, photo © Nikolai Krusser
the mind-blowing Ivan Vasiliev 
  
Friday 24 February
Arrive New York, check in to the 4-star Park Central Hotel, steps from the City Center theatre. Evening: 3-course welcome dinner. Performance: Kings of the Dance: Opus 3 showcases the power, athleticism and artistry of five of today’s most celebrated male ballet stars:
Guillaume Côté (National Ballet of Canada)
David Hallberg (American Ballet Theatre, and now the first American to join the Bolshoi Ballet)
Ivan Vasiliev (Mikhailovsky Ballet, formerly Bolshoi Ballet)
Denis Matvienko (Mariinsky Ballet)
Marcelo Gomes (American Ballet Theatre)


Program (subject to change, casting subject to change):
ACT ONE

JAZZY FIVE (Choreography by Mauro Bigonzetti)
Performed by David Hallberg, Marcelo Gomes, Guillaume Côté, Ivan Vasiliev, Denis Matvienko

ACT TWO

KABURIAS (Choreography and Costume by Nacho Duato)
Performed by David Hallberg

TUE (Choreography by Marco Goecke)
Performed by Guillaume Côté

GUILTY (Choreography by Edward Clug)
Performed by Denis Matvienko

LABYRINTH OF SOLITUDE (Choreography by Patrick De Bana)
 Performed by Ivan Vasiliev

STILL OF KING (Choreography by Jorma Elo)
Performed by Marcelo Gomes

WHO I THOUGHT I WAS (Music by Guillaume Côté; Choreography by Marcelo Gomes)
Performed by Leonid Sarafanov

KO’d (Music by Guillaume Côté; Choreography by Marcelo Gomes)
Performed by David Hallberg, Guillaume Côté, Denis Matvienko, Ivan Vasiliev, Leonid Sarafanov
  

Saturday 25 February
Day at leisure.
Optional afternoon performance of
New York City Ballet:  
Allegro Brillante: a bravura piece set to Tchaikovsky's 3rd Piano Concerto about which Balanchine said: "It contains everything I know about the classical ballet in 13 minutes."
Zakouski (Martins)  

Fancy Free (Robbins)
Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3
(Balanchine, includes Theme and Variations)
Evening: 3-course dinner, then
meet a New York City Ballet dancer who will give us a tour of the David H Koch theatre, followed by a “First Position” discussion before the New York City Ballet performance of:
Donizetti Variations:
Balanchine's cheerful and sunny tribute to Bournonville
Agon: one of the major ballets of the 20th century, Balanchine's homage to modernism Fancy Free: the entertaining story of three World War II sailors on shore leave that launched Jerome Robbins' career as a choreographer and formed the basis for the musical On The Town.
Sunday 26 February
Day at leisure
Monday 27 February
Visit to New York City Ballet costume shop.
Check out of hotel and depart New York.

Total Package CA$1199 per person based on double occupancy
Single supplement: CA$250
All prices valid till 19 December 2011
REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT DUE DATE: 19 DECEMBER 2011


LAND-ONLY PACKAGE allows you the flexibility of arranging
travel from your most convenient departure point,
on the dates and times you prefer. Extend your stay if you wish.
CWT Victor Travel's experienced agents will be happy to help you.


Package price includes:
Excellent orchestra seats for 2 ballet performances
Pre-performance talk and tour of the David H Koch Theater by an NYCB dancer
First Position” pre-performance talk
3 nights double-share accommodation (one king or two queen beds) in the Park Central Hotel
3-course welcome dinner with wine
3-course pre-performance dinner
Visit to New York City Ballet costume shop
Hotel porterage
Ballet enrichment notes and informal post-performance reviews with tour leader
All taxes, service fees, and surcharges
Not included:
Airfare
Items of a personal nature, e.g. phone calls
Meals and transfers not specifically mentioned in this itinerary
Ticket to optional 2nd NYCB performance
Beverages with meals
Cancellation and hospital/medical insurance

Terms and Conditions:
Non-refundable payment in full of CA$1199 per person is required at time of registration, no later than 19 December 2011.** Single supplement, optional second NYCB performance ticket, and optional cancellation and hospital/medical insurance also payable at this time.
All cancellations must be received in writing at CWT Victor Travel to the attention of Lucy Nati (lucy@cwtvictortravel.ca).
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 payment for the package and is non-refundable.

For more information or to receive a registration form by email or regular mail, please contact me: toursenlair@gmail.com or 416.693.4496


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

For preliminary information on our April trip to Stuttgart and Munich, please click here.

BALLET MAKES LIFE BETTER - GET MORE BALLET OUT OF LIFE
 
Some videos to whet your appetite: 
Kings of the Dance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65vH34pKLU8

Agon: (snippets here, though the soundtrack of the video is not the music for the ballet):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UO9Cq-n_zp0
Fancy Free: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQ_KFv8XVjI

Allegro Brillante http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIoDt5gdYbw
Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3 (the expanded version of Theme and Variations, seen here performed by Dresden SemperOper Ballet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGDC5ZA0vRI