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.
For a taste of what our trips are like, follow on facebook.
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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Monday, May 30, 2011

10% off tickets for Come Fly Away

10% off tickets to the Twyla Tharp/Frank Sinatra extravaganza Come Fly Away
Wednesday, August 17, 2011, 7:30 p.m.

For information, click here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Featured Tours en l'air trip for fall 2011: Montreal

Saturday 22 October – Sunday 23 October


Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal:

Rodin / Claudel (Quanz)
World Premiere

Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal gives Canadian choreographer Peter Quanz the chance to realize his long-cherished hope to create a full-length work about the torrid romance between Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel, portraying the intimate lives of the two artists and their shared passion for sculpture. "I believe that their relationship intensified the emotional content of their sculpture," he explains. "Camille Claudel was a tragic figure, a victim of her time and of the men who were closest to her. This is a story of passion, love and betrayal."

Peter Quanz

A native of Baden, near Kitchener, Ontario, Peter Quanz is one of Canada's most in-demand choreographers. A recipient of the 2005 Clifford E. Lee Award, Canada's national award for young choreographers, he became the first Canadian to receive a commission from the legendary Kirov Ballet (Mariinsky Theatre, Russia) in 2007. Three years later, he launched his own company, Q Dance. He has created some thirty works for the world’s leading ballet companies, including The National Ballet of Canada, American Ballet Theatre, the Royal Ballet (Linbury Theatre), the National Ballet of Cuba, Hong Kong Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet. He is known for the finesse and precision of his gestural vocabulary, the originality of his combinations, his mastery of choreographic composition and ability to hold audiences spellbound.

Please let me know if you are tempted by a trip to beautiful Montreal!

Revised Tours en l'air Ballet Holidays 2011-12 schedule

It's time for you to put in your two cents worth and help me to choose the trips that will be Tours en l'air in 2011-12. Below is a list of all the trips I think are doable and interesting. Remember, you don't have to live in Toronto to join these trips, as you find your own way to wherever they start. Please let me know which ones you may be interested in. It isn't a commitment, it's just a way for me to eliminate the trips for which there is insufficient demand before I go ahead and do the detailed planning. If you think you might want to go on any of these trips it is best to tell me now, even if later you may have to decline, because otherwise I'll assume there is a lack of interest and will abandon any further planning. It's also your chance to ask for tweaks to the proposed schedules, for instance if you want it a bit longer or shorter, aren't interested in one of the ballets in the schedule, etc. I do need your input as soon as possible as some of the opera houses require that I put in my requests for tickets as early as June 1st this year. Here you go, your "balletomane in a candy store" moment:

Tuesday 4 October – Monday 10 October 2011
London 5 performances
Northern Ballet: Cleopatra
Royal Ballet: Jewels (Balanchine)
Limen (McGregor), Marguerite and Armand (Ashton), Requiem (MacMillan)
English National Ballet: Strictly Gershwin (Deane)
Birmingham Royal Ballet: Symphonic Variations (Ashton), Checkmate (de Valois), Pineapple Poll (Cranko)

Saturday 22 October – Sunday 23 October 2011
Montreal 1 performance
Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal: Rodin / Claudel (Quanz)

Saturday December 3 - Sunday December 11
Paris 3 performances
Paris Opera Ballet: Onegin
(Rudolf Nureyev's version set in the golden age of Hollywood)
here's a clip, but you really have to see the beautiful pas de deux!
Royal Ballet of Flanders: Impressing the Czar (Forsythe)
See the RBF's great promo video for this season here:

Thursday 26 January – Sunday 5 February 2012
Vienna and Prague 4 performances
Vienna State Ballet: La Sylphide (Taglioni)
Le Concours (Béjart)
Ballet of the National Theatre of Prague: Swan Lake

Friday 24 February – Thursday 1 March 2012
Birmingham 2 performances
Birmingham Royal Ballet: Hobson's Choice (Bintley)
Daphnis and Chloe, Two Pigeons (both Ashton)

Tuesday 6 March – Wednesday 14 March 2012
Holland and Paris 5 performances
Dutch National Ballet: van Manen program
Swan Lake (van Dantzig)
Mixed repertoire program
Paris Opera Ballet: La Bayadère
Dances at a Gathering (Robbins), Appartement (Ek)

Saturday 31 March – Tuesday 10 April 2012
Berlin, Dresden, and Prague 3 performances
Berlin State Ballet: Gala excerpts
Romeo and Juliet (Cranko)
Dresden Semperoper Ballet: Coppelia (Balanchine)

Friday 20 April – Monday 30 April 2012

Munich and Stuttgart 6 performances
Stuttgart Ballet: The Lady and the Fool (Cranko), Gaîté Parisienne (Béjart)
Birmingham Royal Ballet: Checkmate (de Valois), Take 5 (Bintley),
The Dream (Ashton)
Bavarian State Ballet: Illusions – Like Swan Lake (Neumeier)
Scènes de Ballet, 5 Brahms Waltzes, Voices of Spring (all Ashton),
Song of the Earth (MacMillan)
Wherever he looks (Mannes), Daphnis and Chloe (Kohler)
Gods and Dogs (Kylian), Goldberg Variations (Robbins)
for detailed itinerary, please click here. Signup deadline January 20, 2012.

Friday 18 May – Monday 21 May
Boston 2 performances
Boston Ballet: Etudes (Lander), Barber Violin Concerto (Martins),
Fancy Free (Robbins)
Mark Morris Dance Group: The Muir, Festival Dance, Socrates

Sunday 3 June – Wednesday 13 June 2012
Vienna 4 performances
Vienna State Opera Ballet: Carmina Burana, Bolero
Don Quixote (Nureyev)
Young Talents” mixed program
Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude (Forsythe), Bach Suite III (Neumeier),
Rubies (Balanchine), Variations on a theme of Haydn (Tharp)

Thursday 28 June – Sunday 1 July 2012
Chicago 3 performances
Paris Opera Ballet: Giselle
Suite en Blanc (Lifar), L'Arlésienne (Petit), Bolero (Béjart)
Gala evening

This gives us a rare opportunity to see Paris Opera Ballet on this continent. Their tour rep includes the thrilling display piece by Serge Lifar, Suite en Blanc, from which I know you will love this notoriously difficult solo, called "TheCigarette"!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cougar sighting at Toronto airport

Since I spend a lot of time at the international departures wing of Toronto's Pearson International Airport, I am always happy to see these cougars, which provide wonderful play space for children and fun for the rest of us.

Tours en l'air Paris Antwerp trip, first installment

Nureyev. Ek. Forsythe. Van Manen. Quite the survey of some of the big names in contemporary ballet. That's what a group of 12 of us enjoyed on Tours en l'air's recent trip to Paris, Antwerp, and Holland. In addition, we did perhaps indulge in the occasional waffle, chocolate, and cherry beer, and saw some beautiful sights.
Kicking off the trip was a performance at the Opera Bastille in Paris of Nureyev's version of Romeo and Juliet. Since the entire group came from Toronto, where the National Ballet of Canada has been performing Cranko's romantic version for the past 40 years, this much darker and more violent vision was quite a change. We all loved the beautiful costumes and stunning sets by Ezio Frigerio, which we could really appreciate from our fantastic fourth-row centre seats (which we valued all the more when we heard that all R&J performances had sold out within two hours of tickets going on sale).

Jury is out on Nureyev's choreography, which some of us found unmusical and awkward, jumpy when it should be lyrical. Another objection was that the first two pas de deux, instead of being real pas de deux, were more like two individuals dancing side by side. Nonetheless, especially since the NBOC will be premiering a brand new version of R&J in the fall by Alexei Ratmansky, it was an interesting experience to see how the music and story can be interpreted differently. Particularly effective is the scene where Mercutio's friends are convinced his death throes are a joke until well after he has died. Another feature I liked was having Juliet rather than Lady Capulet mourn over Tybalt's death, as I have always found the Cranko version rather histrionic. On the whole though, I still love Cranko best! Our cast was Karl Paquette and Isabelle Ciaravolla. While performing manfully, Paquette did look in the more difficult parts as if he was concentrating on the acknowledged difficulties of the choreography rather than staying in character. A dancer who caught my eye was Fabien Revillion as Benvolio, a larger role than in other versions; his jumps and ebullience were impressive. You can see him here (though the person shooting the video seems more interested in the ballerina!)