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.
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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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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Festival des arts de Saint-Sauveur

The picturesque village of Saint-Sauveur, Quebec, nestled in the folds of the pine-clad Laurentians, a spot better known for skiing and summer outdoor activities than for dance, but the location for the past twenty years of the Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur, which, under its artistic director Anik Bissonnette, goes from strength to strength bringing dancers from some of the world's best companies to perform in a circus-style tent. The village is, as you can see, a picture-postcard Québécois town, with the classic silver-roofed greystone church dominating the landscape, and the ski-jump roofs typical of habitant architecture. Like most resort towns, it has a main street ("rue Principale") lined with restaurants (I recommend Le sauvignon), clothing stores, ice cream shops, bakeries (I liked the date-filled "bear claws" at the Croissant Fou and the almond croissants at Pagé) and the like. You can take a tour in one of the horse drawn calèches found throughout tourist areas in Quebec. A factory outlet mall in faux-chalet style buildings on the edge of town provides opportunities for bargain shopping at Jones of New York, Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, and many other brand names. I stayed at the Hotel St-Sauveur, about 5 minutes walk from the "Factoreries" (and the bus stop for the Galland bus company which provides three buses a day between Saint-Sauveur and Montreal) and 20 minutes walk from downtown, and was very impressed by my lovely room.
The performances take place in a "Grand Chapiteau" (circus tent) just off rue Principale about a block from the church. The tent is spacious but with only 20 rows of seats provides an intimate experience. It is air-conditioned, much appreciated on the first sultry night I was there. If you have mobility issues, be warned however that you should get a seat on the "even numbers" side of rows A-C, as these are the only seats which are accessible without climbing any steps. Attending a dance performance here was a great experience, one I hope to repeat next year.

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