Sunday, 23 February 2014

Tours en l'air - a Really Useful Resource

The CN Tower Toronto   Source Wikipedia

Tours en L'air is a specialist travel service based in Toronto which us one of my favourite cities in North America. According to its website:
"Tours en l'air organizes ballet-themed escorted holidays to see the best companies perform great ballets in beautiful places."
It is run by a lady who describes herself as "a highly knowledgeable balletomane" (I can attest to that) who has enjoyed hundreds of performances in over 20 cities around the world.  She speaks English, French, and German, and is a Travel Industry Council of Ontario certified Travel Counsellor. She teaches ballet appreciation and arranges group ballet outings in Toronto. Twitter: @thewordlady.

There are two reasons for consulting this website.  First and most obviously to take a tour somewhere or if you are in or near Toronto at the right time a ballet appreciation course or outing.  The other reason is that it contains lots of useful information such as a pretty comprehensive spreadsheet of forthcoming and recent performances in "What's on in Ballet" to "Travel Tips for Ballet Lovers" with titbits about hotels and other local information including links to other resources.

I have often contemplated taking one of the tours to Russia and other places advertised from time to time in About the House but I have always been deterred either by the cost or time constraints. I see a lot of ballet as you can tell from the Reviews page of my blog. I do a lot of travelling for work (mainly in the UK but sometimes abroad) and I take at least one or two weeks holiday a year when I try to pack in as much theatre as possible. In the past I have made my own arrangements which was time consuming (particularly in the days before the internet) and although I do not buy from touts or even concierges I am pretty sure that I have paid over the odds. So it is good to know of a service that makes all the arrangements and perhaps even supplies travelling companions with whom one can discuss a show as theatre going has been a solitary exercise since the death of my spouse.

Although many of the tours are in North America (which is exactly where I would want to go because that is where many of my favourite companies are to be found) it also arranges trips here including one for Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Royal Ballet and English National Ballet with day trips to Blenheim and the Cotswolds. In big red letters the site promises
"You can join in from anywhere in the world."
So one day I will take a tour en l'air and I shall let you know how I get on.

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