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Ballet Talk on Tour!A trip to Paris and London in April '08


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45 replies to this topic

#1 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 04:44 PM

A few of us had noted programs in both Paris and London that seemed very interesting, and thought it might be fun to turn it into a get-together for Ballet Talkers if there is interest.

Here are the performances Im intending to see:

April 20 (matinee and/or evening) POB school show. http://www.operadepa...cle.asp?Id=1132. Interesting to me for the Leo Staats Soir de Fte once a POB staple, now not often seen.

April 21 Nureyev/Balanchine/Forsythe http://www.operadepa...cle.asp?Id=1131. Raymond, 4 Ts and Artifact Suite. I was deeply impressed with Artifact (a lot said from someone whos ambivalent about Forsythe) when SFB did it I would like to see how POB does it.

On April 22, there is either the same program at the Opera or Sleeping Beauty in London. My choice is personal; if Ansanelli is dancing Aurora, Im going to London. If she isnt, Ill stay in Paris another day.

April 23, 25 London Serenade/New Brandstrup Ballet/Homage to the Queen. http://info.royalope.....llet20078.pdf

There is also another Beauty on April 26.

Nuts and Bolts:


This isnt a group tour were not traveling together, rather meeting at the destinations, so we can do things together but you also can come and go as you please. Make your own travel arrangements; Im happy to offer advice as long as you realize Im not a travel agent but Im happy to share whatever bargain hunting tips I can offer (Priceline, Priceline, Priceline!)

I think it would be great to schedule one or two meals together in both London and Paris, and I hope some of the local contingents in both cities will join us (and suggest good places to eat).

I will most likely be getting press tickets but if enough people go it may make sense to purchase tickets as a group for savings.

Schedule:

Im hemmed in to this schedule by the Kirov season at City Center, but feel free to arrive in Paris earlier or stay longer in London as suits you.

West Coasters be forewarned this is around the time of the New Works Festival at SFB and the Laugh out Loud Festival at PNB. Check your calendars.

Whod like to join us?

Preliminary attendees

Leigh Witchel
Helene
Estelle (at least in Paris)

#2 ami1436

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 01:36 AM

Well, I'll be around Ox, but am tempted to come to Paris as an old friend has relocated there. Leigh, I'll be in touch! I'm hesitant to say a full yes right now because it might be a busy time work-wise.

#3 Giannina

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 06:45 AM

You know I'd join you in a heart beat. But in MAY, Leigh; May; I'll be there MAY 1st! Aaagh!

Giannina

#4 ami1436

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 07:33 AM

Well, Giannina, that's term time, so I'll be here and no doubt making trips to London quite often!

Seriously, there's quite a few London regulars on these boards... so you just gotta let us know!

#5 volcanohunter

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 10:26 AM

My sister and I are also planning to make this trip, though we're intending to hit London first in order to get to Ghent for Dialogues of the Carmelites before heading to Paris.

#6 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 06:58 AM

Wonderful - I hope your schedule works out!

To answer some people who wrote to me off-board, please do not worry about being unable to commit yet. Schedules change and this is quite far out. Think of this more as an invitation to save those dates with further concrete planning to be done in the months ahead.

I think I'll be in London again in May as well Giannina :wink:

#7 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 08:07 AM

To bump this topic briefly, the Royal Ballet has given advance casting to friends and 4/22 is not Ansanelli, so I'm projecting another day in Paris (rah) and going to London on 4/23

#8 cygneblanc

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 01:32 PM

Well, I'll be in Paris, and will attend the school performance on april 20th If I can get tickets. For London, I think I will make my mind according to availability of these eurostar tickets sold as" nasty prices" tickets.

#9 ami1436

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 01:36 AM

Oh I forgot about the Paris leg of this... need to investigate; it coincides rather closely with some key term dates... hmmm..... Leigh, you're such a bad (good) influence!

#10 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 05:38 PM

A bump because the London booking period for these programs opens on December 5. If you know you are going; I'd buy tickets early - choice seating sells out promptly. The best bargain for the able bodied is standing in the Stalls Circle, but it really means standing.

Could some of the Londoners chime in on the ins and outs of buying tickets?

Nuts and bolts -

Flights -

Obviously people will come from different places; I only have checked NYC fares. Unfortunately, fares jump up for shoulder season rates at the end of March. Right now NYC-PAR; LON-NYC runs no less than $620 for Air India and $710 for Continental. It will probably fluctuate some and there may be a sale, but it probably won't drop precipitously.

A word of caution on hotels -

I have not had bad stays in either city, but my main desires are a bright uncluttered room, Internet access and a fitness center and I'm more than willing to sacrifice local flavor and character and stay in a soulless chain to get it. Hence, Priceline. In Europe, independent hotels vary wildly in quality from wonderful to fleabag. The more you know the better off you are and price usually denotes quality. I've gotten great deals on Priceline but you have to know what you are doing.

Right now, I will recommend using Booking.org or a hotel website directly to make a booking that is cancelable without penalty that leaves you free to change your plans or find a better deal.

I did a quick peek on Hotwire from 4/23-7 to get a sense of rates. They're not rock-bottom (my guess is that they'll go down) - around $145 for 3 star hotels, $170 for 4 star (that's really not luxurious, more like comfortable chain such as the Hilton or Millennium). Those rates will be lower on Priceline.

Paris Hotels are less expensive (3* hotels around $100) but they could possibly be small independent hotels that I would be cautious about booking opaquely. The range of possible quality is great.

Getting from Paris to London -

I think the Eurostar is the best combination of price and city-to-city convenience; non-flexible tickets are $98 right now.

More as we get closer.

#11 Helene

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 07:22 PM

I should have checked to see if it was possible to get an early morning (6am-ish) flight from NYC to Paris before I bought a ticket to "Wozzeck," but I'm going to have to give up either the Kirov Balanchine program on the 18th or the opera, and I'm tending toward skipping the Kirov and heading straight to Europe from the West Coast, since I'll be seeing 4-5 ballet performances over the next week. (There's also the opening night of ENO's "The Merry Widow" on 24 April. Decisions, decisions...)

#12 sandik

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 11:34 PM

The whole thing sounds quite lovely and I wish you all the best of luck.

#13 Helene

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 09:37 AM

It gets worse -- I thought the school performance was on Sunday, 20 April in the afternoon. But it's actually the same time as Wozzeck. It's closing night for both :)

#14 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 10:50 AM

Hey!

You didn't hallucinate that Helene. They deleted the Sunday performances, and I have the same problem with the Kirov.

I'm going to look seriously at the calendar tonight. Maybe we need to juggle dates.

#15 Helene

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 11:46 AM

Very disappointing.

Sleeping Beauty plays in London on 29 March (1:30pm), then the 3, 8, 10, 16, 18 of April, and May 5 (mat), 9, 10 (mat), 14.

The Nureyev/Balanchine/Forsythe Program plays on April 4, 5, 8, 11, 15, 17, 21-24, 27-29 and on May 3, 4 (mat), 6, 8-9.

The Serenade/Brandstrup/Homage to the Queen program plays 23, 25, 29 April, and May 1, 6, 8.

The POB School Performances are on 12-14 April, and 19 April.

It is possible to do SB, POB Triple Bill, POB School:

Any of the following:

SB: 10 April
Nureyev/Balanchine/Forsythe: 11 April
POB School: 12-14
Nureyev/Balanchine/Forsythe: 15 April
SB: 16 April

(I dont know when you're heading back for the Kirov)

or:

RB Triple Bill: 1 May
POB Triple Bill: 3, 4 May (mat)
Back to London: SB 5 May (mat) and Triple Bill 6 May

There's no way to get in all four without overlapping the Kirov in NYC.


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