Euro Tour: Part 2

Oct 28 2015 | Posted in Blog

The RWB Company is taking Moulin Rouge® - The Ballet to the stages in Europe with a six week tour of Germany, The Netherlands, and Italy. Follow dancers Josh and Jo-Ann: a couple’s experience of this tour, on and off the stage.

Missed the other entries? Find them here: Part 1, Part 3, Part 4

Day 9-10:

We’ve arrived in Schweinfurt, Germany! We’ve checked into our hotel, and now have the rest of today and all of tomorrow off to explore this new place! We decided to walk around the area known as Altstadt (Old Town). There’s a lot of shopping and many historic sites and museums to see around town. Fun fact: “schwein” translates to pig. There are pig sculptures all around, and we’ve made it our mission to find as many as we can.

The "Schwein" statues around Schweinfurt
The “Schwein” statues around Schweinfurt

Anna came along with us on the day off to explore, and see what the city had to offer. We stopped at the Ross Hotel, a beautiful restaurant with large dark wood booths and tables, white table cloths and classic German elegance, for a wonderful lunch of venison and local favorites including Spätzle.

Anna and Jo-Ann being ballerinas around Germany
Anna and Jo-Ann being ballerinas around Germany

Day 11-14:

Another run of shows… Here in Schweinfurt we have 4 performances. The theater is a bit smaller, so we spend a good amount of time on a spacing rehearsal to adjust to the new stage. Opening night here seemed to be a bit trying. Alanna was feeling sick, so she went back to the hotel to rest, and her spot was filled in the show. Sophia sprained her ankle mid-show, and had to be replaced for the second act by Sarah Davey who stepped in without missing a beat. Luckily we have our physiotherapist Kevin here with us. He was right there to assess the situation. He took Sophia to the emergency room for x-rays, and unfortunately, the following day it was decided that it would be best for her to leave the tour, and return home to recover.

Well, as the saying goes… the show must go on!! And we all pulled through gracefully!! Casting has been adjusted for the rest of the tour.

Theatre der Stadt in Schweinfurt, Germany
Theatre der Stadt in Schweinfurt, Germany

We heard it was rare for German audiences to give a standing ovation, but here in Schweinfurt we received one with much gratitude!

Yayoi’s husband, Toshi came out to visit for a week. He made his RWB debut on stage during one of the performances, not as a dancer but as a VIP of the Tango Scene. Our amazing head of Wardrobe, Brenda, costumed him perfectly as a member of the sexy, slightly seedy, Paris underground and he fit right in!! Toshi looked like a natural out there, mingling with all the other dancers as if he was a part of the scene from day one.

Toshi and Yayoi ready for the Tango Scene
Toshi and Yayoi ready for the Tango Scene

We have had a visit from many former RWB students as well as former RWB Second Soloist, Janet Sartore. She is currently living in Augsburg, Germany and dancing with Augsburg Ballet. She and her husband watched the show, and popped by backstage to say hello to some familiar faces.

After the shows here in Schweinfurt, we always went to the same restaurant for dinner. It was open late, the staff was extremely welcoming and the food was not only delicious, but also affordable! We were always greeted by the same server, and we were told that the original chef that opened the restaurant many years ago was still cooking in the kitchen to this day!

Our favorite restaurant in Schweinfurt
Our favorite restaurant in Schweinfurt

Day 15-17

Today is a travel day to Friedrichschafen, Germany. It takes about 5 hours to get there… A little longer than anticipated, but everyone pulls through with excitement. We arrive, check-in to the SEEHotel located on Lake Constance, and then we’re free to do as we wish for the rest of the day and tomorrow. Naturally after sitting on a bus, it’s time to get those legs moving and go find some food!! This town is located right on the water, across from both Switzerland and Austria, and it is beautiful! The weather is perfect and it’s nice to see the sun and a blue sky again. We stopped at a restaurant patio by the lake to have a drink and a snack.

Friedrichschafen, Germany
Friedrichschafen, Germany

The theater here is small. It’s located right on the water!! It almost resembles a high school auditorium in that the seats are all free standing and not attached permanently to the floor so the venue can be used for many types of productions… but the foyer is like a unique museum with beautiful chandeliers. The stage is a bit wider than our last venue, but backstage is very tight…and not much extra room to move around. We had a spacing rehearsal and then class to get us warm for the show. Only one show here!!

Graf Zeppelin Haus theater in Friedrichschafen
Graf Zeppelin Haus theater in Friedrichschafen

Forgot to mention this before…Even though we are on tour performing Moulin Rouge® - The Ballet, whenever we have a bit of spare time in the theater, Ballet Master Johnny Chang has been rehearsing (and teaching the new dancers) everything in Nutcracker. Myself (Josh) and Kostya, being among the new dancers, have many roles to learn. Together we have learned Pas de Quatre from the second act. Separately he has learned Dross. And I have been working with Yayoi on the Grand Pas de Deux. When we get back from the tour, we only have 2 weeks to put together several different casts of Nutcracker for a tour to Ottawa, as well as our shows in Winnipeg.

Day: 18:

Today is a travel day to the Netherlands!! The cast, staff, and crew are all on a bus, driving for 11 hours from Friedrichschafen to Rotterdam. It’s gonna be a very long day, but once we get there we have a few days off to go around and explore more of what this side of the world has to offer! Can’t wait!! Stay tuned…