Euro Tour: Part 5

Nov 16 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 2, Part 3, Part 4

Day 19-22:

Well, we’ve arrived in the Netherlands. We are staying here a total of 9 days, and we all have the next 4 days off! The majority of the company is taking full advantage of being in the euro zone…some people decided to go to Amsterdam, as others went to Belgium. We decided to take the train to Paris!! It only takes 2.5 hours direct from Rotterdam. We left Saturday morning for the best 3 days of our lives!! Paris is everything you expect it to be! .... See Josh’s blog on our adventures of this fantastic city: Click Here

Day 23-26:

We took the train back to Rotterdam, and returned to our apartment ...that’s right, while we’re here, we are staying in individual apartments in a high rise building that overlooks the city! We have a kitchen, laundry machines, and a balcony with a view from the 15th floor that is gorgeous!!

Our apartment in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Our apartment in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

After having spent 3 days in Paris, we still have one more day off to get out and explore Rotterdam. There is a lot of shopping in the area as well as a fabulous market that has multiple floors of restaurants and vendors, and a colorful mural on the ceiling.

The architecture throughout the city is incredible!! It’s much more of a modern city, but some blocks in town still have an “old feel” to it.

We went to a restaurant called Bazar. It’s open late and has delicious Persian food! The decor inside is bright and colourful…the walls and ceiling adorned with mirrors, and many vibrant lamps and chandeliers hanging. The food was amazing! It’s highly recommended if you’re in the area, not only for the delicious menu, but also for the experience.

Show time!!! There are 3 shows here in Rotterdam. The theater is the biggest venue/stage we will dance in on this tour, unfortunately it did not sell as well as we had hoped. Ticket sales may not have been the best here, but the audience still loved us!! We performed for the Canadian Ambassador to the Netherlands and got to meet her on stage after the show.

The Luxor Theater in Rotterdam.
The Luxor Theater in Rotterdam.
Josh backstage as the crew loads in and sets up.
Josh backstage as the crew loads in and sets up.

The day of the second show, during our ballet class, Josh felt a little bit of tightening in his back. He went to see Kevin, our physiotherapist, and it was later decided that he should not dance in the show that evening. He was supposed to dance the lead role with Beth, but it was an hour and a half before the curtain went up when Beth was told she had a new partner for that evening, and Tristan would stepped in. They tried out a few lifts and turning sequences on stage before the show, and in the end, it was a great performance!

We had one show in Venlo, Netherlands. For this specific show, we drove 2.5 hours, performed, and drove 2.5 hours back… They call this a “run-out”. It seems a bit tedious, but the bonus to this idea is a more affordable rate for the accommodations, and pizza and refreshments on the ride back!!

Day 27-30:

Back on the bus again for a 5 hour ride to Bonn, Germany! We stopped half way to pick up the crew who stayed the night in Venlo (after loading out the show) and continued our way until we finally made it to our hotel. All checked in…time for food!! It was 5pm on Sunday, and nothing was open. After walking around, attempting to find a place to eat, we decided to just go back and eat in the hotel restaurant.

Another day off!! Let’s see what Bonn has to offer… Well, we found out that it’s the birth place of Ludwig van Beethoven, and there is a museum in the house where he was actually born. Off to the Beethoven Haus we go!! It was really fascinating! Old instruments, original sheets of music, stunning portraits…definitely a memorable experience.

The Beethoven Haus…his house where he was born, his first violin and organ that he learned to play on.
The Beethoven Haus…his house where he was born, his first violin and organ that he learned to play on.

We did quite a bit of walking around. We did some sight seeing in a few churches, had lunch in the town square, and we walked through the university grounds and along the river. Josh decided it was time for him to get a haircut, so we went to the first place we saw. The guy who was working there spoke English and was very friendly. It was an exciting experience for me to watch, as it took no more than four minutes to completely cut, straight blade, and style his hair.

Show time in Bonn!!! We only had 2 performances here and both shows were completely sold out! This time we performed for the Canadian Ambassador to Germany, and had a meet and greet on stage followed by a post show reception. It was really nice to see the appreciation for the arts and hear such positive feedback. The theatre here is a reasonable size with a pretty big house and stage. The stage floor had trap doors made for operas, which was again a bit of a challenge for us, but like the pros we are, we made it work!!

Day 31:

Travel day to Rome!!!! We will be the first to say that this is one of the highlights of the European tour, and we have been looking forward to this day for quite sometime. Getting there?... Let’s just say it’s the anticipation that makes the heart grow fonder!

Our departure time was pushed back quite a bit. Originally we were scheduled to check out of the hotel, and head to the airport at 11am, but now we are scheduled to leave the hotel at 5pm. Our flight was changed and is now leaving at 9pm. It’s a 2&1/2 hour flight which gets us in to Rome at 11pm. Tomorrow is the start of another run of shows. It’s been a long day, but everyone is excited to finally be in Rome!

The company waiting in the airport to fly to Rome.
The company waiting in the airport to fly to Rome.

Day 32-35:

First day in Rome!! The dancers aren’t called to the theater until 5:30, so we take full advantage of the time off. Vatican City was the site of the day. We took a tour through the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. It is one of the most incredible things you’ve ever seen. The amount of murals and sculptures is overwhelming and breathtaking!! We also walked into St. Peter’s square and got a gorgeous view of the Basilica. We didn’t have time to go in, as the line was over an hour long wait.

Jo-Ann and Josh in St. Peter's Square, Vatican City, Rome.
Jo-Ann and Josh in St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City, Rome.

Time to go to the theater. It’s opening night here in Rome, and this theater is proving to be difficult to house the production. The show had to be modified a bit as some of the sets were too big to bring through the doors. Our show starts at 9pm here, but when in Rome, do as the Romans do… Take your time, enjoy your evening…we actually started our show around 9:20pm. We heard that some representatives of the Moulin Rouge Paris we’re going to be attending the show! Let’s show them what we’ve got!

It was a sold out crowd!! The audience loved it, and the more we bowed, the more they wanted to clap and scream out bravo!

Double show day today. Our matinée is at 4pm and the evening show is at 9pm. And again, we hold the curtain about 20 minutes to let the audience stroll on in. Both shows went pretty well, considering….

I was feeling a little under the weather. As the show began, I became nauseated. At one point it got so bad that I asked for a garbage can on both sides of the stage, just in case. I took a Gravol to help with the nausea. Josh was backstage for anything that I needed. I asked him to get Kevin, our physiotherapist. During the sections I wasn’t onstage, Kevin was massaging different pressure points to help relieve my nausea. By the end of first act I was feeling much better. Whether it was the Gravol, the massages, or the support of Josh and the rest of the company, I got through the show.

Well, the shows are done and now we have one last day to see Rome before we head home…let’s finish this thing off right! Most of the company went to Vatican City, but since we already saw that, it was our day to go to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Wow!! The Colosseum!! It was overwhelming to be standing in the exact place that was built back in 72 AD. From the outside its a gorgeous architectural structure, but the inside is years of history. We are forever thankful to have seen it with our own eyes.

Josh and Jo-Ann in the Colosseum, Rome.
Josh and Jo-Ann in the Colosseum, Rome.

And the Roman Forum…the site of triumphal processions and elections; the venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches… it is definitely something we will never forget!

We continued to walk around the city, went to different plazas, had an amazing lunch, shopped for some souvenirs and to end it all off we were sent off with a little shindig hosted by the hotel owners…not to mention, on their rooftop patio, overlooking beautiful Rome in the evening.

Josh and Jo-Ann in the Colosseum, Rome.

This tour is something we will hold dear to our hearts, and we will never forget! And we are happy to have shared our experience with you all!