Ballett Zürich
auf Tournee

Off to Istanbul!

At the end of the season, Ballett Zürich is finally going on tour again. This time the dancers are travelling to Turkey with Anna Karenina. On 27 & 28 June, Christian Spuck's choreography will be performed at the Zorlu Performing Arts Center in Istanbul.

To symphonic and chamber music by Sergei Rachmaninov and Witold Lutoslawski, the Zurich ballet director adapted the novel by Lev Tolstoy for ballet and translates the destiny of the novel's heroes into haunting choreographic images.

Our travel diary takes all those at home with us to the pulsating metropolis on the Bosporus! From Sunday, 26 June, we will share our impressions of the tour here, on Facebook and Instagram!

27 & 28 June 2022
Anna Karenina in Istanbul
Zorlu Performing Arts Center, Istanbul (Turkey)

Saturday, 25 June

The 2021/22 ballet season has just ended with the last performance of Peer Gynt. Afterwards, our dancers Rafaelle Queiroz, Daniel Mulligan, Marta Andreitsiv and Luca D'Amato received the Dance Award of the Friends of Ballett Zurich and our first soloist William Moore gave a moving farewell to the Zurich audience at the end of his career.

And today we are already on tour: Ballett Zürich travels to Turkey! It all starts at Zurich Airport. On Saturday at 11.30 a.m. we meet at the Turkish Airlines check-in. All dancers are present and the suitcases are quickly checked in. There are still a few hours until departure, because we had feared big delays at the security check, but here, everything goes smoothly, too. But then we get a little delay and so we leave the Swiss ground only at 15.30 o'clock. Arrival in Istanbul at 19.00 o'clock, with two busses we go to the hotel. After the rooms are distributed, everyone is finally drawn to the many exciting quarters of the city. The Bosphorus is far from sleeping and so it will be exciting first impressions of colorful markets, noisy bars, crowded restaurants, illuminated mosques, crowded streets, fast cabs and good food ...

Sunday, 26 June

After breakfast at 8am, the day starts with a short visit to the Zorlu Performing Arts Center. The performance hall is in the middle of a chic shopping mall with nice bars and luxurious shops. The stage is bigger than at home in Zurich, the backstage area is spacious and modern and thanks to our wonderful colleagues from costume and make-up already set up, the stage set has been in place for a long time and our fantastic technical team has everything firmly under control. The hall has 2200 seats, both shows are completely sold out by now!

The morning is free for us to explore the sights of Istanbul: Galata Tower, Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, the countless oriental alleys and the lively hustle and bustle of the metropolis.

At 3 pm the bus leaves for the venue. After the warm-up for the dancers, our first rehearsal in Istanbul starts. Everyone in costume and make-up, things are already promising and everyone is getting used to the new surroundings and routines. At 10 pm the rehearsal ends and we go back to the hotel. Right next door a restaurant has food for us...

Monday, 27 June

At 8.30 am the bus leaves for the theatre. After the training for the company, there are some corrections from the previous evening and at 11 am our dress rehearsal starts, again in costume and make-up. At the start we have a small power failure, but our technical crew masters even the biggest challenges. And: What doesn't work in the dress rehearsal usually works at the premiere. At 3 p.m. our rehearsal ends, the bus drives to the hotel so that the dancers can eat something and rest before the performance.

Three hours later we are already on our way back to the Zorlu Centre. In the meantime, the foyers are decorated with huge posters and pictures from Anna Karenina and the first guests are already taking selfies in front of the billboards.

After the warm-up at 7 pm, our dancers are prepared for the performance and at 8.30 pm our first Anna Karenina finally begins. The house is full to capacity and after two and a half hours 2200 people are completely thrilled. The first show was a complete success. After the performance, Turkish state television comes and interviews our Anna Karenina, Katja Wünsche.

Tuesday, 28 June

The morning offers time to explore the city again, Istanbul shows its sunny side, last opportunity to buy some souvenirs. After lunch, it's time to rest a little more, because soon it's back to the theatre. After the warm-up, the last preparations are made for the second show. Once again the theatre is completely sold out and the 2200 visitors can't stay in their seats after our second show. Standing ovations for the whole company. And this performance really was the very last for our first soloist William Moore, whom we bid a fitting farewell.

Our backstage crew of technical, costume and make-up staff immediately start dismantling, because at 4 a.m. the freight is picked up to make its way home. At 7.30 a.m. the dancers also head back home to Switzerland and the summer break for Ballett Zürich begins.