New York Spring Ballet Spectacular


America’s cultural capital comes alive as the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre perform their spring programmes simultaneously at New York’s Lincoln Center.

From the American Ballet Theatre, delight in performances of the eternal classic Giselle and Stravinsky’s Firebird, along with excerpts from AFTERITE, a new one-act sequel to Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring by Wayne McGregor, resident choreographer at The Royal Ballet.

Mark the centennial of Jerome Robbins’ birth with the New York City Ballet’s tribute to his work, and enjoy a performance of George Balanchine’s Coppélia by the very company that originated this classic.

All the while, be immersed in the joyous energy of New York in the spring – a city of art, shopping, fine food and stunning architecture.

Depart Australia or New Zealand on suggested Qantas or Air New Zealand flights to New York. Arrive in New York in the late afternoon and check-in to the hotel. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your travel arrangements.

After breakfast, join Frédérique and fellow ballet lovers for a welcome briefing and a talk on the coming days’ performances, followed by a special welcome lunch.

In the evening, attend the American Ballet Theatre’s performance of Giselle at the Metropolitan Opera House, with Russian-born guest artist Natalia Osipova in the role of Giselle, David Hallberg as Albrecht, and Christine Shevchenko as the Queen of the Wilis.


This morning, visit the magnificent Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The Guggenheim is home to one of the world’s finest collections of modern and contemporary art in one of the greatest modern architectural icons of the 20th century.

The rest of the day is at leisure.

In the evening, transfer to the David H. Koch Theater, home of the New York City Ballet within the Lincoln Center, for a performance celebrating the centennial of the birth of Jerome Robbins, co-founder of the New York City Ballet. Tonight’s performance features dance works that unite three of Robbins’ most celebrated ballets, to works of Prokofiev, Chopin and Phillip Glass.


This morning, go behind the scenes for a fascinating look into the life of a dancer at one of the world’s premiere performing arts venues with a tour of the David H. Koch Theater, accompanied back-stage and on stage by one of New York City Ballet’s dancers.

After lunch, attend an afternoon performance entitled Bernstein Collaborations, which pays tribute to the remarkable collaboration between Jerome Robbins and a then up-and-coming composer, Leonard Bernstein: Fancy Free, Robbins’ first ballet; Dybbuk, which draws on ancient Russian-Jewish folklore; and the West Side Story Suite, based on the work that took Broadway by storm in 1957, ushering in a new era in musical theatre.

This evening is at leisure.


After breakfast, enjoy an early-access guided tour of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), often identified as the most influential (and certainly one of the largest) museums of modern art in the world. The museum’s collection offers an overview of modern and contemporary art, including works of architecture and design, drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, prints, illustrated books and artists’ books, film and electronic media.

The rest of the day and evening is at leisure to explore this energetic city at your own pace.

Optional evening performance – not included in tour price and pending availability: This evening, you may wish to attend a special gala performance of Ratmansky’s Harlequinade by the American Ballet Theatre, an all-new co-production with The Australian Ballet with bold new staging by Robert Perdziola. This world premiere will be showcased alongside another world premiere, AFTERITE, which is a new one-act sequel to Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, by Wayne McGregor, resident choreographer at The Royal Ballet. [Please note that AFTERITE will also be performed on the evening of 23 May along with The Firebird. Please contact Renaissance Tours if you wish to attend this performance (at extra cost)].


In the morning, attend a talk by Frédérique on the coming days’ performances.

The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the plethora of cultural and other attractions on offer in the Big Apple.

This evening, attend a New York City Ballet performance comprising three works by 21st century choreographers. Choreography to Pictures at an Exhibition pushes dancers to new extremes, while Year of the Rabbit by young choreographer Justin Peck separates six principals by an ever-weaving corps.


After a morning at leisure, attend a matinee performance by the American Ballet Theatre of Igor Stravinksy’s seminal ballet work, The Firebird. Colourful in its musical score, costumes and sets, with choreography by Alexei Ratmanksy, principals for this performance include Isabella Boylston, Alban Lendorf and Cory Stearns. Tonight’s performance also includes a new one-act sequel to The Rite of Spring, called AFTERITE, by Wayne McGregor, resident choreographer at The Royal Ballet.

Enjoy an early dinner before returning to the hotel.


Today, travel through Chelsea, the heart of New York’s avant-garde art world. Visit the Whitney Museum of American Art, founded in 1931 by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. The museum houses a superb collection of 20th and 21st century American works. The new museum building, designed by Renzo Piano and dedicated by Michelle Obama, harmonises with the industrial character of the neighbouring loft buildings.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in the Meatpacking District and walk on the High Line.

Tonight, the New York City Ballet’s programme features choreography by both masters George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, with Mozartiana and Glass Pieces respectively. With music by Tchaikovsky, Morzartiana was first choreographed by Balanchine for the New York City Ballet Tchaikovsky Festival in 1981. Glass Pieces, with Philip Glass’s iconic minimalist sound, seeks to capture the feel of urban American life. Also part of tonight’s performance are two premieres of the ballet company’s Fall 2017 season, Pulcinella Variations by Justin Peck, and Not Our Fate by New York City Ballet principal ballerina Lauren Lovette.


Take in the last days of New York’s glorious springtime season with a morning at leisure.

Then enjoy a special farewell lunch with Frédérique and fellow travellers.

In the evening, attend the opening performance of Copplia by the New York City Ballet. The story of a young man growing infatuated with a life-like doll, the 19th century comedic ballet has been a long-time favourite of balletomanes, with its Romantic score, sets and costumes.


Tour arrangements conclude after breakfast.

For those returning home today, suggested flights from New York on Qantas or Air New Zealand. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your travel arrangements.


Per person, twin-share

AUD 9,950

Single Supplement*

AUD 2,550

Deposit per person (at time of booking)

AUD 1,000

*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking.

Final payment due

16 March 2018

Tour code


Fitness level

Please see Terms & Conditions for fitness levels definitions.

Suggested airline

Qantas / Air New Zealand
Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for current airfares and flight reservations.


In order to visit the United States under the Visa Waiver Programme, all Australian and New Zealand passport holders require an ESTA pre-authorisation application (completed online in advance of travel).

Tour price includes

  • Category 1 tickets to seven ballet performances
  • Accommodation in a centrally located superior hotel with breakfast daily (B)
  • Meals as per itinerary (L = Lunch, D = Dinner), including wines with welcome and farewell lunch
  • Transportation by private air-conditioned coaches
  • Comprehensive sightseeing with local guides including entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Pre-performance talks by your tour leader, Frédérique Barbier
  • Gratuities for local guides and drivers
  • Hotel porterage (one piece per person)

Tour price does not include

  • International airfares (please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
  • ESTA Pre-Authorisation application to visit the USA
  • Airport/hotel transfers on arrival and departure
  • Drinks with meals, except for welcome and farewell lunches
  • Items of a personal nature, including telephone, laundry, taxis, room service etc
  • Travel insurance (a condition of travel; please contract Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)


Your hotel: JW Marriott Essex House New York *****

NB. A hotel of a similar standard may be substituted


New York City Ballet

Choreographer George Balanchine and impresario Lincoln Kirstein shaped the history of 20th century dance when they formed the Ballet Society in 1946. Only one year after the conclusion of World War II, they presented their new company at New York’s City Center for Music and Drama, before transforming the ensemble into the New York City Ballet. Balanchine created works that were the basis of the company’s repertory until his death in 1983. His vision influenced dance across the United States and Europe. For decades, he worked closely with choreographer Jerome Robbins, who was considered one of the founding choreographers of the company. The New York City Ballet went on to become the premier ballet company in the United States and still has the largest repertoire of any American ballet company.

Photo by Bon Duke


American Ballet Theatre

When the American Ballet Theatre was launched in the autumn of 1939 by Lucia Chase and Oliver Smith, the aim was to create ‘a large-scale company with an eclectic repertory’, developing a repertoire of the best ballets from the past and encouraging the creation of new works by gifted young choreographers. Under the direction of Chase and Smith until 1980, the American Ballet Theatre performed new works and classics, such as Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle and La Bayadère. Nowadays, it is recognised as one of the world’s leading classical ballet companies.