Three amazing women making a living of their art and passion: The entrepreneur, the ballerina and the photographer. Last Saturday, at 12:56PM, I was getting out of a taxi while carrying at least four bags and running on the snow covered sidewalks of Griffintown to make a photoshoot appointment I had organized with a ballerina and her student in a private wine club. That's right, you read correctly. I was meeting two dancers and a photographer to capture the grace and beauty of ballet at Le PARLOIR- caves privées. Why oh why would I do this? In the world of me, why NOT ?
The entrepreneur: Le PARLOIR - Caves Privées
Located on Guy street between Notre-Dame and William, Le PARLOIR is a private club that offers an innovating membership concept for wine collectors. Perfect for those who wish to grow their wine cellar space in the city (Ahem...or literally because you are running out of space), Le PARLOIR allows you to store your bottles in a space size and controlled temperature that is convenient for you while providing a gorgeous and private lounge to enjoy a glass of your favourite drink! When I say gorgeous lounge, I mean pretty much everyone who first enters this place has to pick up their jaw from the floor (I mean just look at this photo right here). With its brass bar stools, exquisite granite countertops and leather touches, the ambiance is that of an elegant vintage style and yet cozy with the velvety seaters, warm lighting and Persian rugs. Did I mention the music? Since it is a private club, the place is never overflowing with people and is perfect for small networking meetings, happy hour with close friends and being part of a wine loving community. It is of course possible to host a larger group for special events, but one must see about that with the lovely owner: Sandrine Balthazard!
Possessing a B.Sc in Entrepreneurial and Organizational Leadership from HEC, Sandrine Balthazard is the founder of the fabulous PARLOIR. With her in-depth knowledge of the wine business and charming personality, Sandrine couldn't be a better pioneer and leader in the launch of this concept. One fine evening, Phil and I were hosting a traditional "Tuscan wine night" with good friends at Le PARLOIR, which let's face it, has become the extension of our living room at this point and while admiring the place as I had done a million times before, I suddenly saw ballet movements in perfect harmony with the beauty of this place. In my mind: a coupé passé over here, an adagio over there - YES! Being quite artistic herself (you should see her paintings), Sandrine agreed almost instantly as I suggested the photoshoot idea to her, quickly grasping the vision I had in my head and generously offered the lounge. Lucky me, I happen to know a certain ballerina who might be available for this...
The ballerina - DellAira Designs
Having befriended the enchanting soloist Sahra Maira from Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, I couldn't help but think of her as the star ballerina for this project. When you meet someone as kind and as hard-working, it is inevitable. As some of you already know, this particular dancer leads a double career: one as an accomplished dancer and one as a seamstress. Not only does she dance, she also started DellAira Designs, her very own line of dance-wear. You can either buy from pieces she already made or pick the fabric, style and measurements and voilà! You got yourself a one-of-a-kind dance leotard or elegant outfit for a night out on the town. The demand for these leotards (and bike-tards!) is increasingly high as they are handmade and the quality is hard to beat. Much of her work is showcased in the photos of the shoot! Click here to check them out!
Needless to say, Sahra was thrilled at the idea and accepted to participate in this photoshoot project. Not only that, she suggested to bring one of her students, Lola Oliveras Lafrance, a brilliant addition to the team and introduced me to the wonderful individual who would crystallize this idea into reality...
The Dance Photographer - Morgan Petroski Photography
With a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and a background in documentary photography and portraiture, Morgan's professional work always tells a story. With many years of experience under her belt, it is quite impressive to watch her work: sizing the room, the ease witch which she identified the right angle down to the smallest of details. Morgan is also quite knowledgable of the ballet movements and poses, there was a strong understanding of the dance photography I had never seen before. She knew the ballet vocabulary and what poses would maximize the effect she was looking for and in talking with her, I discovered that she too had been a dancer for many years. Being a photographer capturing dancers truly is the combination of two passions!
Watching it all unfold right before my eyes was amazing. Everyone collaborating like we'd been doing this every weekend: Sandrine opening up shop for us and giving us carte blanche, Sahra and Lola organizing outfits and lacing up into pointes almost immediately, Morgan rearranging furniture (with the precious help of Dino!) and it all went seamlessly. The hours flew by and all day I watched the beautiful ballerinas jumping or posing so delicately, knowing well the necessary strengths behind every movement, under the conceptual eyes of Morgan. Aaaaand they also threw me in there for a a few shots, wearing a leotard that Sahra made special for me! (I love it!!) I don't have half the grace of a ballerina, but my heart as a writer and art advocate is full. Orchestrating this event which brought entrepreneurs, professionals and artists together and seeing the final product is so rewarding. Not only are all three women incredibly talented and dedicated, their kindness blew me away and made this project all the more memorable. Turns out, it was a pretty good idea after all...or perhaps I should let the breathtaking photos speak for themselves! ;)
Sandrine Balthazard, Sahra Maira (Lola Oliveras Lafrance), and Morgan Petroski, thank you!
What about you bee reader? What's an idea you want to see realized?
My name is Ivana. I love photography and meeting people. I hold a Master's in counselling psychology and work as a career consultant. Music is my fuel and an important source of energy in my life. I drive my vespa around the city and I love what I do! :) About this blog: me on my artistic soap box!
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