An equal match of hospitality champion and business mind, she wants to formalise the greatly-fragmented hotel apartment segment through rolling out European brand Adagio Aparthotel globally.
Only established in 2007, Adagio - a joint venture between Balouka-Vallette's former employer Pierre & Vacances and Accor - already operates 100 aparthotels in Europe.
"It so happened that Mr Bremond and Yann Caillere (CEO of Accor) were looking for a new CEO for Aparthotels Adagio, the joint-venture between Accor and Pierre & Vacances.
Referring to the Adagio product as "urban residences for medium- to long-stay", Balouka-Vallette says there is great opportunity to grow the brand in the region; already, 6-7% of the European guest base is from the Middle East.
But while there's some brand awareness, she is conscious of the need to formalise the serviced-apartment market in the region, which currently consists predominately of non-branded or locally-run residences, priced in the same way as hotel rooms - which Balouka-Vallette says is not the case at Adagio.
To name just a few of the 30 items represented on the discs, there are the usual suspects: Debussy's Claire de lune, Barber's Adagio
for Strings, Mascagni's Intermezzo, Faure's Pavane, Saint-Saens' The Swan, Bach's Air on a G String, Elgar's Sospiri for Strings, Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, and so forth.
For Balanchine's Jewels, the Kirov was at its best in the last section, "Diamonds." This is the Russian, the Tchaikovsky portion of the three-part ballet, with an incredibly sustained duo adagio
. Zakharova brought a black-diamond sensuality to it.
I tend to move adagio
, and she helps me jump higher and move faster.
The first adagio couple (Natalia Hoffmann, Tamas Nagy) is the most conflicted.
The program opener and only new work, Adagio, by Beijing-Folkwang-trained choreographer Xinpeng Wang, uses the sound of a heartbeat to lead into the slow movement of the Ninth Symphony.