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New York City Ballet: "Jewels" 2014
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Jewels 2014

Founders, George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein
Founding Choreographers: George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins
Ballet Master in Chief, Peter Martins
Ballet Mistress, Rosemary Dunleavy
Children’s Ballet Master, Dena Abergel
Orchestra, Interim Music Director, Andrews Sill
Managing Dir. Communications & Special Projects, Robert Daniels
Manager, Media Relations, Katharina Plumb
The David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
May 24, 2014

(Read More NYC Ballet Reviews).

Guest Conductor: Koen Kessels

Jewels (1967): Choreography by George Balanchine, Scenery by Peter Harvey, Costumes by Karinska, Lighting by Mark Stanley. Balanchine was inspired by the jewelry of Claude Arpels and decided upon pieces of music that expressed the essence of each of these jewels. The NYC Ballet costume designer, Karinska, used artificial stones that exemplified each of these three jewels. Like the difference in jewels, the mood and music differ, as well. Emeralds signifies the romanticism of France. Rubies has jazzy elements that evolved from Balanchine's collaboration with Stravinsky. Diamonds is illustrative of Imperial Russia and its grandeur. Some of the 1967 Premiere featured performers were Suki Schorer, Patricia McBride, Edward Villella, Suzanne Farrell, and Jacques D'Amboise. (NYCB Notes).

Emeralds: Music by Gabriel Fauré, from ”Pélléas et Mélisande” and “Shylock”, performed by Ashley Bouder and Amar Ramasar, Abi Stafford and Jonathan Stafford, Lauren King, Sean Suozzi, Megan LeCrone, and the Company.

It was wonderful to revisit Balanchine’s Jewels, which begins with the rapturous Emeralds, danced to a Fauré score. The music propels the motion, with Ashley Bouder partnered by Amar Ramasar and Abi Stafford partnered (in a rare event) by her brother, Jonathan Stafford (soon to retire). The jeweled elements and costumes are replete with giant diamonds and emeralds, a glorious sparkling sight. The ambiance is serene and melancholy. Ms. Bouder seemed a bit restrained, as this role doesn’t call for her boundless energy and wit, but she meshed right into the tranquil mood, with the genteel assistance of Mr. Ramasar. Ms. Stafford and Mr. Stafford danced with some distance but refined and polished style. They enhanced each other in this expansive, swirling choreography. In the Corps, several apprentices looked quite accomplished.

Rubies: Music by Igor Stravinsky (Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra), Piano Solo: Cameron Grant, Performed by Megan Fairchild, Joaquin De Luz, Teresa Reichlen, and the Company.

When the ever-stunning Rubies, surrounded by red and metal-colored streamers and giant, red jewels, was introduced, Cameron Grant flew right into his Stravinsky solos with aplomb. Joaquin De Luz and Megan Fairchild were the central duo that runs about with rolling arms and bicycle-styled steps. They flirt and cavort in visual speed, with angular wrists and ankles. They were sexy and engaging throughout. Teresa Reichlen, always winsome and glowing, gazes at the audience, magnetizing it with knowing pleasure. She creates scintillating imagery, thanks to her long, powerful limbs and her coy, confident manner. At one point, the supporting male dancers, in velvet and brocade, ruby-colored costumes, manipulate her leg at varying levels. In the Corps, Sara Adams and Troy Schumacher caught my eye.

Diamonds: Music by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky, from Symphony No. 3 in D Major, Performed by Maria Kowroski, Tyler Angle, and the Company.

The third jeweled ballet in Balanchine’s work is Diamonds, with a regal, Tschaikovsky symphonic score. Maria Kowroski was very attentively partnered by Tyler Angle, with the choreography fluidly leading them in a variety of directions. They dance beneath Peter Harvey’s shimmering, diamond and blue scenery, with Karinska’s stunning, white jeweled costumes. My favorite motif is the flying imagery of Ms. Kowroski’s arms, as she is carried aloft by Mr. Angle. Their picture perfect flourishes at the end of each daring figure were enchanting. Diamonds evokes the balletic paintings of Degas, with the glittering fluffiness of its gestalt. Ms. Kowroski is an incomparable dancer, one who exudes grandeur, scintillating sensuality, and mesmerizing appeal. Together with Mr. Angle, they brought moment to moment freshness and allure in solos and pas de deux. Kudos to George Balanchine.

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at