Saturday, October 15, 2011

Royal Opera House - George Balanchine's Jewels

The Royal Opera House in London opened its current season a few weeks ago by presenting George Balanchine's famous Ballet called Jewels. It is unusual in that the ballet doesn't have a romantic theme as many do, but it is a story of three different jewels meant to signify a part of Balanchine's life.

The Ballet is a triptych. Normally the word refers to a work of art which has three panels, but it also aptly fits this production of three separate parts with different composers.

It has been called the first abstract ballet and each part could actually be performed on its own. It was originally created for the New York City Ballet. The first ballet is emeralds, followed by rubies and then diamonds. The three parts feature music by Fauré, Stravinsky. and Tchaikovsky. The costumes are just fabulous, with lots of velvet, and glass stones to imitate the gemstones.

The Royal Opera House has a fabulous video which features the costumes of the ballet and is just fascinating to watch to get a feel of the richness of the production. You can view the video at this link: Royal Opera House Jewels Costumes.

Even though the ballet has nothing to do with jewels and the dancers only wear costumes enhanced by jewels, but I am still moved by the look of the jewels and their relation to the costumes.

This YouTube video of the ballet from an earlier production gives a hint of the emotion of the production. (video has sound if you are watching at work)

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