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  • Watch: Rehearsals for George Balanchine’s ballet Jewels

Watch: Rehearsals for George Balanchine’s ballet Jewels

Principals of The Royal Ballet rehearse Balanchine's sparkling abstract work.

By Rose Slavin (Former Assistant Content Producer)

3 March 2017 at 5.10pm | 7 Comments

ROH Insight event exploring George Balanchine’s glittering ballet Jewels was livestreamed for free via the Royal Opera House YouTube channel on 6 March 2017.

TV and radio broadcaster Kirsten O’Brien hosted the event, which featured interviews and rehearsals with Artists of The Royal Ballet, ballet repetiteur Elyse Borne, and the American choreographer and director Patricia Neary. Neary, a former dancer with New York City Ballet, works for The George Balanchine Trust and alongside Borne is responsible for staging his works around the world.

Balanchine made history when he created Jewels – the first abstract three-act ballet. It was first performed in 1967 by New York City Ballet. The choreographer was reportedly inspired by the beauty of the precious stones he saw in Van Cleef & Arpels in New York.

Principals of The Royal Ballet Sarah Lamb and Steven McRae rehearsed a section of Act I, ‘Rubies’. Then, fellow Principals Marianela Nuñez and Thiago Soares rehearsed ‘Diamonds’.

Each section, featuring the music of Gabriel Fauré, Igor Stravinsky and Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky, salutes a different era in classical ballet’s history as well as a distinct period in Balanchine’s own life. Through it all, Balanchine displays his genius for combining music with visionary choreography.

The insight also featured an in-depth look at the ballet’s ornate costumes with costume supervisor Allan Watkins.

Subscribe to the Royal Opera House YouTube channel for updates about upcoming Insight events:

Jewels runs 1–21 April 2017. Tickets are still available.

The production will be broadcast live to cinemas around the world on 11 April 2017. Find your nearest cinema and sign up to our mailing list.

The production is staged with generous philanthropic support from Hans and Julia Rausing, Sarah and Lloyd Dorfman, Lady Ashcroft, Lindsay and Sarah Tomlinson, Peter Lloyd and The Royal Opera House Endowment Fund.

This article has 7 comments

  1. Dewi Hughes responded on 6 March 2017 at 9:01pm Reply

    Great to be part of the worldwide audience tonight seeing and hearing fantastic performers and stagers rehearse a masterpiece of ballet. Looking forward to being at the ROH on Tuesday 11th April.

  2. jean amos responded on 8 March 2017 at 6:19pm Reply

    Enjoyed every minute, the ladies were lovely
    the men excellent. Sarah Lamb so very articulate, good to have different generations
    views. Marianella always makes me smile,
    such a joyous personality even when serious.
    I come away with a big grin on my face.
    Sadly could not get the tickets I wanted for perf.
    Will hope for dvd!!

  3. Maya Kirk responded on 12 March 2017 at 7:30pm Reply

    I loved this thank you. I was wondering how come the costume manequins have names on them ? because one of them has the name Omar my brothers name!

    • Rose Slavin (Former Assistant Content Producer) responded on 13 March 2017 at 3:16pm

      Hi Maya,
      The Costume Workroom have many mannequins all with different measurements. This is so they can fit costumes to a range of performers. Each mannequin is named to make them easy to identify - possibly why one of them is called Omar!

      All best wishes,
      Rose

  4. Carmen responded on 13 March 2017 at 3:41pm Reply

    I will love to actuate there!!!
    How old may i be for that
    Best wishes,
    ❤️❤️

  5. Ulises Pacheco Sánchez responded on 9 April 2017 at 5:21am Reply

    More tan interesting in the Balanchine technic, is really nice and trememdous..so for me is one part in addition to undertand the Little diferentes that express the techninc in classical ballet, so is very real Is more than real in the presentation of the sequence that takes, and apart the different steps that perform together with those of the technique of normal ballet .. (methodology), being a part as an extra in the essential when interpreting the variations that Balanchine. . Performs and interprets in each one of them ... more than beautiful, arrogant and once intrepido .. but in itself very sensual but partly very dynamic, thanks ...

  6. Erika responded on 12 April 2017 at 6:28pm Reply

    We really enjoyed Jewels yesterday but I was a little astonished that the technic was not the best yesterday. the very left camera showed a very strange image and the cuts were brutal. Where was the Zoom function yesterday. ROH live is usually much better.

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