Most recent performance
There are currently no scheduled performances of Jewels. It was last on stage 12–13 August 2013.
Emeralds, rubies and diamonds are the inspiration for Balanchine's glittering triptych of abstract ballets. Each displays a facet of musical and dance styles intimately connected to Balanchine’s own life and career.
George Balanchine was inspired by the artistry of Van Cleef & Arpels in the creation of Jewels. This unique full-length three-act abstract ballet was first performed in 1967 by New York City Ballet. Bolshoi Ballet's first production of the complete ballet was first given on 5 May 2012, to fantastic acclaim. The production uses new set and costume designs by Alyona Pikalova and Elena Zaitseva respectively, each of whom have incorporated designs from Van Cleef & Arpels in homage to Balanchine's original production.
In the three acts Balanchine delves into the essence of each jewel, using music from different composers and incorporating different balletic styles. 'Emeralds', set to music by Fauré, is infused with a dreamy French romanticism. The fiery 'Rubies' fizzes with the energy and exuberance of jazz-age New York in its setting of ebullient Stravinsky. And 'Diamonds', using music from Tchaikovsky's Third Symphony, evokes the high classicism of Imperial Russia, here brilliantly danced by the Bolshoi.
News and features
30 July 2013
A spotlight on releases from one of the world's premiere ballet companies, available in the ROH Shop.
29 July 2013
A look back at the history of Moscow’s great ballet company and its relationship with Covent Garden.
Jewels is a three act ballet, created for the New York City Ballet by co-founder and founding choreographer George Balanchine. It premièred on Thursday, April 13, 1967, at the New York State Theater with sets designed by Peter Harvey and lighting by Ronald Bates. Jewels has been called the first full-length abstract ballet., (that is, it has no story, and consists of, and is to be seen as, only the dancers' movements). It has three related movements "Emeralds," "Rubies," and "Diamonds" (though usually separated by intermissions). It can also be seen as three separate ballets, linked by their jewel-colored costumes. Balanchine commented: "The ballet had nothing to do with jewels. The dancers are just dressed like jewels." Each of the three acts features the music of a different composer: Emeralds is set to the music of Gabriel Fauré, Rubies to the music of Igor Stravinsky and Diamonds to music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.