Boston Ballet presents the company premiere of George Balanchine’s Jewels, a masterpiece, full-length work, February 26-March 8 at the Citi Wang Theatre. This unique program, a ballet in three parts, presents a miniature history of classical dance with references to ballet’s French origins, Russia’s imperial style, and Balanchine’s own take on the art form. In presenting Jewels, Boston Ballet joins such major, international companies as The Royal Ballet/Covent Garden, the Paris Opera Ballet and the Maryinsky Theater’s Kirov Ballet who have performed this work.
“Balanchine’s Jewels is at once classical and elegant, vibrant and energetic,” said Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. “We continue to strengthen our repertoire of Balanchine masterpieces and demonstrate his enduring influence with the Boston premiere of this sensational work.”
Balanchine premiered Jewels at New York City Ballet in 1967, at one of the great peaks in his career. At the time, it captured national press as one of his most audacious neo-classical works: a full-length ballet without narrative. Inspired by the artistry of jewelry designer Claude Arpels, each act is distinct in both style and music, with choreographic and costuming elements portraying the essence of each stone.
“Emeralds” recalls the elegance and luxury of 19th century France with dancers in long, tulle skirts. Capturing the fluidity of the French approach, “Emeralds” is set to music from Gabriel Fauré’s Pelléas et Melisande and Shylock. “Rubies,” an athletic and jazzy ballet, features dancers in brief, blood-red tunics. Witty and vibrant, “Rubies” is neo-classical in style and set to Stravinsky’s Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra. “Diamonds” evokes Russia’s imperial style through its classical choreography. It embodies the technique and history of Balanchine’s own training and is set to Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 3 in D Major, Op.29.
Balanchine began studying dance in 1913 at age nine and embarked on a career that would prove to have more impact on the ballet world than any other 20th century dance figure. Together with Boston-born dance connoisseur Lincoln Kirstein, he founded the famed School of American Ballet which eventually evolved into New York City Ballet. In 1963, Balanchine helped E. Virginia Williams establish Boston Ballet – New England’s first professional repertory ballet company. At the time of his death in 1983 Balanchine had choreographed more than 450 works and made an indelible mark on dance in the United States.
Emeralds and Rubies will be staged by Sandra Jennings and Diamonds by Maria Calegari. Both are former Principals dancers with New York City Ballet and repetiteurs for The George Balanchine Trust.
Tickets for Jewels can be purchased by phone at 866.348.9738, online at www.citicenter.org, or in person at the Citi Performing Arts CenterSM box office, located at 270 Tremont Street in Boston's Theatre District, open Monday - Saturday from 10am - 6pm. Prices for season ballets start at $25. Discounted group tickets (10 or more) are available by calling Boston Ballet's Group Sales at 617.456.6343. Rush tickets are available. Contact the Boston Ballet box office at 617.695.6955.
About Boston BalletFounded in 1963, Boston Ballet is one of the leading dance companies in North America. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen, the Company maintains an internationally acclaimed repertoire of classical, neo-classical and contemporary works, ranging from full-length story ballets to new works by some of today's finest choreographers.
Boston Ballet's second company, Boston Ballet II, is made up of pre-professional dancers who gain experience by performing with Boston Ballet and as an independent group, presenting lecture-demonstrations and unique programs to audiences throughout the Northeast. The Boston Ballet Center for Dance Education is the largest ballet school in North America. In service of its mission to bring the highest quality arts education to all, it reaches and instructs more than 10,000 students of all ages each year through Boston Ballet School, Summer Dance Workshop, Summer Dance Program, Citydance, Taking Steps, and Adaptive Dance. The wide array of dance education programs are held at four major ballet studio locations, in community centers, and throughout the Boston Public Schools.