George Balanchine: Jewels

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George Balanchine was born on January 22, 1904, in St. Petersburg, Russia, His birth name was Georgy Melitonovich Balanchivadze but later he shortened it to George Balanchine. He studied ballet and music in Russia before making his way to America. His father was a composer therefore he had deeper knowledge of music compared to other choreographers at that time. In 1914, he enrolled at the Mariinsky Theatre's ballet school and graduated in 1921. He then attended the Petrograd State Conservatory of Music and left the conservatory after three years. In 1925, he joined Serge Diaghilev's Ballet Russes, one of the most renowned ballet companies in the world at that time. Then, American dance aficionado Lincoln Kirstein approached Balanchine about…show more content…
He died in New York City in 1983 at age 79. About Jewels: Jewels premiered on 13 April 1967 at New York State Theatre. Jewels is an abstract three act, plotless ballet. The first act is called Emeralds, the second act is called Rubies and the last act is called Diamonds. All three parts uses different music from three different composers. Balanchine was inspired by the artistry of jewelry designer Claude Arpels, and chose music revealing the essence of each jewel. The music for Emeralds was composed by Gabriel Faure, from Pelleas et Melisande and Shylock. The music for Rubies was composed by Igor Stravinsky from Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra. The music for Diamonds was composed by Pyotr Tchaikovsky from his work Symphony No 3 in D major. Each act is different in moods. Emeralds is considered an evocation of France, Rubies is considered crisp and witty and perfectly shows the collaboration of Igor Stravinsky and Balanchine and is most performed by dance companies as individual work. Diamonds is considered the order and grandeur of Imperial Russia where Balanchine was trained. The average length for this dance is 88mins and the number of dancers is…show more content…
The choreography is fluid, airy and delicate with Giselle-like balances and sinuous steps. It evokes 19th century Paris and French ballerinas of that era. The costumes, backdrop and curtains are all in green, which is the colour of emerald. Emerald was said to be psychedelic and therapeutic. It has been thought to produce a peaceful effect, curing insomnia and improving immune eyesight and releases a peaceful effect. While watching the dance, I felt like it was fairytale like with the movements and music. The music sets a careful and magical feeling while the dance is airy and smooth. There are few parts where the male dancer lifts the female dancer up and it felt like a fairytale scene to me. The tutu that the female dancer wears is also quite long and flowy which adds to the carefree fairytale

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