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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Jewels - an afternoon at the ballet

I was in London today to see the ballet Jewels performed by the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House.

Jewels was choreographed by George Balanchine. It is three one act ballets each inspired by a different jewel and performed to music by three different composers.

Act 1 is Emeralds performed to music by Faure, the set and costumes are all Emerald green..... The Faure music used is from Pelleas et Melisande and from Shylock The music is beautiful as was the dance. The sets, as they were for all three pieces, were simple but worked well. Faure's music is lovely (I love Pelleas.....) but it lacks drama and I think that was reflected in the dance.

Act 2 is Rubies and performed to music by Stravinsky, the set and costumes were all Ruby red. The music was the capriccio for Piano and Orchestra. The music is more dramatic and less tuneful and the dance reflected that. I thought it very well done and I enjoyed the act, it had more drama than the first, but I am not sure I could sit through a whole ballet to Stravinsky's music.

Act 3 is Diamonds and performed to music by Tchaikovsky, the set and costumes were all white. The music was movements 2-5 of Symphony no 3 (Polish). This felt like a pastiche (not necessarily a bad thing) of the Tchaikovsky ballets. The dancers made some lovely patterns, moved with style and it was truly beautiful to watch. of the three this was the one I enjoyed more, more visual, more elegant. I loved the music and the dance seemed to fit well, it combined drama and elegance better than the other two acts.

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