The Royal Ballet – Jewels
9 June 2009 WOS Rating: Watching Jewels is like watching all of ballet and all of love. George Balanchine choreographed the triptych for New York City Ballet in 1967, and although there's no obvious narrative, it tells the story of dance and decorum, from romantic France, to classical Russia, to high-revving America. Its three sections are dazzling, although in The Royal Ballet production Diamonds is the highlight. It’s the classical segment set to Tchaikovsky that Balanchine created in homage to his Russian past and also to his favorite ballerina at the time Suzanne Farrell. The dancers are dressed in creamy white, and evoke both Swan Lake and a marriage ceremony, something it’s said Balanchine longed for with Farrell. The wonderful Alina Cojocaru performed the ballerina role on opening night, with dancing that evoked both feminine grace and steely determination. She was accompanied by a much stronger-looking Rupert Pennefather who can occasionally be a little weak. Their paring was flawless, somehow evoking castles and chandeliers and all that is courtly. The middle of the three ballets is Rubies, set to Stravinsky. It conjures the optimism and energy of Balanchine's adopted home in America, as well as Manhattan’s luxe appeal. A smiling Carlos Acosta was in his element as the lead male, although Alexandra Ansanelli had to work hard as the lead ballerina. The opening Emeralds, to Faure, has, for my money, a less pleasing pace, although Tamara Rojo was wonderful, as was Leanne Benjamin who, at 40+, continues to amaze with her supple dancing. - by Sarah Frater Related Content Back to Dance Homepage
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