Yesterday evening I went to JEWELS which was performed by the Dutch National Ballet. I received a free ticket from them in exchange for a personal interview for some research which will be done by the Erasmus University Rotterdam.
More than wanting to express the character of the jewels, Balanchine (1904 – 1983) wanted to let his dancers shine and to spotlight their individual qualities. He did so by putting together a refined ‘menu’, based on the three dance styles that had been so influential on his career.
The first section of Jewels, Emeralds, was a tribute to the traditional French style of Ballet. In Balanchine’s own words; “Emeralds is an evocation of France- the France of elegance, comfort, dress and perfume”.
For the middle section, Rubies, Balanchine was inspired by Stravinsky’s Capriccio for piano and orchestra. The choreographer always said himself that he had no other goal than to make the music visible. Yet the dazzling, flashy Rubies clearly shows the influence that jazz, musicals and the hectic American life had on him.
In the final section, Diamonds, Balanchine returns to his roots; the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. Although the hard brilliance of a diamond might suggest otherwise, the choreography is an ode to romanticism and refinement. The heart is formed by a pas de deux that revolves around grandeur, technical perfection and passion.
Well, I can honestly say it was magnificent! During the whole show I was mesmerized by the beautiful costumes. Each ballet dancer was to me an emerald, ruby or diamond. Everyone was so quite that you were able to hear the sound of the pointe shoes on the stage.
The way the male soloists lift up the ballerinas in the air was amazing; like each ballerina was just a light feather. Who doesn’t want to have a man like that!? A man that can lift you up like that and make you feel elegant and sophisticated. I bet that it’s secretly every woman’s dream…
The parts Emeralds and Diamonds had reminded me of my childhood, when I had a little music box with a ballerina on it. It was the combination of the classical music, the precision and technique of the ballerinas. It was one of my dreams to become a prima ballerina but unfortunately due to my ankle ligaments it stayed a dream.
One of the best things of the night was seeing Michaela DePrince dance. She is such an inspiration to me. She stood out on the stage, not because she is coloured but because she dances amazing. You can almost feel her passion for ballet and you can see the joy it brings to her. She dares to be different and to live up to her dreams. She is no “Devil’s Child” she is an inspirational black prima ballerina!