In all the world, there are few individuals as graceful as classical ballerinas. These professionals who have trained their whole lives to be onstage embody a fluidity of movement and effortless poise that is almost regal in nature.
They hold the audience enchanted for the duration of the show, a visual feast of physical prowess and stunning costuming and set. Today, we pay homage to one of the most iconic ballets of the 20th century by George Balanchine, inspired by beautiful jewels.
A little about George Balanchine’s ‘Jewels’
Vanguard choreographer George Balanchine got the idea for a jewel-themed ballet from the work of master jeweller Claude Arpels, as reported by The George Balanchine Trust.
“Of course, I have always liked jewels,” Balanchine explained. “I like the colour of gems, the beauty of stones, and it was wonderful to see how our costume workshop… came so close to the quality of real stones (which were of course too heavy for the dancers to wear!).”
Each of the three acts has a distinct musical sound and quality of movement, intended to imitate the properties and personalities of three gems.
Act I – Emeralds
The opening act is set to the music of Gabriel Faure’s Pelleas et Melisande, a grand, yet sophisticated score which Balanchine thought evoked the elegance and aesthetic of France.
The dancers are dressed in Romantic style tutus, their movements fluid and refined. You yourself can take the lead from the opulence and regality of this first act with the Karen Walker emerald and citrine owl ring. To find out more about emeralds, you can read our blog post here.
Act II – Rubies
The spritely second act speaks of the mischievous glamour of dazzling rubies. Dancers dart across the stage in fairy light steps, demonstrating agility and an almost feline litheness.
Set to the somewhat jarring, avant garde music of Igor Stravinksy, Rubies encapsulates a joie de vivre that you can echo with our dazzling ruby and diamond ring. The dancers are dressed in more modern attire to clearly denote the act as having a different personality from emeralds. Read up more on this bewitching gem in our blog series here.
Act III- Diamonds
The third and final act is a celebration of splendour, a glittering last show of skill with a touch of flamboyance. The dancers take to the stage in glistening white tutus with a cool confidence befitting this queen of jewels, whose brilliance never fails to impress.
Diamond jewellery is all at once the ultimate signature of sophisticated style, as well as offering a flash of intrigue as it catches the light. Why not try following in the elegant footsteps of Balanchine’s ballerinas with this timeless diamond pendant from Dreamtime?
In addition, much like diamond jewellery, Balanchine’s ‘Diamonds’ act is timeless – the traditional ballet tutu is paired with a choreography that echoes the grand tradition of several other balletic masterpieces. However, watch closely, and you’ll still see much of the flair that denotes Balanchine’s modern style.
Matched with a score by Peter Tchaikovsky, this act is the crowning jewel of the show, blending triumph, romanticism and effortless style, much like the gem in real life. You can learn more about Dreamtime diamonds here, or click here to find your own musical diamond muse!