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“I like the colour of gems, the beauty of stones.” So said George Balanchine of the inspiration for his 1967 ballet triptych Jewels, a plotless work evoking the radiance and architecture of precious stones. The ballet’s three acts – Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds – are each set to the music of a different composer and often appear as standalone pieces. This season, The National Ballet of Canada will present Jewels in its entirety, giving full expression to this celebrated work.
Born in St. Petersburg, George Balanchine, co-founder and director of New York City Ballet, is one of the most renowned and prolific choreographers of the 20th century. He is credited with revolutionizing the look of classical ballet for a new era in works of unprecedented musicality and aesthetic brilliance.
19th-century French composer Gabriel Fauré was known for the elegance of his music and its impression of simplicity. His extensive oeuvre includes chamber music, songs, incidental music for plays and poems, operas and music for piano, with notable works including his Requiem and Pavane.
Russian composer Igor Stravinsky was a formative figure in 20th-century music. His experimental work encompasses a range of styles and includes the ballets The Firebird, Petrushka and The Rite of Spring. Favoured by choreographer George Balanchine, his music features heavily in the repertoire of New York City Ballet, with works such as Agon and Apollo.
The late 19th-century Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky created some of the most popular works in the classical repertoire, particularly his three full-length scores for ballet: Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. His work includes full-length operas, multiple symphonies and concerti.
“As breathtaking as the jewels that inspired it.” – Toronto Star
“One of the greatest repertoire works... the dancing is sexy, sassy, brash, energetic and très moderne.” – The Globe and Mail
“It’s all terribly lovely to look at – and thanks to the combined skills of the company – hugely impressive in its artistry.” – Toronto Sun
George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust
Gabriel Fauré, from Pelleas et Mélisande and Shylock
Igor Stravinsky, Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra
By arrangement with Boosey & Hawkes, INC., publisher and copyright owner.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 3 in D Major
World Premiere: New York City Ballet, New York City, New York, April 13, 1967
The National Ballet of Canada Premiere: O’Keefe Centre (now Meridian Hall), Toronto, February 11, 2000
The performance of Jewels, a Balanchine® Ballet, is presented by arrangement with The George Balanchine Trust and has been produced in accordance with the Balanchine Style® and Balanchine Technique® Service standards established and provided by the Trust.
Jewels is a gift from The Volunteer Committee, The National Ballet of Canada.
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