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New York City Ballet - Jewels
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Founders, George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein
Ballet Master in Chief, Peter Martins
Ballet Mistress, Rosemary Dunleavy
Children's Ballet Mistress, Garielle Whittle
Orchestra, Music Director, Andrea Quinn
Manager, Press Relations, Siobhan Burns

Conductor, Andrea Quinn

New York State Theater, Lincoln Center

Review by Dr. Robert E. Zlokower
Originally Published on
February 10, 2004

Jewels (1967): Choreography by George Balanchine, Scenery by Peter Harvey, Costumes by Karinska, Lighting by Mark Stanley. Balanchine was inspired by the jewelry of Claude Arpels and decided upon pieces of music that expressed the essence of each of these jewels. The NYC Ballet costume designer, Karinska, used artificial stones that exemplified each of these three jewels. Like the difference in jewels, the mood and music differ, as well. Emeralds signifies the romanticism of France. Rubies has jazzy elements that evolved from Balanchine's collaboration with Stravinsky. Diamonds is illustrative of Imperial Russia and its grandeur. Some of the 1967 Premiere featured performers were Suki Schorer, Patricia McBride, Edward Villella, Suzanne Farrell, and Jacques D'Amboise. (NYCB Notes).

Emeralds: Music by Gabriel Fauré, from Pélléas et Mélisande and Shylock, performed by Rachel Rutherford, Robert Tewsley, Pascale van Kipnis, James Fayette, Amanda Edge, Antonio Carmena, Carrie Lee Riggins, the Company, and students from School of American Ballet. Less than one week since its return to NYC Ballet Repertory, Jewels took on a different glimmer, not as glistening, but very warm and elegant. For some reason, it seemed as though the stage lighting had changed, so that the large jeweled décor, hung from the rafters, had lost its luster. There seemed to be a darker, more subdued feel. In addition, Maurice Kaplow is a very different Conductor from Andrea Quinn, and the orchestra appeared more passionate, less dynamic, but classical and characteristic.

Rachel Rutherford and Robert Tewsley are an ethereal and magnetic duo, perfectly partnered and a joy to experience. Ms. Rutherford is emotionally driven, connected to the theme, exquisite in form, and charismatic with the right partner. And, Mr. Tewsley was just that partner, with classical and romantic theatricality, technicality, and tenderness. Their Pas de Deux was sensational, their eyes following each turn. Pascale van Kipnis danced with style and sensuality, and James Fayette was an effective partner, but, at times, lacking in presence, which contrasted considerably from his recent role as von Rotbart in Swan Lake. However, Amanda Edge and Antonio Carmena were exciting and electric, as usual, in their all too brief duo. Carrie Lee Riggins was a lovely third to the second tier of dancers.

Tonight I focused on the delicious shades of green that blend costumes and scenery. My recollection in the previous review of sapphires was incorrect. There may have been blue tones in the lighting, but the costume jewels were emeralds and diamonds. Karinska was a genius.

Rubies: Music by Igor Stravinsky, Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra, Piano Solo: Cameron Grant, Performed by Yvonne Borree, Peter Boal, Teresa Reichlen, and the Company. Tonight's Rubies was also less electric, less edgy, but extremely entertaining. Peter Boal has virtuosic abilities, and Yvonne Borree can be coy and coquettish. They were mutually in tune, rhythmically, emotionally, and stylistically. Both Principals seemed to thoroughly enjoy the antics and angular configurations. Mr. Kaplow kept the orchestra more fused and harmonious. Cameron Grant built momentum through the Pas de Deux in a very powerful performance. Teresa Reichlen was once again the sensational soloist, campy and sexy, against the brilliant reds and black. No luster lost on these sets. As before, the male quartet performed aerobically choreographed runs and leaps that brought essential energy and fire to this more subdued presentation. The Company was superb.

Diamonds: Music by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky from Symphony No. 3 in D Major, Performed by Darci Kistler, Charles Askegard, the Company, including Saskia Beskow (Danskin Spokesperson), and students from School of American Ballet. Tonight's Diamonds, with Darci Kistler in the lead, partnered by the very seasoned and talented Charles Askegard, brought a new level of passion and excitement to the stage, as Ms. Kistler sparkles and dances with internalized joy and effervescence. Mr. Askegard was classically eloquent in form, and his solos were poised and balanced. For the most part, the partnering was perfect (At one moment Ms. Kistler required from Mr. Askegard better timing and readiness), and Ms. Kistler enjoyed numerous accolades at curtain call, her diamond tiara sparkling like her eyes.

Kudos to Karinska for the incredible costumes, decorated with emeralds, rubies, and diamonds, finished with lace and ribbons, timeless and classy, just like Mr. Balanchine.

Emeralds from Jewels
Dancers: Jenifer Ringer and James Fayette
Choreography by George Balanchine
Photo courtesy of Paul Kolnik

Rubies from Jewels
Dancers: Alexandra Ansanelli and Damian Woetzel
Choreography by George Balanchine
Photo courtesy of Paul Kolnik

Diamonds from Jewels
Dancers: Maria Kowroski and Philip Neal
Choreography by George Balanchine
Photo courtesy of Paul Kolnik

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at