It’s plain to see why Jewels, Balanchine’s work that marks it’s half-century this year, has an enduring appeal. It’s a pure, glossy, glittering spectacle to be devoured and enjoyed by those viewing it. The advantage of a plotless ballet is that it allows one to sit back and absorb the beauty of the movements, costuming and staging, and that’s what good theatre for the masses is all about.
The evening warms up gradually with the elegant and understated Emeralds set to Gabriel Faure’s melodic score. Emeralds whets the appetite nicely for the indulgence of Rubies and Diamonds that follows, with gentle ambience and similarly effortless dancing. Beatriz Stix-Brunell is regal and controlled, while Laura Morera displays intelligent musicality and super sharp footwork. Morera portrays a vibrant impression of Balanchine’s style of movement, all big, bold shapes while still delicately springing from foot to foot in her pointe shoes.
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