Home Theatre Balanchine’s Jewels is The Australian Ballet’s return to Royal Opera Home after 35 years – Seen and Heard Worldwide

Balanchine’s Jewels is The Australian Ballet’s return to Royal Opera Home after 35 years – Seen and Heard Worldwide

Balanchine’s Jewels is The Australian Ballet’s return to Royal Opera Home after 35 years – Seen and Heard Worldwide


United KingdomUnited Kingdom George Balanchine’s Jewels: Dancers of The Australian Ballet, Royal Ballet Sinfonia / Jonathan Lo (conductor). Royal Opera Home, London, 2.8.2023. (JO’D)

Ako Kondo and Brett Chynoweth in Rubies © Tristram Kenton

Choreography – George Balanchine
Music – Emeralds: Fauré, extracts from Pelléas et Mélisande and Shylock
Rubies: Stravinsky, Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra, Op.29
Diamonds: Tchaikovsky, Symphony No.3 in D Main

Dancers – Principal Artists, Senior Artists, Soloists, Coryphées and Corps de Ballet of The Australian Ballet

After an interval of thirty-five years, The Australian Ballet returns to the stage of the Royal Opera Home in George Balanchine’s Jewels (1967). A Jewels with the unique set designs by Peter Harvey recreated by the designer himself. Behind the dancers on this manufacturing are complete Milky Methods of emeralds, rubies, diamonds. These compete with the jewels on the costumes, and even with the dance. However for his or her energy, musicality and precision, the dancers of The Australian Ballet handle to carry the eye.

In Emeralds, to music by Gabriel Fauré, the ladies put on lengthy tutus of pale inexperienced. They resemble the sylphs in La Sylphide. Within the opening part, a male dancer (Callum Linnane) strikes amongst them just like the bemused hero of that Romantic ballet. The angular choreography of Rubies, just like the Stravinsky Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra to which it’s set, refers back to the Jazz Age. The stateliness and grandeur of Diamonds, to 4 actions from Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.3 in D Main, recreate the late-nineteenth century ballet in St Petersburg that Balanchine knew at first hand.

Joseph Caley and Benedicte Bemet in Diamonds © Tristram Kenton

Diamonds offers you the double pleasure of Balanchine and an almost full Tchaikovsky symphony expressively performed by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia and idiomatically performed – as all of the music was – by Jonathan Lo. It additionally comprises the shock that the assured dancer who seems to be like Joseph Caley is Joseph Caley. (He joined The Australian Ballet from English Nationwide Ballet in 2022.) Rubies has its flexed fingers, its projecting hips, its wit, and the actually outstanding pairing of Ako Kondo and Brett Chynoweth because the First Principal Couple. Emeralds, delicate and slower-paced, outshone in a lot of methods by the ballets that comply with, is a dance to the music of time with an ending that may ship a shiver down the backbone.

In her programme notice, dance author Marina Harss finds a thread that connects the three ‘seemingly unrelated’ elements of Jewels: ‘a perception within the unattainability of ladies.’ The standing ballerina (Benedicte Bemet) on the climax of Diamonds permits her kneeling companion to kiss her hand. Within the closing tableau she stands beside him, not supported by him in a raise. The soloist in Rubies (Isobelle Dashwood) teases 4 males along with her legs and hips however seems to reject all of them. And there’s no different suitor, no want for one, as there’s for Aurora after she rejects the 4 princes in The Sleeping Magnificence.

Whereas the principal ladies in Emeralds (Sharni Spencer and Valerie Tereshenko) have companions, they each dance variations that present a self-absorbed apartness. If Balanchine had not expressed his dislike of Isadora Duncan, you could possibly imagine he was considering of her. And on this ballet, the place legs and arms can transfer just like the fingers of a clock, the place exits are in some way extra vital than entrances, there’s additionally a priority with the apartness of loss of life. Within the coda that Balanchine added to the ballet in 1976, three males all of the sudden discover themselves alone on the stage. ‘Jack hath not Jill’, as Biron says on the finish of Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Misplaced. 9 years after choreographing to Tchaikovsky’s Third Symphony, Balanchine might have been considering of the ending to that composer’s Sixth.

John O’Dwyer



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here