Day 4 Travel Moscow, Russia

I was unable to book any tickets from online for shows performed in the Bolshoi Theatre. So, with the help of Hotel staff, I managed to get a ballet ticket. The show title is “Jewels“, consisting of three parts that represents Emeralds, Rubies, and Diamonds respectively. Arrived in the Bolshoi Theatre on time, the exterior of the theatre looked grand but it produced a surreal ambience standing in front of Karl Marx’s statue.

 

Young George Balanchine Pictured in 1920s. Image from Wikipedia.
Young George Balanchine Pictured in 1920s. Image from Wikipedia.

 

Colour each jewel signifies was so strong and vivid that every movement of each colour was strongly embedded in my mind. When George Balanchine, a father of American ballet, showed ‘Jewels’ to public, the critics gave harsh comments. However, it is now one of the most be-loved ballets performed in the world.

Each story is perfectly composed and tells a flawless story. Especially, the impression he had for the three jewels well melt in the each movement of dancers. Although the show is abstract, the dancers create beauty of stones as if they tell love stories defined by the Emeralds, Rubies, and Diamonds. Bolshoi Theatre was at the night beautifully decorated with three colours.

 

Background

Balanchine decided to create an abstract ballet show after seeing gem stones at the New York store of jewellers Van Cleef & Arpels. It was first performed in 1967 by New York City Ballet, and the full performance was shown at The Royal Ballet.

 

Three Facets of Jewels

[Emeralds] 

Emeralds in Jewels
Emeralds in Jewels

The first part of the show begins with Emerald Green’s subtle elegance at Gabriel Fauré’, French Romantic Composer. Expressing its pure nature of Emeralds, parts of a solo female dancer’s each movement is subtle and fluid such as a feather in the air.

Dorothée Gilbert, Paris Opera Ballet, says “It’s the most subtle of the three ballets — its beauty is all in the subtlety of the details.”

Furthermore, Dorothée Gilbert added Emeralds explained the choreography with the music represent refinement and elegance, where arms and lower legs play an important role.

 

[Rubies]

Rubies in Jewels
Rubies in Jewels

 

Showing a stark contrast in the first part, dancers show up in the strong and passionate red. As opposed to the subtle movements from Emerald, dancers in Rubies showed energetic jumps and fast story development based on the Igor Stravinsky’s composition.

Teresa Reichlen from New York City Ballet once described as below;

In the passage with the four men, they encircle her, lifting and lowering one leg and pulling her forward into a sloped arabesque as she balances firmly on one toe. “They’re literally manipulating you,” Ms. Reichlen said recently at the Koch Theater, home of New York City Ballet, “but I try to create the illusion that I’m in control, that I’m telling them what to do. I feel very powerful when I dance it.”

 

[Diamonds]

Diamonds segment of Jewels
Diamonds segment of Jewels. Image from The New York Times.

 

After the glamorous Rubies ended, Bolshoi Theatre was whirled by a cold and cynical mood by dancers in white representing Diamonds. Set to Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Balanchine paid tribute to a lost world, whereby the ballet was one of the Soviet State. Interpreting Diamond as one of love stories in my mind, Balenchine’s thought when he looked at diamond at Van Cleef & Arpels may have been different from an impression I had now at the show.

 

 

 

Useful Information

Day 1-2, Travel Moscow, Russia

Day 2 Travel Moscow, Russia

Day 3 Travel Moscow, Russia

 

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