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New York City Ballet: Jewels 2007

by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
June 21, 2007
Lincoln Center
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc.
140 West 65th Street
New York, NY 10023
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New York City Ballet
(NYC Ballet Website)

Jewels 2007

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, Fayçal Karoui
Marketing and Communications, Managing Director, Robert Daniels
Assoc. Director, Communications, Siobhan Burns
Manager, Press Relations, Joe Guttridge
New York State Theater, Lincoln Center
www.lincolncenter.org
(Read More NYC Ballet Reviews).
Guest Conductor: Clotilde Otranto

Jewels (1967): (See February 9, 2005 Review). 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 Ashley Bouder, Stephen Hanna, Jenifer Ringer, Jonathan Stafford, Alina Dronova, Robert Fairchild, Ana Sophia Scheller, and the Company. On tonight's viewing, I was struck by the eloquence of Balanchine's choreography, particularly the pushing motif, arms through space, as if space were palpable. I was also struck by Karinska's incandescent costumes, two shades of green for the women and red/gold vests for the men, as well as Peter Harvey's green on green shimmering backdrops. Everything about this segment of the three-Jewel ballet is French in genre, music, romance, and sparkling beauty. Ashley Bouder, one of City Ballet's finest dancers, now in full bloom, is the quintessential Balanchine ballerina, flawless in timing and expressiveness, not to mention leg elevation and oneness with the music. Stephen Hanna partnered her with flair, although he does not rivet the viewer as does Ms. Bouder.

Jenifer Ringer, as always, exuded poise and persuasive interpretation, and Jonathan Stafford, in the role once assumed by James Fayette, resonated with moments of brilliance. Robert Fairchild led Alina Dronova and Ana Sophia Scheller in a rapturous trio, with Ms. Scheller clearly in the moment and affect. Mr. Fairchild danced even better than ever, an impressive performance.

Rubies: Music by Igor Stravinsky (Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra), Piano Solo: Cameron Grant, Performed by Yvonne Borree, Damian Woetzel, Teresa Reichlen, and the Company. Rubies has become one of my favorite ballets, one that could stand alone in full repertoire. At the curtain's opening, the sheer stage effect of the red/gold backdrop and shiny, red costumes is breathtaking. The atonal jazz-infused score with angular leg kicks is always enhanced by Teresa Reichlen's mesmerizing manner, the way she draws the viewers in and energizes the proceedings. Speaking of energy, there is plenty to go around, with Damian Woetzel as lead male, still dancing at peak, aerobic and propulsive, and with Yvonne Borree as his partner, seductive and sassy. Their intertwining pas de deux brings out Balanchine's best, that bit of nuance that differentiates each of his multitudinous works.

Of the male quartet, Allen Peiffer caught my eye, with Erica Pereira, who partnered with him in Peter Martins' Romeo + Juliet, also standing out from the female ensemble of eight. Cameron Grant propelled the piano solos with pizzazz.

Diamonds: Music by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky (from Symphony No. 3 in D Major, Performed by Maria Kowroski, Philip Neal, and the Company. This very classically structured and Russian-infused, final segment of Jewels, is pure white in vision, with sparkling chandeliers and diamond-studded sets. Maria Kowroski and Philip Neal led the Company with sensuous, subtle partnering, allowing for Ms. Kowroski's fascinating extensions and visual unfolding of the Symphony. Their partnering also allowed for Mr. Neal's strong sense of presence, so much more interesting this season, with fewer affectations and more interpretation.

In the Company, noteworthy performances were seen from Tyler Angle, Adrian Danchig-Waring, Marika Anderson, Gwyneth Muller, Devin Alberda, and Daniel Applebaum. Clotilde Otranto, the very petite Guest Conductor, received audience and orchestral accolades. Kudos to George Balanchine.
Jenifer Ringer and Jonathan Stafford dance a scene from 'Jewels' at the New York City Ballet. June 21, 2007.

Jenifer Ringer and Jonathan Stafford dance a scene from "Jewels" at the New York City Ballet. June 21, 2007.

Photo © & courtesy of Paul Kolnik


Maria Kowroski and Philip Neal dance together in 'Jewels' at the New York City Ballet. June 21, 2007.

Maria Kowroski and Philip Neal dance together in "Jewels" at the New York City Ballet. June 21, 2007.

Photo © & courtesy of Paul Kolnik

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