With Jewels the Bayerisches Staatsballett celebrates its first premiere of the 2018/19 season in Munich’s Nationaltheater on Saturday 27 October at 7:30 p.m. For the first time the company presents a full-length ballet by the choreographer George Balanchine. Besides the New York City Ballet, the Bayerisches Staatsballett is the only company worldwide to present Peter Harvey’s revised original stage set from 2004.
Conductor Robert Reimer celebrates his house debut.
Dance visionary George Balanchine, who founded the New York City Ballet in the mid-20th century and led it until his death in 1983, was inspired with Jewels, produced in 1967, by the jewellery display of a Fifth Avenue jeweller. He therefore named each of the three parts of the ballet after a jewel. The work is also an homage to the three countries and ballet traditions that heavily influenced his life at the time: Emeralds (France), Rubies (the US) and Diamonds (Russia).
Emeralds opens with a lyrical character, gentle lifts, playful arms and refined sequences, which fuse and blend perfectly in the romantic music of Gabriel Fauré. Balanchine's breakthrough as a choreographer came in France.
Rubies to Igor Stravinsky's jazzy Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra brought a contemporary panorama. A winking, coquettish interplay full of energy and love of dance, where Balanchine's Broadway and show business qualities shine through.
Diamonds with Peter I. Tchaikovsky's 3rd Symphony is entirely characteristic of the grand ballet of czarist Russia, as Balanchine knew it in his childhood.
Jewels in Munich
Fourteen ballets by George Balanchine have already premiered on the stage of the Nationaltheater, whereby Jewels will be the first abstract full-length ballet on the programme. With its five ballerina roles, the virtuoso male solo roles and multifaceted dance styles, Jewels highlights the skills and range of every company that performs it.
Ballet Director Igor Zelensky, who has also danced with the New York City Ballet, is intrinsically bound by George Balanchine's aesthetic, and with Jewels he brings a piece to Munich that he himself has danced several times: “It is really important for me to stage the most authentic version of Jewels possible. So we’ve invited wonderful ballet masters to ensure this, some of whom have worked in person with Balanchine and know what the various highly detailed movements should look like.”
Ballet masters with Balanchine experience are entrusted with the rehearsals: Patricia Neary (Rubies), for whom the solo role in Rubies was tailored, Elyse Borne (Diamonds), who herself has also worked with Balanchine, and Ben Huys (Emeralds), who has danced as principal dancer with the New York City Ballet over the years.
Besides the New York City Ballet, the Bayerisches Staatsballett is the only company worldwide to present Peter Harvey’s stage set from 2004. Harvey had already been responsible for the stage set of the Jewels premiere in 1967. In 2004 he revised his work on the occasion of the Balanchine Centenary.
The costumes follow the original designs of Balanchine’s costume designer and Oscar winner Barbara Karinska, which were created in 1967 for the Jewels world premiere. Balanchine honoured her by saying: “There is Shakespeare for literature and Madame Karinska for costumes.”
Emeralds, the first part of Jewels, has a troupe of 17 dancers all told. Of these Kristina Lind and Emilio Pavan rehearse the part of the first solo couple and Prisca Zeisel and Henry Grey rehearse the part of the second solo couple. Of the 15 dancers with Rubies, Nancy Osbaldeston and Osiel Gouneo rehearse for the part of the solo couple, while Prisca Zeisel works on the first soloist role. With the last part of the ballet performance, Diamonds, 34 male and female ballet dancers can be enjoyed on the stage. Ksenia Ryzhkova and Jinhao Zhang are learning the part of the solo couple.
Robert Reimer conducts, and in doing so celebrates his house debut as conductor, having already debuted at numerous opera houses around the world.
Nancy Osbaldeston, principal dancer with the Royal Ballet of Flanders and guest dancer at the Bayerisches Staatsballett, celebrates her house and role debut in Rubies.
Sat, 27 October 2018, 7:30 pm (CET), Premiere
Sun, 28 October 2018, 7:30 pm (CET)
Thu, 01 November 2018, 6:00 pm (CET)
Sat, 03 November 2018, 7:30 pm (CET)
Wed, 03 April 2019, 7:30 pm (CET), Ballettfestwoche
Thu, 11 April 2019, 7:30 pm (CET)
Sun, 21 April 2019, 6:00 pm (CET)
Thu, 04 July 2019, 7:30 pm (CET)