Now celebrating its 50th year, George Balanchine’s sparkling ballet still shines with all the brilliance of the gemstones that inspired it.
Jewels uses three gem stones as starting points to explore an array of musical and dance styles, each intimately connected to Balanchine’s own life and career.
George Balanchine’s glittering ballet Jewels was inspired by the beauty of the gem stones he saw in the New York store of jewellers Van Cleef & Arpels. He went on to make history with this, the first abstract three-act ballet, first performed in 1967 by New York City Ballet. Jewels was performed in full by The Royal Ballet for the first time in 2007, using costume designs from the original NYCB production and new set designs by Jean-Marc Puissant.
Each of the three movements draws on a different stone for its inspiration and a different composer for its sound. The French Romantic music of Fauré provides the impetus for the lyricism of ‘Emeralds’. The fire of ‘Rubies’ comes from Stravinsky and the jazz-age energy of New York. Grandeur and elegance complete the ballet in ‘Diamonds’, with the splendour of Imperial Russia and Tchaikovsky’s opulent Third Symphony. Each section salutes a different era in classical ballet’s history as well as a distinct period in Balanchine’s own life. Through it all, Balanchine displays his genius for combining music with visionary choreography.
THE ROYAL BALLET
23 NOVEMBER 2016—12 JANUARY 2017
The Royal Ballet celebrates Peter Wright’s 90th birthday with his much-loved production of this beautiful classical ballet, danced to Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score.
The young Clara creeps downstairs on Christmas Eve to play with her favourite present – a Nutcracker. But the mysterious magician Drosselmeyer is waiting to sweep her off on a magical adventure.
After defeating the Mouse King, the Nutcracker and Clara travel through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets, where the Sugar Plum Fairy treats them to an amazing display of dances. Back home, Clara thinks she must have been dreaming – but doesn’t she recognize Drosselmeyer’s nephew?
Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker score was commissioned by the director of the Russian Imperial Theatres, following the resounding success of The Sleeping Beauty in 1890. Marius Petipa created the scenario, which is based on a fairytale by E.T.A. Hoffmann, and Lev Ivanov provided the choreography. The Nutcracker was first performed in 1892 at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. It initially had a poor reception, but its combination of enchanting choreography and unforgettable music has since made it one of the most loved of all ballets.
In Peter Wright’s classic production for The Royal Ballet, the stage sparkles with theatrical magic – a Christmas tree grows before our eyes, toy soldiers come to life to fight the villainous Mouse King and Clara and the Nutcracker are whisked off to the Kingdom of Sweets on a golden sleigh. Tchaikovsky’s score contains some of ballet’s best-known melodies, from the flurrying Waltz of the Snowflakes to the dream-like Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy – all brilliantly set in Wright’s choreography. Julia Trevelyan Oman’s designs draw upon 19th-century images of Christmas, making this magical production perfect for the festive season.
22, 23, 24 ΟΚΤΩΒΡΙΟΥ 2016/
Μέγαρο Μουσικής Αθηνών
Σωματείο Ελλήνων Χορογράφων
Μια σημαντική διοργάνωση που έγινε θεσμός: η Πλατφόρμα Σύγχρονου Ελληνικού Χορού διοργανώνεται τακτικά και έχει στόχο την προβολή και προώθηση της σύγχρονης ελληνικής χορευτικής δημιουργίας.
Αποτελώντας πεδίο συνάντησης ανάμεσα στο κοινό και τους έλληνες χορογράφους, συμβάλλει ουσιαστικά στη διαμόρφωση του σύγχρονου προσώπου του χορού στη χώρα μας.
Τα έργα που θα παρουσιαστούν στη φετινή Πλατφόρμα Σύγχρονου Ελληνικού Χορού θα επιλέξει Διεθνής Επιτροπή, αποτελούμενη από πέντε διακεκριμένες προσωπικότητες – διευθυντές ευρωπαϊκών φεστιβάλ.
The Royal Opera
13 September—11 October 2016
Henrik Nánási conducts a cast including Javier Camarena, Daniela Mack and Vito Priante in this revival of The Royal Opera’s sparkling production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.
Count Almaviva arrives in Seville to search for the mysterious woman he met in Madrid. When he learns that she is Rosina, due to be married to her tyrannical guardian Bartolo, he enlists the help of the cunning barber Figaro to win her hand.
Almaviva and Rosina fall in love, and Rosina turns her mind to duping Bartolo. The combined conniving of all three is too much for Bartolo, who has to admit defeat when he discovers Almaviva and Rosina have married right under his nose.
The 23-year-old Gioachino Rossini completed his masterpiece Il barbiere di Siviglia with incredible speed – legend has it in just 13 days – which Rossini attributed to ‘facility and lots of instinct’. He adapted Pierre-Augustin Beaumarchais’ play Le Barbier de Séville, part of a dramatic trilogy that also inspired Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. Within a few decades of its 1816 premiere, Il barbiere di Siviglia had been seen around the world, reaching opera houses in New York, Buenos Aires, Trinidad and Ecuador. The opera is characterized by youthful energy and bold wit: these qualities are brought to the fore in Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier’s colourful and inventive production, a popular favourite at the Royal Opera House since its premiere in 2005.
Il barbiere di Siviglia has all the right ingredients for comic chaos: an imprisoned young woman, her lecherous guardian and a young noble suitor. Skilfully plotting behind the scenes is Figaro – an irrepressible and inventive character in whom many have seen a resemblance to the young Rossini himself. The score fizzes with musical brilliance, from Figaro’s famous entrance aria ‘Largo al factotum’ to the frenzy of the Act I finale, when the five principal voices all pile on top of each other.
10 August 2016
The Bolshoi’s spellbinding adaptation of Tchaikovsky’s glorious ballet, with choreography by Yuri Grigorovich after Petipa and Ivanov
The Bolshoi’s enchanting production of Swan Lake is a masterpiece of lyricism, drama and magic. It was created by Yuri Grigorovich, former director of the Bolshoi and an esteemed choreographer in his own right, after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov’s celebrated 1895 production. Set to Tchaikovsky’s ravishing score, this timeless favourite embodies all the elements that have made Swan Lake the world’s best loved ballet, as the forces of evil attempt to thwart the love between the swan-princess Odette and her Prince Siegfried.
The Bolshoi’s London season opens with this Petipa classic, in a dazzling restaging by Alexei Fadeyechev.
The Bolshoi’s production of Marius Petipa’s Don Quixote, brilliantly staged by Alexei Fadeyechev, brings together breathtaking displays of virtuoso dancing and enchanting choreography. It perfectly conveys the excitement, colour and wit of Cervantes’s masterful novel in a merry, high-spirited account of the love between Kitri and Basil. The lovers must overcome all Kitri’s father’s attempts to engineer his unwilling daughter into a more lucrative match – and, with the help of Don Quixote, they win the day.