The Pacific Northwest Ballet Presents George Balanchine's JEWELS, 9/26-10/5

The Pacific Northwest Ballet Presents George Balanchine's JEWELS, 9/26-10/5

Pacific Northwest Ballet raises the velvet curtain on its 2014-2015 season with George Balanchine's Jewels™. Costumed in emerald green, ruby red and luminous white, the trio of gems in Jewels pays tribute to golden ages of music and dance. Evoking the birthplace of Romantic ballet, Emeralds' graceful clouds of tulle whisper French courtesy, fashion, and fragrance. A sassy, jazzy collaboration with composer Igor Stravinsky, Rubies mirrors the carefree spontaneity of America, Balanchine's beloved adopted country. The splendor of Diamonds recalls the great choreographer's heritage, so that "if the entre Imperial Russian inheritance of ballet were lost, Diamonds would still tell us of its essence" (Mary Clarke and Clement Crisp). Jewels runs from September 26 through October 5 at Seattle Center's Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. Tickets and more information are available through the PNB Box Office, 301 Mercer Street at Seattle Center, 206.441.2424, or online at


Music: Gabriel Fauré, Igor Stravinsky, and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreography: George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust

Staging: Elyse Borne

Costume Design: Karinska

Lighting Design: Mark Stanley

Premiere: April 13, 1967; New York City Ballet

PNB Premiere: June 1, 2006 (Rubies premiere: February 3, 1988)

Emeralds is a romantic evocation of France, the birthplace of classical ballet. It is also Balanchine's comment of the French school of dancing and its rich heritage. With a score by Gabriel Fauré and dancers dressed in Romantic-length tutus, Emeralds can also be a window on the nostalgia inherent in much late 19th-century art, with its idealized view of the Middle Ages, chivalry, and courtly love. Balanchine considered Emeralds "an evocation of France - the France of elegance, comfort, dress and perfume."

Rubies is considered the American jewel, with its Jazz Age score by Igor Stravinsky, stylized flapper costumes by Karinska, and Balanchine's choreography in his sophisticated mode. A saucy leading couple plays and competes as equals, and a second, siren-like ballerina takes on the men of the corps de ballet, requiring all four of them to partner her at once.

Diamonds is Balanchine's homage to his native St. Petersburg. Echoes of Petipa's Swan Lake and Raymonda abound, and the centerpiece of the ballet is an intimate pas de deux, potent in its chivalrous reserve, for the ballerina and her cavalier. At its end, the entire cast joins the principal couple for a gloriously spirited polonaise.


JEWELS COACHING SERIES (Studio Presentations)

Diamonds, featuring Jacques d'Amboise: Wednesday, August 20, 5:30 pm

Emeralds, featuring Violette Verdy and Mimi Paul: Thursday, September 11, 5:30 pm

Rubies, featuring Edward Villella: Monday, September 22, 5:30 pm

PNB Artistic Director Peter Boal has invited the original interpreters of George Balanchine's Jewels to coach PNB dancers for the Company's revival of the 1967 masterpiece. Join these esteemed artists in the studio for a series of coaching sessions on the iconic roles Balanchine made for them.


Friday, September 19, 6:00pm

The Phelps Center, 301 Mercer Street, Seattle

Join us for an hour-long preview led by Artistic Director Peter Boal and PNB artistic staff, featuring PNB dancers rehearsing excerpts fromJewels™. PNB's popular Friday Previews offer an up-close view of the Company preparing to put dance on stage. Tickets are $12 each and may be purchased through the PNB Box Office. (These events usually sell out.) Friday Previews are sponsored by U.S. Bank.