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Ballet West to Dazzle at Northrop with George Balanchine's JEWELS

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Ballet West to Dazzle at Northrop with George Balanchine's JEWELS

Ballet West will shine brightly with George Balanchine's visually stunning abstract ballet, Jewels, at Northrop Feb 22-23. Jewels is a full-length examination of the history, beauty, and diversity of ballet technique with music performed by a live orchestra. The masterpiece encompasses three movements with distinct moods and music: Emeralds, set to Gabriel Fauré's dreamlike score evoking France; Rubies, featuring the high intensity of Igor Stravinsky's jazzy energy as a nod to urban America; and Diamonds, representing the imperial court of Russia with Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's awe-inspiring sound.

Ballet West's Jewels will bring a treasure chest of choreography, costumes, and composers to Northrop's stage for two performances. Choreographer George Balanchine premiered Jewels in 1967 as a uniquely plotless full-length ballet with three pieces set in different eras. Emeralds opens with an ethereal performance reminiscent of 19th-century France during the Romantic era. In contrast, Rubies provides a show-stopping, fiery, and flirtatious performance with imagery of New York City nightlife. The performance closes with an homage to Balanchine's homeland, St. Petersburg, with the triumphant, decadent Diamonds. The three acts work together to create a spectacular display that ignites and inspires.

George Balanchine, who is regarded as the foremost contemporary choreographer in the world of ballet, was inspired by the jewelry of designer Claude Arpels for this masterpiece. Balanchine also was noted to have simply explained, "The whole thing was-I like jewels" of the production. This broad inspiration plays into his prolific creations of plotless ballets, where there is no central storyline, but instead body movement, musical selection, and theatrical elements are used to provoke emotion. Balanchine even went so far as to never feature a star in his ballets, as he found that his performances should outshine the individual.

Ballet West was co-founded in 1963 in Salt Lake City by Willam F. Christensen and Utah's "First Lady of the Arts" Glenn Walker Wallace. From Balanchine to Tharp, the company boasts a rich repertory and has toured the world several times over. Today, current Artistic Director Adam Sklute continues to energize Ballet West with new works by renowned choreographers, all while preserving the company's classical legacy. Ballet West previously performed at Northrop in Oct 2015.

See a video of the production below!

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