Lincoln Center Festival 2017 will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of George Balanchine's Jewels with three of the world's leading ballet companies--Bolshoi Ballet, New York City Ballet, and Paris Opera Ballet. There will be only five performances July 20 - 23 at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater where the landmark work was first performed in 1967. (Photo by © Paul Kolnik. New York City Ballet--Gonzalo Garcia, Teresa Reichlen, and Megan Fairchild with ensemble in New York City Ballet's production of Rubies from Jewels. Choreography George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust.)
Legendary choreographer George Balanchine’s Jewels was created for the New York City Ballet in 1967 and is considered a pivotal masterpiece of 20th century dance. Today a beloved and essential staple of the ballet repertory, it is performed by numerous companies worldwide. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of its landmark premiere, which took place on April 13, 1967, at Lincoln Center’s New York State Theater (now the David H. Koch Theater), Lincoln Center Festival 2017 will present an unprecedented, international anniversary tribute. For the occasion, three of the world’s leading ballet companies—Bolshoi Ballet, New York City Ballet, and Paris Opera Ballet—will share the stage.
In what is known as the first three-act, plotless ballet, Balanchine’s choreography for Jewels is inspired by precious gems—Emeralds, Rubies, and Diamonds—each showcasing a different international style of ballet. Emeralds, with music by Fauré, represents the French style and evokes dreamy romanticism; Rubies, with music by Stravinsky, conjures the Jazz Age in America with its wit, energy, and exuberance; and Diamonds, with music by Tchaikovsky, epitomizes the grandeur of the Russian style.
“As both the father of American ballet and a major influence in the conception of Lincoln Center, George Balanchine’s creative force left an indelible stamp on the arts in our city and throughout the world,” said Lincoln Festival Director Nigel Redden. “Both Jewels and Lincoln Center Festival debuted in 1967, and both celebrated the internationality of the arts. This summer, we pay tribute to the timeless genius of Balanchine with three extraordinary and distinctive ballet companies representing the styles from each of their countries, inspiring us to see this seminal work anew.”
For the opening night performance on Thursday, July 20, dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet will perform Emeralds, dancers from the New York City Ballet will perform Rubies, and dancers from the Bolshoi Ballet will perform Diamonds. The four remaining performances of Emeralds will be performed by dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet, with dancers from the Bolshoi Ballet and New York City Ballet alternating in Rubies and Diamonds. The complete schedule of performance dates, times, and casting, as well as the companies for each performance of Rubies and Diamonds, will be announced at a later date.
The New York City Ballet Orchestra, under the direction of NYCB Music Director Andrew Litton, will perform for the complete engagement. New York City Ballet’s original production featured set designs by Peter Harvey, who redesigned NYCB’s current production in 2004; lighting by Ronald Bates; and costumes by Karinska. For Lincoln Center Festival, Jewels will be performed with the sets from the current NYCB production by Peter Harvey, lighting by NYCB’s Resident Lighting Director Mark Stanley, and costumes from each company’s current production, with the Bolshoi Ballet wearing costumes by Elena Zaitseva, the New York City Ballet wearing Karinska’s original costume designs, and the Paris Opera Ballet wearing costumes by Christian Lacroix.
The original 1967 cast included Violette Verdy and Conrad Ludlow in Emeralds, Patricia McBride and Edward Villella in Rubies, and Suzanne Farrell and Jacques d’Amboise in Diamonds. The complete ballet first entered the repertory of the Bolshoi Ballet in 2012 and the Paris Opera Ballet in 2000. In 1974, the Paris Opera Ballet performed Rubies as a stand-alone piece titled Capriccio.
To help underwrite this historic project, Lincoln Center has launched a Producers Circle campaign, inviting dance lovers to become supporters and gain early access to premium seat locations and enjoy other exclusive Lincoln Center Festival benefits. For information, please contact Rachel Winkler at firstname.lastname@example.org, 212.671.4786, or visit: LincolnCenterFestival.org.
The complete Lincoln Center Festival 2017 schedule will be announced in March 2017, with single tickets on sale starting March 29, 2017.
Lincoln Center Festival has received worldwide attention for presenting some of the broadest and most original performing arts programs in Lincoln Center’s history. The festival has presented nearly 1,465 performances of opera, music, dance, theater, and interdisciplinary forms by internationally acclaimed artists from more than 50 countries. To date, the festival has commissioned more than 44 new works and offered some 145 world, U.S., and New York premieres. It places particular emphasis on showcasing contemporary artistic viewpoints and multidisciplinary works that challenge the boundaries of traditional performance. LincolnCenterFestival.org