Ballet West, "Emeralds" from 'Jewels' Beau Pearson


Ballet West: Jewels

Feb. 22
7:30 p.m.
Feb. 23
2 p.m.

Recognized by many as the greatest 20th-century ballet choreographer, George Balanchine trained in Russia, where he danced with the Mariinsky Ballet. He fled to Paris after the Russian Revolution, where he choreographed for the Ballets Russes. In the 1930s, he relocated to New York where, inspired by the sleek athleticism of American dancers, he revolutionized ballet. In his three-part work Jewels, from 1967, he paid homage to the stylistic influences that shaped him. “Emeralds,” danced to music by Fauré, captures the rhapsodic flow of French romanticism, while “Rubies,” to Stravinsky’s jazzy score, digs into the syncopations and sophistication of urban America. In “Diamonds,” set to music by Tchaikovsky, Balanchine goes back to the future, linking the clear-cut brilliance of 19th-century choreographer Marius Petipa’s imperial Russian style to the blaze and power of contemporary ballerinas. For the Northrop performances, all three gems will coruscate to live music.