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Jewels / Choreography: George Balanchine Ballet National De Paris [DVD]

Album Summary

>Fauré, Gabriel : Pelleas et Melisande, Op. 80
>Stravinsky, Igor : Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra
>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Symphony no 3 in D major, Op. 29 "Polish"
Conductor Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

This is the first ever recording of George Balanchine's world-famous abstract ballet, Jewels, which was first performed by the New York City Ballet in 1967. This alluring, abstract ballet is a lyric tribute to women and to the capital cities of the great dance schools. Couturier, painter and craftsman Christian Lacroix created the glorious costumes and sets which, together with the outstanding performances of the dancers and the sensitive musical direction of Paul Connelly, results in a celebration of sumptuous splendor.

A DVD to treasure.

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 152 min.
Region: All
Picture Format: NTSC, Letterbox, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM Stereo, DTS 5.1 Surround
Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian
Country of Origin: USA


Excellent Jewels
Though I'm not what you would call a die-hard fan of Balanchine, I must say that this DVD is definitely worth owning.
Personally, I'd recommend the viewer to watch the hour-long documentary about the ballet before viewing the ballet itself. It provides a huge amount of insight to the ballet, from the points of view of the directress, dancers, and stagers. For those new to Jewels, there is a significant amount of information given about what each act represents, and how Balanchine's seemingly abstract movements are actually something of poetic genius.

In the French interpretation of this work, I have to say that they dance Emeralds (the act that represents the French school) with the highest and most unique French quality. The dancers in the first act are perfectly selected, and the corps de ballet here is stunning. Very notable dancers here are Nolwenn Daniel (in the 'Entr'acte', or pas de trios), and Clairemarie Osta (in 'Sicilienne', 'Nocturne', and 'La mort de Mélisande'), who perfected the Emeralds image with their own artistic takes on the choreography.
The most disappointing of the acts was Rubies, which is well-known for it's representation of the American school and style. Here, it is danced with much more restraint, much less daring, and much more balance. However, technically the dancers are still stunning, so the effect of Jewels isn't diminished greatly.
Finally, Diamonds, the act that represents the Russian school and style is danced with an artfulness and with extreme cleanliness, though at some points, a little dull.
Of the three acts, Paris Opéra Ballet is stunning in the French style in Emeralds, while the other acts are danced cleanly and precisely, though without some of the flair intended by Balanchine.

Also, the costumes and sets for all three of the acts, while somewhat minimalistic (in the Balanchine style), are very beautiful. I recommend this DVD to any ballet collectors, it's an important, historic work of art danced by a fantastic company!
Submitted on 01/14/12 by danrubin06 
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Works Details

>Gabriel Fauré (1845 - 1924) : Pelléas et Mélisande, Op. 80 :: Excerpt(s)
  • Conductor: Paul Connelly
  • Ensemble: Paris National Opera Orchestra
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1898

>Stravinsky, Igor : Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra
  • Conductor: Paul Connelly
  • Ensemble: Paris National Opera Orchestra
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1928-1929

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Symphony no 3 in D major, Op. 29 "Polish"
  • Conductor: Paul Connelly
  • Ensemble: Paris National Opera Orchestra
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1875