The opening night of Ballets West’s performance of George Balanchine’s Jewels was spectacular. From the moment the first curtain went up the audience was mesmerized. Gasping sounds were made all three times the costumes were revealed, with each “jewel” act. The lighting and simple backdrops helped to highlight the dancers throughout the evening.

The first-act- “Emerald” costumes were in various shades of brilliant green and of course they gleamed as the spotlight hit the bejeweled costumes Katherine Lawrence and Rex Tilton who danced the lead roles in Emeralds, moved to the music of Gabriel Faure with such elegance and grace that they made the very difficult choreography look effortless. Sayaka Ohtaki and Tyler Gum were a highlight in this act. Sayaka was on pointe for a very long time in their pas de deux and Tyler partnered her so well. The incredible shapes that were made by the dances kept the audience intrigued throughout the first act. 

The next act was “Rubies”. The costumes had the deep richness of red velvet. Bejeweled and with a flapper style cut of the costumes along with the music of Igor Stravinsky made this act flirty, fun and playful. Beckanne Sisk and Hadriel Diniz demonstrated an incredible partnership and Beckanne always seems to take the movement or pose to the next level and made me wonder, “how does a body bend that way?” Katlyn Addison was extremely, umm, bendy as she was being moved to different poses by Kyle Davis, David Huffmire, Joshua Shutkind and Joshua Whitehead. It was very athletic and powerful.

The final act was as dazzling as the gem it was named for. “Diamonds” was sophisticated, regal and with Emily Adams and Adrian Fry as the leads for this act it was danced with the sharpness of a cut diamond. The music of Tchaikovsky made this feel like such a classic ballet. The costumes in this number shimmered. Emily Adam’s hands are amazing and add so much expression to her movements. Throughout this number there were many, many dancers on the stage that made it the perfect ending to a brilliant evening.

I saw this ballet the first time it was performed in 2013 for the Ballet West premiere and it was just as stunning as it was the first time. It is now on my list of favorites. Simply beautiful!

Tickets are available for the upcoming performances starting Wednesday Nov. 7 – Saturday Nov. 10 with a matinee on Saturday. This is a perfect way to start of the beginning of the Holiday season. For tickets and show info go to balletwest.org.

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