Pennsylvania Ballet: Jewels

October 6, 2013 It's a dazzling three part ballet called Jewels that is meant to celebrate a half century of dance and also pay tribute to the choreographer George Balanchine whose works have played a pivotal role in the history of the Pennsylvania ballet.

Unlike most full length ballets, Balanchine's Jewels has no story line. Each of the three acts is like its own distinct ballet.

The ballet's Artistic Director, Roy Kaiser, says Balanchine, "took his inspiration from the work of Claude Arpels, a jeweler and decided to base the three sections of the ballet on three jewels."

The music for each section is written by a different composer.

For the first act, Emeralds, the composer is Faure and it's a nod to old romantic, French ballet. The second act, Rubies, was composed by Stravinsky. "Bright red costumes, very edgy and almost jazzy in flavor," says Kaiser. For the third act, Diamonds, Balanchine chose Tchaikovsky, in homage to imperial Russia and his own roots.

It's the first time the company has ever danced all three acts in one show, and it kicks off their 50th anniversary season, a year in which the ballet will celebrate its past while also looking to the future with two world premiere works. "We have just fantastic dancers," says Kaiser, "And I really wanted to showcase them. I wanted to bring in work that will just make them shine."

Jewels opens at the Academy of Music October 17th and runs through October 27th. For tickets and show times, go to

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