The Pennsylvania Ballet is closing its 54th season with a timeless classic from George Balanchine, considered the father of American ballet.
In fact, the Pennsylvania Ballet was founded in 1963 by a Balanchine protégé and the company is staging Jewels, one of the famed choreographer's most celebrated masterpieces.
It made its world premiere at the New York City Ballet in 1967.
"It's a masterpiece of choreography," says artistic director Angel Corella.
The groundbreaking ballet unfolds in three separate sections, each representing an iconic jewel.
The first act is Emeralds with music by Faure.
"It has a very fluid kind of kind of feeling," says Corella, "very green and the ballerinas, they have very long skirts and has that feeling of the emeralds."
The second act Rubies, featuring music by Igor Stravinsky, showcases a crisper energy.
"All the ballerinas are much stronger and all the movements, they kick their legs really quick and they hold them up there," says Corella, who describes the costumes as much shorter and very deep red.
For, the final act, Diamonds, the dancers are dressed in white with music by Tchaikovsky and a sense of royalty in the air.
"It's almost like ballroom dancing," says Corella, "It's very slow but at the same time very clean."
Jewels is said to be the first abstract full-length ballet and, Corella says, the company is performing the work as it was originally intended, "The George Balanchine Foundation, they send a stager that comes here and she or he will take care of and make sure that the ballet is really well-put on stage exactly how Mr. George Balanchine would like to."
Corella promises it will be a feast for the eyes.
"It's actually going to be really appetizing for the audience and also for our dancers," he says, "it's one of the most beautiful ballets to not only see the ballet but also to experience the costumes and the music and the patterns."
The Pennsylvania Ballet: Jewels
May 10- 13
Academy of Music
240 S Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19102
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6abc Loves the Arts: The Pennsylvania Ballet performs 'Jewels'
6ABC LOVES THE ARTS