France, Russia, and the US brought together by one man. Not Trump, but another name well known to New Yorkers, the late legendary choreographer, George Balanchine. The New York City Ballet, the Bolshoi, and the Paris Opera Ballet joining forces for the first time ever for the 50th anniversary of his three part piece, Jewels, at New York's Lincoln Center.
Each company taking on a specific jewel. The American Scene here rehearsing a section called Rubies, to be performed on the same stage where Balanchine premiered the piece a half century ago. The production's somewhat symbolic of Balanchine's life. He was born and trained in Russia, choreographed and danced in France, and founded the New York City Ballet in 1948.
But would the demanding Mr B, as he was called by his dancers, approve of the international remake? Current New York City Ballet Artistic Director, Peter Martins, who danced under Balanchine and succeeded him as the company's ballet master after his death, thinks Mr B would have been a tough audience.
>> Initially, if I could speculate, he probably would not have liked it. However, upon reflection, he might have concluded this, not so bad, 50 years. Three countries want to celebrate my ballet and not such a bad idea.>> Each troupe costumed by its own designer, the French to be adorned by runway royalty, Christian Lacroix.
Several dancers, though divided by borders are friends via Facebook and Instagram, says Paris Opera Ballet Director Aurélie Dupont, who marvels at what each troupe brings physically to the production.>> We work a lot with the feet. We have a very strong technique with the lower legs. And the Russians are very about arms, they have amazing arms that I guess for me, nobody have arms like they have.
In America, they have something very specific about, very fast technique. They never touch the floor and this is amazing the way they jump, the way they have the very big energy.>> Jewels runs Thursday through Sunday at New York's Lincoln Center.