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Jewels (2011)

TV Movie  -   -  Music  -  11 October 2011 (USA)
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The ballet "Jewels", danced to three already existing pieces of music by composers such as Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky, has no plot. Each section represents a different jewel, and the characters have no names.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Andrian Fadeyev
Zhanna Faduyova
Irina Golub
Sofia Gumerova
Uliana Lopatkina
Igor Zelensky
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Storyline

The ballet "Jewels", danced to three already existing pieces of music by composers such as Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky, has no plot. Each section represents a different jewel, and the characters have no names.

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ballet | live performance

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Music

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Release Date:

11 October 2011 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of George Balanchine's Jewels (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Shylock
(1889)
Music by Gabriel Fauré
(segment: ballet "Emeraldes")
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User Reviews

 
Doesn't glitter as much as the 2000 Paris Opera Ballet production, but has several excellent things still
20 January 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Jewels is a highly interesting ballet, it doesn't have a plot and consists of pre-existing music but I have always found it a feast for the eyes and ears, especially in the hands of George Balanchine. This Mariinsky production is not as good or glitters as much as the 2000 Paris Opera Ballet production, which is a masterpiece. However there are several excellent things about it.

If there was anything that I did dislike it was the video directing. Apart from some nice shots of the orchestra, a lot of it was odd and very out of focus. Unfortunately I'd go as far to say that it is some of the worst video directing of any ballet production I've ever seen. And I hate to say that because this is Brian Large we're talking about here, usually his video directing is adept, musical with what's going on and almost cinematic. Here it was just distracting.

Before moving onto the dancing and choreography in accordance to each section of Jewels, there are components that are done really excellently here. The sets are delightfully lavish throughout, positively glittering without it feeling tacky. The costumes are really lovely as well, in perfect keeping with their basic section and well-tailored. Musically, I cannot think of anything to fault the production. The orchestral playing has a really beautiful sound, there are some great stylistic touches especially in Rubies, each section of the orchestra takes care to balance with one another and do very admirably with it and the way they play is in keeping to the contrasting moods of each section. The Corps-De-Ballet throughout are impeccable, especially in Diamonds.

Emeralds:

Of the three sections of Jewels, if I were to have a personal favourite it would be Emeralds. Faure's music is so beautifully hypnotic and the whole section has such a lovely dream-like quality to it. It was magnificently done on the Paris Opera Ballet DVD and the highlight of that performance. While it was entrancing on that DVD, it was the section that fared least on this one. There is nothing wrong with the choreography, which does have that sensual quality, the music or the dancing, which is very precise and elegant. But to me dancing is more than dancing the steps well, to tell the story and for us to relate to the character you need emotion, it is the same with opera. And it was here where this production came across as cold. Zhanna Ayupova has the grace for the lead role but looks bored, while Anton Korsakov is too boyish and often leaden. Only Daria Sukhorukova has that mysterious element to her.

Rubies:

Strictly speaking I don't dislike any of the sections, but Rubies is probably my least favourite. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, just that while I love the styles of Faure and Tchaikovsky(for Diamonds) and them, I more appreciate rather than love Stravinsky and the jazzy strains of Capriccio. Once again the choreography is impeccable, witty, energetic and razor sharp, a great contrast to the two sections on either side. I didn't care for Sofia Gumerova, for my tastes she is too stern, almost creepy, and doesn't come across as very charismatic at all. She looks the part and has the flexibility I'll give you that. Irina Golub is deliciously sassy with an irresistible smile and has the quickness for the role. She is not always very subtle, but she has the jazzy personality I feel better than Aurelie Dupont, who is wonderful for Paris but you can't shake off that feeling that she is more suited to the classical ballet roles.

Diamonds:

While this section is not everybody's cup of tea, I find it beautiful, then again I may be biased as it's Tchaikovsky. What I do find fascinating about Diamonds is Balanchine choreographed it like it was paying an affectionate tribute to Petipa, considering the huge influence Petipa had in ballet it is enough to move and compel anybody. In this production, it was Diamonds that was the most well done. My only criticism is that the conducting(which was faultless everywhere else) is a little too fast in the first section, which causes the dancers to rush through the steps somewhat. That's understandable though as there are other productions that do this section as too much of a dirge. The choreography is entrancing in the way Emeralds here should have been. Of the leads, the best was Uliana Lopatkina who not only nails the steps in a careful but truly elegant way but also the aloofness and mystery of the role. She is very well matched by her handsome and equally elegant partner Igor Zelensky.

In conclusion, a solid and impressive production, but the video directing, Gumerova and the emotional coldness in Emeralds made it not glitter as much as it could have done. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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