The Korea Herald


KNB to present Van Cleef & Arpels-inspired ballet

By Im Eun-byel

Published : Oct. 8, 2021 - 17:53

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Poster for “Jewels,” presented by the Korea National Ballet (KNB) Poster for “Jewels,” presented by the Korea National Ballet (KNB)

The Korea National Ballet is to present “Jewels,” choreographed by George Balanchine.

The state ballet company will take to the stage with the 1967 ballet for the first time at the Seoul Arts Center from Oct. 20-24. Ballet legend Balanchine, recognized for his neoclassical style, created the work for the New York City Ballet of which he was the artistic director, inspired by the artistry of luxury jewelry house Van Cleef & Arpels.

The three acts of the plotless ballet depict the beauty of emeralds, rubies and diamonds, to the music of Faure, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky, respectively.

The first act, performed with Faure’s “Pelleas et Melisande” and “Shylock,” depicts the beauty of emeralds in 19th century French Romantic ballet. Ballet dancers are dressed in green tutus, resembling the luster of emeralds.

In the second act, pianists Cho Jae-hyuck and Kim Young-ho are to join the Korean Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Stravinsky’s Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra. According to the George Balanchine Trust, the choreography for the rubies act is “crisp and witty.”

The third and final act concerning diamonds was inspired by the Russian royal ballet, the order and grandeur of Imperial Russia and the Mariinsky Theater, where Balanchine was trained.

Principal dancers of the KNB Kim Li-hoe, Park Jong-seok, Park Seul-ki, Heo Seo-myeong and Park Ye-eun will take to the stage.

By Im Eun-byel (