Ballet in three parts by George Balanchine


  Gabriel Fauré
from Pelléas et Mélisande and Shylock
  Igor Stravinsky
Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra
  Peter I. Tschaikowsky
from Symphony No. 3 in D Major, op. 29
  George Balanchine

Karin von Aroldingen
Elyse Borne
Patricia Neary
Malin Thoors

Recreations of costumes supervised
  Holly Hynes
Set and Lighting
  John Neumeier

2 intermissions - 2 hours 15 min.


World Premiere
New York City Ballet, New York State Theater
April 13, 1967


Original Cast    
  Violette Verdy
Mimi Paul
Sara Leland
Suki Schorer
Conrad Ludlow
Francisco Moncion
John Prinz
  Patricia McBride
Patricia Neary
Edward Villella
  Suzanne Farrell
Jacques d'Amboise


Premiere in Hamburg
The Hamburg Ballet, June 25, 2006


Original Cast    

Hélène Bouchet
Joëlle Boulogne
Georgina Broadhurst
Barbora Kohoutkova
Jirí Bubenícek
Arsen Megrabian
Lloyd Riggins

  Silvia Azzoni
Catherine Dumont
Alexandre Riabko
  Heather Jurgensen
Otto Bubenícek


Jewels is unique: a full-length, three-act plotless ballet that uses the music of three very different composers. Balanchine was inspired by the artistry of jewelry designer Claude Arpels, and chose music revealing the essence of each jewel. He explained: "Of course, I have always liked jewels; after all, I am an Oriental, from Georgia in the Caucasus. I like the color of gems, the beauty of stones".

Each section of the ballet is distinct in both music and mood. Emeralds, which Balanchine considered "an evocation of France – the France of elegance, comfort, dress, [and] perfume", recalls the 19th century dances of the French Romantics. Rubies is crisp and witty, epitomizing the collaboration of Stravinsky and Balanchine. Diamonds recalls the order and grandeur of Imperial Russia and the Mariinsky Theater, where Balanchine was trained. Mary Clarke and Clement Crisp have written: "If the entire imperial Russian inheritance of ballet were lost, Diamonds would still tell us of its essence."



Jewels was a hit from the moment of his première, in 1967 – one of Balanchine most delicate creations, so intricately engineered.
The New Yorker

Supported by the Foundation for the promotion
of the Hamburg State Opera.
The Ballet of George Balanchine Jewels is presented
by arrangement with The George Balanchine Trust.



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