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I was just in Berlin to see the performance of Jewels on 31st October. Hmm not sure what to make of it.  Overall I felt rather disappointed with Emeralds and Rubies.  Emeralds was nice but the second lady Weronika Frodyma did not manage the first set of clock movements which was a pity and I sensed that her partnership with Arshak Ghalumyan was not that great.   For the clock moves my benchmark is the unforgettable performance I saw of this section by Leanne Benjamin at ROH years ago when they premiered Jewels.    The lead couple was Aya Okumura, recently transferred from Dutch NB, with Cameron Hunter (below) and they were very nice.  I felt Hunter was a very elegant dancer, so well suited to Emeralds.EIYibUOWsAUxAmk?format=jpg&name=4096x409

 

I enjoyed the pas de trois team of Iana Balova, Danielle Muir and Ulian Topor, whom I really liked watching.   However I do wonder if this performance of Emeralds lacked the presence of a principal dancer?  Just to raise it up a level?EIYibUVWsAAcO2p?format=jpg&name=4096x409

 

Rubies was a bit flat for me it lacked the excitement and fizz I witnessed when I have seen when McRae/Osipova with tall girls Yanowsky/Lamb dance and when I saw Nancy Osbaldeston and Osiel Guneo in Munich last year.  Dinu Tamazlacaru is a favourite dancer of mine and the only principal dancer fielded in this piece, but I felt he needed a bit more speed in places.  The 2 ladies were both performing their debuts and I thought Sarah Brodeck did a nice performance of Tall Girl/Solo and Yolanda Correa  with Tamazlacaru did well but lacked the sass I have seen displayed by so many other dancers.  I also felt the footwork which is quite "square" in Rubies could have been sharper.

EIYibUWXYAAsw3D?format=jpg&name=4096x409Correa/Tamazlacaru/Brodbeck

I was also disappointed with the Rubies costumes because, as you can see, the pleats on the dresses have no big gems on them and therefore did not make the click clack noise you get with the original Karinska versions as the dresses move.  That is somewhat a part of Rubies for me so I missed that.EIYibUOWwAIQZOc?format=jpg&name=4096x409

The set was quite striking for Rubies.

 

For me the whole show was saved by Iana Salenko and Marian Walter who gave a good strong performance in Diamonds, and especially the Grand PDD.  I thought Salenko looks on great form after her maternity leave and it was so nice to see her on stage again.  The costumes worn by the corps and 4 couples did not quite do it for me again either.   I did not see Walter kiss Salenko's hand at the very end though, as it usually ends with the lady being surprised by this?

EIYjYskWkAEWL3N?format=jpg&name=4096x409

However, Salenko always does the most steady en pointe balances and great fouettes and pirouettes so It was lovely to see these and Walter did his circles of jetes really well with very quiet landings! This couple are just very good together and the partnering is spot on in my opinion. 

 

EIYjYslWoAMw5C8?format=jpg&name=4096x409As you can see I had a stalls seat so the choreography does not show "quite" as well as when you sit higher up for Balanchine, but it was still OK. 

 

The music was very nice and I think played at the correct speed but there was one horn in Diamonds which seemed to totally dominate the whole sound!  

 

As I say I was not over enamoured by the overall performance which was a shame given the effort to get there to see it! At least I have now seen Berlin do Jewels, but really I think their Bayadere is much better and perhaps more them.  

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I saw the company dancing 'Jewels' in Berlin about 2 1/2 years ago, but saw Iana Salenko in 'Rubies.'  It was interesting comparison, as the Royal was performing 'Jewels' at the same time in London. I got the feeling the Berlin company was still 'finding it's way' with 'Jewels' at the time, but thought they looked at their best in 'Diamonds.' 

 

Great photos too!

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Yes I agree! 

I think also I saw Salenko with McRae at some point at ROH as well?  Both Royal Ballet and Dutch National Ballet perform Jewels much better I think and NYCB of course!

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I watched this ballet last Saturday and my thought was that "Emeralds" and "Rubies" parts were performed better by RB and RDB.

     In "Emeralds" we saw Elisa Carrillo Cabrera and Cameron Hunter in the 1st  PDD, and they were splendid, as well as Jenni Schaferhoff and Alexei Orlenco in the 2nd PDD, pas de trois' performers were Alexander Bird, Cecile Kaltenbach and Luciana Voltolini and somehow I wasn't impressed by them or by the rest of ensemble.

   In  "Rubies" there were the same performers as in the ballet seen by Don Q Fan, and I pretty much agree with her opinion about the performers, I  missed the precision, sharpness and jolliness of the movements. Sara Brodbeck, to my mind , is a dancer of too majestic proportions to perform solo in "Rubies". Dino Tamazlacaru was, however, absolutely charming!

  But "Diamonds", performed by Polina Semionova and Alejandro Virelles were superb! Absolutely enjoyable from all points of view,  perfect partnership indeed! So I'm very glad that I could see this performance!

Edited by Estreiiita
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