A few weeks ago I saw "Jewels" performed for the first time by the New York City Ballet and I have been watching excerpts by some of the original dancers on my Balanchine videos.
I have also been watching the Paris Opera Ballet performance on video and I find it to be a very beautiful interpretation of the essence of George Balanchine's creativity.
The first thing that I notice is the elegance of the dancing. It seems to be somewhere in between what I have seen the Kirov do with Balanchine and what his own dancers originally did.
It seems to be a sincere, enthusiastic and successful effort to enter the world of George Balanchine and what that world stands for.
In a sense the Paris Opera Ballet--"Rocks!"
They seem to be having fun with it. I know that they are trying to make it look that way, but I get the feeling that they really are. It's like they are saying, "Hey, we're ballet dancers and we love it, but we've been to the disco and we can do that. It's fun! We perform modern dance too. Here, watch us put it all together".
The corps de ballet looks young and there is a delightful freshness in what it does.
All the beautifully refined dancing takes flight in an aura of modern, pulsating excitement.
In "Emeralds" and "Diamonds", very dreamy and charged creations, dancers like Agnes Letestu both float and ignite. Laetitia Pujol wins your heart. Mathieu Ganio dances with refined virtuosity and ends his performance by reaching out in a gesture of emotional grandeur.
In the pulsating, high energy "Rubies" Aurelie Dupont takes off with a wonderful mixture of high art, mental-physical agility, the vibrance of Broadway and the Paris follies and the joy of the streets. Marie-Agnes Gillot echoes her lead and the men, led by Alessio Carbone, accelerate like flashes of light.
I feel that the Paris Opera Ballet has done a beautiful job in combining their traditional fineness and elegance with the extended freedom and innovation that George Balanchine and his highly distinctive and very fine dancers so brilliantly brought into being.
[a few word changes made several minutes later]