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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The New York Times has an article describing this Balanchine masterpiece as a perfect introduction to ballet. I've seen it live three times (and Rubies once more). I have the full ballet performed by the Paris Opera Ballet (good but no match) and excerpts performed by NYCB in the 1970's on Dance in America. There's also a video of the Mariinsky, which I haven't seen.

Music is by Faure, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky.
 

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The New York Times has an article describing this Balanchine masterpiece as a perfect introduction to ballet. I've seen it live three times (and Rubies once more). I have the full ballet performed by the Paris Opera Ballet (good but no match) and excerpts performed by NYCB in the 1970's on Dance in America. There's also a video of the Mariinsky, which I haven't seen.

Music is by Faure, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky.
Thanks for sharing, much appreciated.
 

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I'd have to disagree with the New York Times on that one. If someone's looking for an introduction to ballet, I'd always suggest a work with a story that can easily be followed - probably something comic like La fille mal gardée or Coppélia. Concentrating on pure dance for an evening might, I think, put some newcomers off when they would benefit from being eased into ballet more gently.
 

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A beautiful ballet. I like the sexy Rubies part the best. Saw this performed live by the Pennsylvania Ballet last year but it wasn't as good as the Paris Opera Ballet dvd, that was mentioned. Haven't seen the NYC yet.
As far as an introduction, I would recommend a full-length story ballet such as Coppélia, Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Giselle or one of the three Tchaikovsky ballets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I'd have to disagree with the New York Times on that one. If someone's looking for an introduction to ballet, I'd always suggest a work with a story that can easily be followed - probably something comic like La fille mal gardée or Coppélia. Concentrating on pure dance for an evening might, I think, put some newcomers off when they would benefit from being eased into ballet more gently.
The story ballets did not work for me. I found the storytelling aspect silly and stayed away after several tries. It wasn't until my fifties when a balletophile friend of mine took me to an evening including "Serenade" and "Stravinsky Violin Concerto," that I got it. Balanchine's mantra was, "See the music," and with these works I did. Only better. Now I can watch story ballets and appreciate the dancing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just got a flyer. This summer the Lincoln Center Festival will include a production of Jewels. The three different parts will be danced by Paris Opera Ballet (presumably Emeralds with music by Faure), New York City Ballet (presumably Rubies with music by Stravinsky) and Bolshoi Ballet (presumably Diamonds with music by Tchaikovsky).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Starting Tuesday, the NYCB will be streaming Diamonds from "Jewels." It will be available for three days. It features Sara Mearns, who has been the most celebrated member of NYCB for at least a decade. Music is drawn from Tchaikovsky's Symphony Number 3.
 

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I've also seen Jewels twice both times by the National Ballet of Canada and I, too, have the Paris version on DVD. I was blown away by it obviously and I was grateful to be reminded of the Tchaikovsky Symphony 3 and the Capriccio for piano by Stavinsky which up until then I did not much appreciate. I love the witty scherzo in the Tchaikovsky and I cannot listen to the Capriccio of "Rubies" without recalling the sexy movements of the dancers. A great night of ballet.
 
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