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November 30, 2016

Lincoln Center Festival 2017 to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of George Balanchine’s Jewels with Three of the World’s Leading Ballet Companies, Bolshoi Ballet, New York City Ballet & Paris Opera Ballet

Lincoln Center Festival


Press Contact: Isabel Sinistore


[email protected]








Five Performances ONLY, July 20 through 23, 2017,

at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater

Where the Landmark Work Was First Performed in 1967


NEW YORK, NY (November 30, 2016) — NEW YORK, NY (November 30, 2016) — Legendary choreographer George Balanchine’s Jewels was created for the New York City Ballet in 1967 and is considered a pivotal masterpiece of 20th century dance. Today a beloved and essential staple of the ballet repertory, it is performed by numerous companies worldwide. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of its landmark premiere, which took place on April 13, 1967, at Lincoln Center’s New York State Theater (now the David H. Koch Theater), Lincoln Center Festival 2017 will present an unprecedented, international anniversary tribute. For the occasion, three of the world’s leading ballet companies—Bolshoi Ballet, New York City Ballet, and Paris Opera Ballet—will share the stage from July 20 through 23 for five historic performances in the theater where Jewels was first performed.


In what is known as the first three-act, plotless ballet, Balanchine’s choreography for Jewels is inspired by precious gems—Emeralds, Rubies, and Diamonds—each, in the eyes of many, showcasing a different international style of ballet. Emeralds, with music by Fauré, represents the French style and evokes dreamy romanticism; Rubies, with music by Stravinsky, conjures the Jazz Age in America with its wit, energy, and exuberance; and Diamonds, with music by Tchaikovsky, epitomizes the grandeur of the Russian style. 


Lincoln Center Festival lead support is provided by American Express


“As both the father of American ballet and a major influence in the conception of Lincoln Center, George Balanchine’s creative force left an indelible stamp on the arts in our city and throughout the world,” said Lincoln Festival Director Nigel Redden. “Both Jewels and Lincoln Center Festival debuted in 1967, and both celebrated the internationality of the arts. This summer, we pay tribute to the timeless genius of Balanchine with three extraordinary and distinctive ballet companies representing the styles from each of their countries, inspiring us to see this seminal work anew.”


For the opening night performance on Thursday, July 20, dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet will perform Emeralds, dancers from the New York City Ballet will perform Rubies, and dancers from the Bolshoi Ballet will perform Diamonds. The four remaining performances of Emeralds will be performed by dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet, with dancers from the Bolshoi Ballet and New York City Ballet alternating in Rubies and Diamonds. The complete schedule of performance dates, times, and casting, as well as the companies for each performance of Rubies and Diamonds, will be announced at a later date.


The New York City Ballet Orchestra, under the direction of NYCB Music Director Andrew Litton, will perform for the complete engagement. New York City Ballet’s original production featured set designs by Peter Harvey, who redesigned NYCB’s current production in 2004; lighting by Ronald Bates; and costumes by Karinska. For Lincoln Center Festival, Jewels will be performed with the sets from the current NYCB production by Peter Harvey, lighting by NYCB’s Resident Lighting Director Mark Stanley, and costumes from each company’s current production, with the Bolshoi Ballet wearing costumes by Elena Zaitseva, the New York City Ballet wearing Karinska’s original costume designs, and the Paris Opera Ballet wearing costumes by Christian Lacroix.


The original 1967 cast included Violette Verdy and Conrad Ludlow in Emeralds, Patricia McBride and Edward Villella in Rubies, and Suzanne Farrell and Jacques d’Amboise in Diamonds. The complete ballet first entered the repertory of the Bolshoi Ballet in 2012 and the Paris Opera Ballet in 2000. In 1974, the Paris Opera Ballet performed Rubies as a stand-alone piece titled Capriccio. 


To help underwrite this historic project, Lincoln Center has launched a Producers Circle campaign, inviting dance lovers to become supporters and gain early access to premium seat locations and enjoy other exclusive Lincoln Center Festival benefits. For information, please contact Rachel Winkler at [email protected], 212.671.4786, or visit:  


The complete Lincoln Center Festival 2017 schedule will be announced in March 2017, with single tickets on sale starting March 29, 2017.


Lincoln Center Festival has received worldwide attention for presenting some of the broadest and most original performing arts programs in Lincoln Center’s history. The festival has presented nearly 1,465 performances of opera, music, dance, theater, and interdisciplinary forms by internationally acclaimed artists from more than 50 countries. To date, the festival has commissioned more than 44 new works and offered some 145 world, U.S., and New York premieres. It places particular emphasis on showcasing contemporary artistic viewpoints and multidisciplinary works that challenge the boundaries of traditional performance.




The Bolshoi Ballet

One of the oldest and largest ballet companies in the world, the Bolshoi Ballet, now celebrating its 241st season, is renowned for its unique style, characterized by true virtuosity and incredible stage presence, and for combining great classical tradition with a fresh approach. Known throughout its illustrious history for championing new work, the Bolshoi Ballet was the first company to stage Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and Minkus’s Don Quixote, and continues to expand its repertory in current times with new works such as The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet, and Hero of Our Time. The hallmark of the company are the dancers, whose range and artistic virtuosity harken back to legends such as Galina Ulanova, Vladimir Vasiliev, Maya Plisetskaya, and Ekaterina Maximova. Much of the Bolshoi’s legacy can be attributed to Yuri Grigorovich, who was the artistic director for more than 30 years and who will celebrate his 90th birthday this season. Today’s Bolshoi artists, Svetlana Zakharova, Maria Alexandrova, Ekaterina Krysanova, Vladislav Lantratov, Artem Ovcharenko, Semion Tchudin, Denis Rodkin, and others—coached by Liudmila Semeniaka, Marina Kondratieva, Svetlana Adyrchayeva, Nikolai Fadeechev, Boris Akimov, Alexandr Vetrov, and others—ensure that under the leadership of Makhar Vaziev the Bolshoi’s standards are held as high as ever. The Bolshoi last performed in New York in 2014 as part of Lincoln Center Festival, when they danced Swan Lake, Don Quixote, and Spartacus. This will be the company’s first U.S. appearance since Vaziev, former director of the Mariinsky and La Scala Ballet, was appointed Ballet Director in 2016.


New York City Ballet

New York City Ballet is one of the foremost dance companies in the world, with an unparalleled repertory of ballets—most of them created for NYCB—many of which are considered modern masterpieces. The company was founded in 1948 by arts patron Lincoln Kirstein and the legendary choreographer George Balanchine, who served as Ballet Master of NYCB from its inception until his death, in 1983, and created a company of dancers known for their speed and musicality. In 1949, Jerome Robbins joined the company as associate artistic director. In 1964 NYCB moved to its current home at Lincoln Center’s New York State Theater (now the David H. Koch Theater), which was built especially for Balanchine and NYCB. Now under the direction of Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins and Executive Director Katherine Brown, the company has more than 90 dancers, a 62-member orchestra, an official school (School of American Ballet), an institute for choreography (New York Choreographic Institute), and an annual 21-week season in New York City. Widely acknowledged for its enduring contributions to dance, NYCB is committed to promoting creative excellence and nurturing a new generation of dancers and choreographers. For more information, visit


Paris Opera Ballet

The origins of the Paris Opera Ballet date to 1661 when Louis XIV established the Royal Academy of Dance and later merged it with the Royal Academy of Music in 1669. It was here that theatrical dance flourished and evolved during the 18th- and early 19th-centuries, and the forms and techniques of classical ballet emerged, to be shaped and honed by generations of virtuoso dancers and choreographers. While maintaining its great historic traditions and classical ballets by such eminent dancers and choreographers as Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot, and 20th-century works by innovators such as Maurice Béjart, Serge Lifar, and Rudolf Nureyev, the company has over the last 20 years built a large repertory of works created for it by celebrated contemporary choreographers, including Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Mats Ek, William Forsythe, Jirí Kylián, Susanne Linke, Édouard Lock, Wayne McGregor, Benjamin Millepied, Angelin Preljocaj, Alexei Ratmansky, Saburo Teshigawara, and Sasha Waltz, to name a few. The Paris Opera Ballet is composed of 154 dancers, drawn, for the most part, from the Paris Opera Ballet School directed by Elisabeth Platel. The average age is around 25, making this one of the most youthful of today’s companies. Aurélie Dupont, a former étoile retired in 2015, officially became Paris Opera’s Director of Dance in August 2016. The festival performances will mark the company’s first U.S. appearance since she assumed the directorship. For more information, visit




Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA) serves three primary roles: presenter of artistic programming, national leader in arts and education and community engagement, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus. A presenter of more than 3,000 free and ticketed events, performances, tours, and educational activities annually, LCPA offers 16 series, festivals, and programs, including American Songbook, Avery Fisher Career Grants and Artist program, David Rubenstein Atrium programming, Great Performers, The Performing Arts Hall of Fame at Lincoln Center, Lincoln Center at the Movies, Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Awards, Lincoln Center Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Lincoln Center Vera List Art Project, Midsummer Night Swing, Mostly Mozart Festival, White Light Festival, the Emmy Award–winning Live From Lincoln Center, which airs nationally on PBS, and Lincoln Center Education, which is celebrating 40 years enriching the lives of students, educators, and lifelong learners. As manager of the Lincoln Center campus, LCPA provides support and services for the Lincoln Center complex and the 11 resident organizations: The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, The Film Society of Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center Theater, The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, School of American Ballet, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.


Lincoln Center has become a leading force in using new media and technology to reach and inspire a wider and global audience. Reaching audiences where they are – physically and digitally – has become a cornerstone of making the performing arts more accessible to New Yorkers and beyond. The re-imagination of David Geffen Hall will play an important part in these efforts.


For more information, visit


Lincoln Center is committed to providing and improving accessibility for people with disabilities. For information, call the Department of Programs and Services for People with Disabilities at 212.875.5375.



Lincoln Center Festival lead support is provided by American Express


Endowment support is provided by Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Nancy Abeles Marks.


Lincoln Center Festival 2017 is also made possible by The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.


Public support for Festival 2017 is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and

New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature


American Airlines is the Official Airline of Lincoln Center


Nespresso is the Official Coffee of Lincoln Center


NewYork-Presbyterian is the Official Hospital of Lincoln Center


MetLife is the National Sponsor of Lincoln Center


“Summer at Lincoln Center” is supported by Diet Pepsi




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High Resolution Images Return to Top

Bolshoi Ballet
Caption: Bolshoi Ballet's production of Diamonds from JEWELS. Choreography George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust.
Photo Credit: Damir Yusupov
Size: 3300x2200
Paris Opera Ballet
Caption: The Paris Opera Ballet's production of Emeralds from JEWELS. Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust.
Photo Credit: Francette Levieux
Size: 2400x1238
New York City Ballet
Caption: Gonzalo Garcia, Teresa Reichlen, and Megan Fairchild with ensemble in New York City Ballet's production of Rubies from JEWELS. Choreography George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust.
Photo Credit: © Paul Kolnik
Size: 3600x2400

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