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Jewels [Blu-ray]

6 customer reviews

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$29.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In 2000, seventeen years after George Balanchine's death, a rare and precious ballet arrived at the Paris Op+ªra: Jewels, a work first performed by the New York City Ballet in 1967. This alluring, abstract ballet, a triptych in which each piece sparkles with the brilliance of a precious stone, is a lyric tribute to women and to the capital cities of the great dance schools. Couturier, painter and craftsman Christian Lacroix created the glorious costumes and sets which, together with the outstanding performances of the dancers and the sensitive musical direction of Paul Connelly, results in a celebration of sumptuous splendor.

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Balanchine's three-part, evening-long ballet, Jewels, is one of the jewels of his output. Created in 1967, Jewels revisits the central pillars of his glorious career. Thus, the first of the trio, Emeralds, to music by Fauré, is an homage to the French school of ballet; a Romantic episode in which soft-core lyricism comes to the fore. The second ballet, set to Stravinsky, Rubies, celebrates American dance virtues, filled with sexy Broadway and jazz references. Finally, Diamonds, with music from Tchaikovsky, takes us to Mr. B's roots in St. Petersburg with a dazzling tribute to Russian ballet tradition. Each of the works is pure Balanchine, full of the abstract stage patterns, novel arm and feet movements, and virtuoso fireworks typical of his style. Jewels is superb in this video taken from live 2005 performances of the National Opera Ballet in its home playing field, the jewel box of Paris' Palais Garnier. The French company excels in meeting Balanchine's demands. All the featured principals turn in breathtaking performances and the highlight may be the way they turn Diamonds, which often goes flat in performance, into a thrilling experience.

The costumes and sets, designed by Christian Lacroix, are precisely what this ballet needs, with backdrops of green for Emeralds, red, Rubies, and a cool blue crossed by a glittering cloud-like necklace for Diamonds. The video direction captures the feeling of being in the hall, with full-stage shots interspersed with views of soloists or ensemble sections that are never too close-up and respect the need for air and space around the dancers. Included is an excellent documentary film about Balanchine and Jewels, with cogent interviews and exemplary excerpts from the ballet. No lover of dance should be without this. --Dan Davis


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Kader Belarbi, Aurélie Dupont, Agnès Letestu, Mathieu Ganio, Laëtitia Pujol
  • Directors: Pierre Cavasillas, Gerard Mortier, George Balanchine
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Castilian
  • Subtitles: Dutch, English, French, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: October 28, 2008
  • Run Time: 152 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001D068XO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,238 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Jewels [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Lars Sandell on April 21, 2010
Great ballet performances on Blu-ray are a joy to behold, not least because of the stunning HD image, but this one must have been incorrectly mastered as it goes horribly fuzzy as soon as the dancers move. Standing still, they are crystal clear. I own a dozen Blu-rays of ballets, including several produced by Opus Arte, and they all look magnificent and sharp - even in extremely fast movement. I previously bought the DVD of this title, but returned it to the shop as defective. So imagine my disappointment when I saw that the Blu-ray was just as blurry. Hopefully, Opus Arte will correct this when a new pressing is due, but that might take years, I'm afraid. I advise potential customers to stay away from "Jewels". Watching this "smear" gave me a headache and was painful to the eyes. What a pity, as this a a gorgeous balett.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By I. Giles TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 29, 2012
There are now two versions of this ballet to choose from on Blu-ray. This one by the Paris Opera ballet and recorded in 2005 and the Mariinsky version recorded in 2006 although not released until 2011.

The ballet is a totally abstract creation by George Balanchine based on music by Faure, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky. The steps danced in both versions are identical of course and are equally well performed. Both stage settings focus on the colour of the three featured jewels, my preference being for the slightly more sumptuous sets at the Mariinsky theatre. The music is equally well performed and recorded by both teams and both offer finely detailed camera work giving a nice combination of close and panoramic views. The sound in both cases offers good quality surround sound or stereo.

Although this is an abstract creation as mentioned above, it is nevertheless very traditional as regards movements and dress. It best rewards repeat viewing as some people might find the lack of narrative and drama a little dull at first. The target is actually to illustrate grace and abstract beauty as appropriate to the perceived characteristics of emeralds, rubies and diamonds. The music moves from gentle Faure to spikier but accessible Stravinsky and concluding with typical Tchaikovsky but un-typically using the conclusion of his less well-known 3rd symphony.

So which to buy? In this case there is no clear winner in my view although I have a personal preference for the Mariinsky version. Choice could well be based simply on price. I personally would wish to own both as the choices of camera angles and use of close-up and panoramic views vary throughout, sometimes favouring the Paris production and sometimes the Russians.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By King Me on April 29, 2012
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I had to chime in to (unfortunately) totally agree with Lars Sandell's "Beware of fuzzy dancers" review, in hopes that it might speed Opus Arte to remaster and re-release this wonderful ballet. This production of Jewells is beautifully danced by beautiful dancers but, as Mr. Sandell said, once they start moving, the blurring begins. And watching it did in fact begin to give me a headache. I'm a bit torn about a purchase of this blu-ray. I felt lucky to acquire it at a good price and, having never experienced this ballet before, loved being able to see it - sort of - but I can't recommend anyone purchase this particular disk. Opus Arte MUST remaster it. Otherwise, I suggest looking for a different production.
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