an Cleef & Arpels announced the sponsorship of the classic ballet Balanchine’s Jewels, by Hong Kong Ballet, as part of French May Arts Festival 2021 program. Jewels was created through the acquaintance of Claude Arpels and famed choreographer George Balanchine, co-founder of the New York City Ballet. Their shared passion for gems and dance blossomed into an artistic bond that produced Jewels, a ballet celebrating the beauty of precious stones. This masterpiece consists of three acts dedicated each to a gem and a composer: Gabriel Fauré for Emeralds; Igor Stravinsky for Rubies; and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky for Diamonds. Since its premiere in New York in 1967, Jewels has become a significant work of the twentieth century.
Over the decades, Jewels has been interpreted many times by international companies such as the Ballet de l’Opéra National de Paris, the Mariinsky Theatre Ballet in Saint Petersburg and the Miami City Ballet. In 2007, it was performed in full at the London Royal Opera House, with the support of Van Cleef & Arpels.
The longstanding bond between Van Cleef & Arpels and the world of dance dates back to the 1920s, when Louis Arpels, a fervent ballet and opera lover, often took his nephew Claude Arpels to the Opéra Garnier, just a short walk from the Place Vendôme boutique. In the 1940s, the first ballerina clips were created at the prompting of Louis Arpels.
These creations featuring graceful dancers have since become one of the Maison’s stylistic signatures. Characterized by their vivacious lines, precious tutus evoking fluidly draped fabrics and elegant compositions, the jewels are crafted in three dimensions, sometimes displaying a delicate openwork. They showcase a wide palette of gems, orchestrating dazzling stories suffused with poetry and wonder.
Hong Kong Ballet’s new creation of Jewels will be staged for five performances from May 21st to 23rd at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts’ Lyric Theatre.