This is Patricia McBride, one of the original dancers in George Balanchine’s Jewels when it premiered at New York City Ballet in 1967. There are videos on Youtube of McBride and Edward Villella in Rubies on Youtube. Even today, they look amazingly fresh, fun, teasing, sophisticated.
Next week, fifty years after the premiere, Jewels comes to the Lincoln Center Festival, where it will be danced by three great international companies: the Paris Opera (Emeralds), City Ballet and the Bolshoi (alternating in Rubies and Diamonds). It will be fascinating to see what each brings to the ballet, and whether the idea that Jewels somehow embodies three different ideas about ballet comes through in their dancing.
For the Times, I spoke to three ballerinas—Dorothée Gilbert, Teresa Reichlen and Olga Smirnova—about the various subtexts in Balanchine’s Jewels. You can find the piece here.

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