Royal Opera House
Wednesday, 19th April 2017
Jewels – 04/19/2017
EMERALDS: Beatriz Stix-Brunell – Valeri Hristov, Laura Morera – Ryoichi Hirano, Emma Maguire – Helen Crawford – James Hay
RUBIES: Akane Takada – Alexander Campbell, Tierney Heap
DIAMONDS: Marianela Nunez – Thiago Soares, Claire Calvert – Beatriz Stix-Brunell – Yasmine Naghdi – Tierney Heap
As Jewels opened when I was already back in Italy for Spring holidays, I only had no chance but the live cinema relay (thoroughly adored it, especially Steven’s Rubies and Marianela’s Diamonds). When I came back to London, I left luggages at my place and I suddenly headed to Covent Garden. As per usual, the buzz when entering the House was thrilling (it’s an addiction, I swear), and I could barely sit still. I mean, come on: Balanchine’s works are great, but Jewel is the truest masterclass of glamour ever! With its scores set by Fauré (Emeralds), Stravinsky (Rubies) and Tchaikovsky (Diamonds), and each part inspired by a different gemstone it is an journey between a romantic 19th century Paris, a swinging New York and a regal Russia, even though there’s actually no scenography!
For Emeralds, Fauré’s music is dreamy and full of mystery, blowing publicaway in a surreal yet enchanting combination of score and choreography. All is so elusively green (loved it) and those tutus! Tulle heaven, I’m coming!
Beatriz Stix-Brunell starred as principal ballerina, elegant and classy as a lovely nymph alongside Valeri Hristov in the main pas de deux. Then, her solo was nothing but flawless: she was so fluent and delicate, almost liquescent, even if a true contrast to Laura Morera (whom I am not a fan of, but really good technically speaking). I have to say I strived to see her with Ryoichi Hirano, for he’s so tall and she’s so petite.
Coming to the pas de trois, the trio composed by Helen Crawford, Emma Maguire and James Hay was lively and impeccable in their jumps and virtuosity – the trio’s score is actually my favourite from Emeralds.
And the coda!! I was absolutely blown away by the seven dancers ensemble!
Rubies… having seen Steven McRae striking it like a god some weeks before, I had the highest standard ever. Alexander Campbell was good in the jazzy piece, and Akane Takada pulled out a roaring performance with her long lines.
Tierney Heap, dancing as the demure second woman, was powerful but needed perhaps more elegance.
And finally, Diamonds! Glittering, dazzling, shining, taking us directly to tsarist Russia. Tchaikovsky’s score is pure magic (I can still hear the polonaise in my mind).
As the ultimate Marianela’s fan, I was waiting for this moment: she radiantly unleashed her inner sparkle, leading the Royal Ballet with all her unbeatable charisma as the truest jewel in the crown she is.
As always, Thiago Soares was the perfect partner in the pas de deux, and he danced beautifully in his solo (on the contrary, I found him a bit uncertain during the cinema relay). The duo is simply perfection: tender and flawless, almost an idealisation, and the chemistry between them is still a great one.
I particularly loved the soloists, especially Yasmine Naghdi, glorious in her jumps and stunning technique. Then, the ensemble part was a glamorous end to an astonishing evening.
But the most amazing moment came at the stage door: Marianela’s such an amazing human being! I could never be thankful enough for this gift I’ll cherish forever (I could barely find words to talk!).