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Ballet West: Jewels and Aladdin

It speaks volumes to the depth of Ballet West that while gearing up for another season of the hit reality-television show Breaking Pointe, the company can also stage two completely different productions, George Balanchine’s Jewels and the Family Series premiere Aladdin.

Although Balanchine himself noted that his three-part abstract ballet Jewels has nothing choreographically to do with precious stones—the sparkling costuming was the main reasoning behind the naming of each section—“Emeralds,” “Rubies” and “Diamonds” are clearly shaped by the connotations each precious gemstone charms into being.

“Emeralds,” perhaps the most lyrical and lush segment, is set to a score by Gabriel Fauré. With striking green costumes (pictured) and its enchanting romanticism and pomp, the aesthetics mimic the idealism inherent in old French royal courts. “Rubies,” on the other hand, is a fiery piece set to Igor Stravinsky’s pulsating music, bursting at the seams with the energy of New York’s 1920s Jazz Age. The finale, “Diamonds,” pays tribute to the Imperial Russian Ballet by featuring a Tchaikovsky score and borrowing the grandeur embodied by Russia’s luxuriant balletic tradition.

Meanwhile, Ballet West II—with help from the Academy—presents Aladdin, choreographed by principal ballet mistress Pamela Robinson-Harris and former soloist Peggy Dolkas. With the familiar storyline of star-crossed lovers trying to find Arabian romance while foiling the plans of a dark and mysterious sorcerer—all with the help of a whimsical genie, of course—Aladdin is a perfect introduction for both the young and old to the rich world of ballet. (Jacob Stringer)

Jewels, April 5-6 & 10-13, 7:30 p.m., 2 p.m. matinee April 13;

Aladdin, April 6, 2 p.m., April 8-9, 7 p.m., $15-$74.,

Date: Apr 9, 2013
Phone: 801-355-2787
Address: 50 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 84101
Where: Capitol Theatre