If you don’t know what Emeralds is click here and read more.
(This post has nothing really to do with ballet education.)
Emeralds. As the story goes Balanchine was inspired by the jewelers Van Cleef and Arpels. As an avid visitor to Van Cleef, I understand why he was so inspired. I am obsessed with the Balanchine ballets, probably more obsessed than I should be. But, when it comes to Jewels, I am able to reflect upon my own life and how it relates to me, and why I am the Emeralds phase of my life.
When I was a young dancer training, I hated Emeralds. I literally fell asleep the first time I went to go see it live. When I was younger, it was all about Rubies. The sexiness, the energy, and the relentless power and flexibility of the tall girl in Rubies. Like Stravinsky, when you are younger, there is this uncontrollable force that drives you: passion. As a young dancer it was about focusing on rapid turns, whacking out your battements, and being overly flexible. It was far the better choice compared to the other two. Diamonds just looked like ballet class to me, and just was pretty, and well classical.
Later, as a working dancer, I became obsessed with Diamonds. It was about the strive towards perfection. As a working dancer it starts the process of control, constraint, and restriction. It is taking everything you had learned in ballet school, and learning how to control it, finesse it, and do it with ease. Diamonds became my version of Swan Lake. It was the test of perfection within the choreography. As a young adult, that translated into my personal life. It was about being perfect, finding the perfect man, finding perfection within my life. Still, I am kind of there, but now I am transitioning to my thoughts on Emeralds…
Now, realizing that perfection is impossible, something to strive for, I have entered into a new phase of my life: Emeralds. Subtlety and romance. There is something so luxurious about Emeralds. The walking pas de trois is like strolling through the park, the variations are almost care free and relaxed. There is no rush. That is where I am at in my life right now. I know this has nothing to do with the actual story behind the ballet, but it shows how ballet can reflect life, and how audience viewers relate. Before, when I would watch ballets, I would be watching for technique, musicality, and lets be honest: dancer making mistakes. Now as I watch ballets, it is about how they relate to my life. Watching classical storybook ballets do nothing for me now. Now when I want to escape my own life and become involved in someone else’s I go to the movies and the achievements in cinema take me there.
As I have started to embark on my own ballet company and school, I have decided to let it take me wherever it takes me. I am not thinking my company and school will be anything equated to Balanchine. Far from it. But, I have taken everything I have learned in the phases of my life and implemented it into the curriculum and structure.