Olga Smirnova (Rus. Ольга Смирнова) and Alexander Volchkov (Rus. Александр Волчков) in Diamonds from Jewels. Music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, choreography by George Balanchine. Eurasian Dance Festival 2017, Shot on 29.6.2017 in Astana Opera House.
Jewels is a three-act ballet created for the New York City Ballet by co-founder and founding choreographer George Balanchine. It premièred on Thursday, 13 April 1967 at the New York State Theater, with sets designed by Peter Harvey and lighting by Ronald Bates. Jewels has been called the first full-length abstract ballet. It has three related movements: Emeralds, Rubies, and Diamonds (usually separated by intermissions). It can also be seen as three separate ballets, linked by their jewel-colored costumes. Balanchine commented: “The ballet had nothing to do with jewels. The dancers are just dressed like jewels.” Each of the three acts features the music of a different composer: Emeralds is set to the music of Gabriel Fauré, Rubies to the music of Igor Stravinsky and Diamonds to music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Olga Smirnova (Rus. Ольга Смирнова) was born 1991. She is a Prima Ballerina with the Bolshoi Theatre Ballet company. Born in St Petersburg, Smirnova comes from a family with no connections with ballet. Her mother encouraged her to take up the art at the Vaganova Academy where she studied under Lyudmila Kovaleva. She participated in the academy’s tours across Europe and Japan, performing in the 2004 presentation arranged jointly with the Royal Ballet School. In 2011, immediately after her graduation, she was recruited by the Bolshoi and spent just one day in the corps de ballet before taking on solos. Having joined the company as a soloist, she was promoted to first soloist in her first season and to leading soloist at the end of her second season in 2013. Smirnova made her debut with American Ballet Theatre in 2014.
Aleksandr Volchkov (Rus. Александр Волчков) is a Principal Dancer with the Bolshoi Theatre balllet company. He was born in Moscow. In 1997, having trained at the Moscow Choreographic College (today the Moscow Choreographic Academy), in Leonid Zhdanov’s class, he joined the Bolshoi Ballet Company. His constant coach is Vladimir Nikonov.
Photos by Jack Devant Ballet Photography with kind permission of the Eurasian Dance Festival and Astana Opera, special thanks to Vasily Medvedev, Stanislav Feco and Janibek Kaiyr.