Photography by Jim Lafferty

 

Everything glitters a bit more in Vegas. To kick off its first season at the city’s new Smith Center for the Performing Arts, Nevada Ballet Theatre didn’t just perform a ballet. It put on the first-ever three-company production of George Balanchine’s Jewels. “Everyone was calling the theater the new jewel box of the city, so I thought, What better way to inaugurate it?” says NBT executive director Beth Barbre. Ballet West performed “Emeralds,” NBT “Rubies” and Pacific Northwest Ballet “Diamonds.” Van Cleef & Arpels sponsored the event—legend has it their jewelry inspired the ballet when Balanchine peeked in a store window. Although Jewels had never before been split among three companies, once the dancers took the stage, the collaboration felt natural. “Each jewel is so different, it can really showcase a company,” says Ballet West principal Christiana Bennett, who performed a lead in “Emeralds.” “We each got to fine-tune the technique and style of our act, really own it. And then all three pieces came together into one massively gorgeous ballet.”

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Francesca Hayward (center) in Cats (courtesy NBCUniversal)

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Rachel Neville, Courtesy Audition Dancewear

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Sarasota Ballet's Kate Honea and Ricardo Graziano in Balanchine's Western Symphony. Frank Atura, Courtesy Sarasota Ballet.

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Sponsored by The Rock School
From left: Sarah Lapointe, Derek Dunn and Jeanette Kakareka. Courtesy The Rock School

For more than five decades, The Rock School for Dance Education has been launching young dancers into professional ballet careers around the globe. Boasting distinguished alumni such as Beckanne Sisk, Michaela DePrince and Taylor Stanley, the Philadelphia-based institution has garnered a well-deserved reputation for pairing rigorous training with a tight-knit, welcoming community. Their summer intensives are no different, with a wealth of prestigious faculty members, many of whom are Rock School alums currently dancing at companies around the world.

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