Last night, I had the *magical* honor of witnessing the Tri-Wizard Tournament of Ballet – known to muggles as the Lincoln Center Festival’s offering of Jewels an EPIC Balanchine creation of 50 years ago— that made history this week by mingling talents of the world’s top three ballet companies onto one single, sparkling stage. A Goblet of (global ballet) FIRE we didn’t realize how thirsty we were to enter…

Jewels, 1967; George Balanchine, Patricia McBride, Suzanne Farrell, Violette Verdy, Mimi Paul

It’s fair to say that Paris Opera Ballet, New York City Ballet & Bolshoi Ballet boast many of the most technically proficient, artistically potent wizards of dance…and to see them all sharing backstage wings & wands is literally to behold real.life.bewitchment.I.don’t.exaggerate. 

Having danced this ballet throughout my own career, nostalgia set in before I even left my apartment & lingers well into the present…

Jewels is no less than everything you need, want & wish a live performance to be – a genius, creative collaboration of tear-jerking choreography, jaw-dropping costumes & musical compositions that compliment each ‘stone‘ so harmoniously…you start to wonder which of these things came first.

To watch these companies enliven artistic vision inspired so uniquely by each of their cultures & infamous qualities was like waking up on Christmas mornings three times in a row. The fragrance & flourish the french dancers brought to Emeralds was sensory in every possible way… …porter bras for dayssss s’il vous plaît & don’t mind if I do Ms. Dorothee Gilbert. It brought me back to learning variations from Violette Verdy herself back in my days at the School & resurfaced treasured memories of performing at the Palais Garner with RDB… Rubies was every bit of ALIVE, pulsing, electric & addicting as you could make of any #NewYorkMinute & I must say the home team advantage of NYCB was alive & well (*I was definitely not the one who refused to sit down amongst that roaring standing ovation ;)………and Diamonds. Diamonds. Holy Hell. Let’s just say some memories are best preserved untouched, mounted high in a glass box that you’ll look up at every now and then only to see your bewildered reflection and know that you bared witness to greatness and will never be the same because of it.1,000 points for #Bolshoi –  that was absurd.

…this is all to share with you the overflowing, overwhelmed, overjoyed bundle of emotions that I embodied walking away from Lincoln Center last night. It’s to note what brilliant things can come of collaborating… of seeing past political boarders & boundaries…it’s to celebrate global inclusivity & creative interdependence.

Magic happens all of the time but we’re too often remiss to recognize its manifestations. I’m pretty sure last night’s audience knew that stars were aligning (quite literally) before them.

As for me, I’m still waltzing around the Great Hall(s) of New York City star struck & starry eyed… Bravo you strong & mighty few!!

                             #ibelieveinmagic

                                          s.e.