I remember my heart beating a little faster and my legs not wanting to stay still. I remember not wanting to blink, taking it all in. I remember stunning costumes and breathtaking music. The soft patter of pointe shoes lightly tapping the stage floor. I remember feeling big inside. Full. The ride home was constant chatter. Reliving the night in words. I remember dancing in the living room. And ten years old was probably too old, but I didn’t care because my limbs were still itching with Stravinsky. I remember lying in bed unable to sleep, trying to replay it all in my head. Balanchine’s Jewels. Diamond. Emeralds. Rubies.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Balanchine’s masterpiece, Jewels. We have the honor of performing one of the three parts of this work—Rubies. This is easily one of the most enjoyable ballets of which I have had the opportunity to be a part. It is fun, it is sassy, thecostumes are incredible, and—despite the difficult counts—the music is spectacular. It is a ballet I cannot wait to perform because I feel so much joy dancing it that I can’t wait to share that with an audience. And I remember being in the audience watching this ballet, feeling the pull. I was at the age in which ballet classes begin to take up more and more time, and I had to start deciding if it was really worth it. If the hours upon hours away from home, friends, and playtime was what I really wanted. If ballet was just going to be recreation or if it would become something more. I remember sitting in the audience watching the red skirts flip back and forth, hearing the pointe shoes tap the stage, and knowing this is what I want to do.