This week in London, Van Cleef and Arpels presented Gem, a ballet by Benjamin Millepied and his L.A. Dance Project – the final work in a series commissioned in 2013 by the high jewellery house.
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At the heart of the new ballet was the collaboration between Van Cleef and Millepied, whose decade-long role as a dancer at the New York City Ballet was crowned by his choreography of the film Black Swan (2010), where he met his wife, the actress Natalie Portman before – very controversially and briefly – taking over the Paris Opera Ballet.
The London evening featured three separate pieces, with dancers wearing shimmering sporty silk outfits.
So precious stone or gem-like?
If you are wondering what is the connection between jewellery and this powerful and athletic dancing, it’s the mouvement. In each of its creations, the Jeweler reinterprets movement, lightness and femininity. Van Cleef and Arpels is also extremely famous for his ballerina brooches.
The French High Jeweller’s connection to actual ballet and choreography dates back in 1967 – when the legendary choreographer George Balanchine, inspired by the colourful jewels in a Van Cleef display on New York’s Fifth Avenue, first translated sparkling stones into dance in the three-act ballet: Jewels. (Read about Balanchine’s Jewels here)
Now, we just do not validate the outfits created by Italian designer Alessandro Sartori, also known for his work with Italian menswear company Ermenegildo Zegna – as much as we wouldn’t expect to wear diamonds with your sweatpants, especially when they come from such an elegant Jewellery House.