Brand to sponsor Jewels, a ballet inspired by Claude Arpels.

High jeweller Van Cleef & Arpels is set to sponsor five performances of the 1967 ballet Jewels in Moscow, to celebrate the reopening of the Bolshoi theatre.

Van Cleef & Arpels says it wants to celebrate historic ties on the occasion of the Bolshoi re-opening, after it was closed for six years of renovation work. Now the high jewellery brand is set to support five performances of George Balanchine’s ballet Jewels, commencing May 5.


The ballet was premiered in 1967 after its creator Balanchine met Claude Arpels through a mutual friend. Balanchine had wanted to create a ballet using jewelled costumes and, after being invited by Arpels to the Van Cleef & Arpels boutique on Fifth Avenue, was inspired to make a go of the idea.

From there it is said Balanchine’s and Arpel’s “shared passion for stones” was born, as was an artistic relationship that resulted in Balanchine’s new ballet, a three-part non-narrative piece, featuring “sumptuous costumes”.

The ballet is based on three precious stones, emeralds, rubies and diamonds, performed to music by Fauré, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky. It also takes themes of French, American and Russian dance styles.

Since its first performance Jewels has been performed in Miami and Paris and more recently in London, where is was performed at the Royal Opera House by the Royal Ballet in 2007, also sponsored by Van Cleef and also paving the way for a then new collection, Ballet Précieux, inspired by four themes: the ballet, emeralds, rubies and diamonds.

On the occasion of the five performances of Jewels at the Bolshoi, Van Cleef plans to exhibit a selection of its Ballet Précieux creations, alongside vintage pieces from the Van Cleef & Arpels Collection.

Jewels featuring emeralds, rubies and diamonds will take centre stage to accompany two clips from the 1940s. Archive documents will also feature, illustrating the ties between Van Cleef & Arpels and the world of dance.