Editor: Lisa Zatulovsky
Copyright 2011 Art of Living,PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati
Romantic emeralds, flashy rubies and elegant diamonds sparkled in the light on the stage of the Teatro Alla Scala during a three-week engagement of the ballet Jewels. Milan’s La Scala Ballet recently performed multiple performances of George Balanchine’s acclaimed Jewels this May. Balanchine captures the beauty of “Emeralds,” “Rubies,” and “Diamonds,” translating them into distinctive ballet sequences. The grandeur of the theatre framing the dancers of La Scala enhances the opulence of this dazzling ballet, like a menagerie of rare gems in a jewelry box, garnished with bracelets, necklaces and rings. Deep scarlet seats emblazoned with gold and delicate crystal chandeliers, paired with exquisite dancing are all ingredients for a magical recipe.
As the lights dim and the composer carefully waves his baton for “Emeralds”, dancers in deep-green velvet bodices with lithe tulle skirts adorned with emerald accents and magnificent jeweled crowns decorate the stage. A dreamy melody by Gabriel Faure brings the dancers to life, harmoniously chaining the movements together like the links of a delicate gold bracelet.
As the curtains re-open, the next section, “Rubies,” is introduced. Igor Stravinsky’s staccato, alluring and jazzy score starkly contrasts with the previous movement. Dancers in short red costumes with encrusted scarlet stones ooze sensuous appeal. Extreme extensions, angular movements and dazzling turns are front and center in this playful sequence. Like a bold-statement necklace with layers of rubies set in gold, this section demands attention.
The last section begins, presenting “Diamonds,” the culmination of Jewels. Paying homage to the great Russian composer Tchaikovsky, Balanchine creates a magnificent and sophisticated conclusion. Corps dancers in mid-length white tulle tutus ornament the stage like a set of small diamonds decorating a silver engagement ring. As the leading couple starts to dance, a princely cavalier presents a majestic, long-limbed ballerina looking as though she were the central princess cut diamond of the engagement ring.
For an appetizer, inspired by ‘Jewels’ start with Bruschetta al Pesto. Reminiscent of the ballet’s green color, the understated deep emerald pesto sauce made with garlic, basil, olive oil and pine nuts, brushed onto a thin slice of crusty bread is an ideal antipasto.
Let your main course take a front and center role much like Rubies by presenting a show stopping Lasagna . Bold and hearty, Lasagna made with layers of tomato sauce, beef, al dente Lasagna sheets and creamy ricotta, shredded mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano will demand your attention with every bight.
For the grand finale of your meal, finish off with a sparkling Italian dessert white wine, suggestive of the cold finesse of a clear-cut diamond. For one last ovation, make your meal sparkle like a radiant diamond by enjoying sips of the sweet notes of Moscato d’Asti, as the last traces of radiance catch the light before the curtain closes one last time.
For recipes get your copy of the Gourmand World Award Winning Book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition
Ju;y 21- 24, Festa Italiana- the USA’s largest Italian Festival in Milwaukee Wisconsin- See you there at Cucina Showcase. The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm will be doing on stage events every day and book signings by Maria Liberati throughout. For more info email: Info@marialiberati.com
July 29=31 Gourmet Food and Wine Show, Bally’s Atlantic City, Maria Liberati will be doing on stage cooking demos and book signings