Here is one of the greatest full-length ballets of all time, and it doesn’t tell one story, but many. George Balanchine’s Jewels, choreographed in 1967, has three acts—“Emeralds,” “Rubies,” and “Diamonds”—that provide three takes on classical style, respectively French, American, and Russian. But more than that, it’s a tapestry interwoven with allusions to ballet’s ondines, firebirds, swans, and steeds. In “Diamonds” there’s even a unicorn! (Balanchine loved the Cluny tapestries in Paris and was familiar with the Unicorn Tapestries at the Cloisters in upper Manhattan.) Jewels is a glittering bestiary of romantic love, and the gems are the ballerinas who dance it. —L.J.
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