Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels Festival Arrives in New York

24 OCT 2023

550 X 733 First New York Edition Of Dance Reflections By Van Cleef & Arpels Festival

A devotee of dance ever since its foundation, Van Cleef & Arpels continues and strengthens its artistic commitment with Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels.


Message from Nicolas Bos, President and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels

On the occasion of the Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels Festival, the Maison is delighted to contribute to the close and longstanding links between New York and the art of choreography. In the 20th century, the city established itself as a historic center for dance, thanks to several influential personalities. In the world of ballet, George Balanchine played a major role: in 1934, the choreographer founded the School of American Ballet, the institution that gave rise to the renowned New York City Ballet which he co-founded in 1948.

Those developments coincided with the unfolding of Van Cleef & Arpels’ own story in the United States. Founded in Paris’ Place Vendôme in 1906, the High Jewellery Maison settled in New York’s Rockefeller Center in 1939, before opening its own boutique on 5th Avenue in 1940. Very quickly, the American continent became the backdrop for a new chapter. The Maison’s founders maintained its distinctive universe there, but were also inspired by their deep affinity with dance. Their passion for ballet – and attendance at performances – probably inspired the Maison’s jewellery creations: in 1941, the first ballerina clips appeared. Their vivacity and elegance celebrated the art of movement, and heralded new interactions between the two disciplines.

At the same time, in the early 1950s, the paths of Van Cleef & Arpels and George Balanchine crossed. The latter’s encounter with Claude Arpels inspired the choreographer to create a work considered to be the first great abstract classical ballet, Jewels. Devoted to the three main dance schools, this trilogy associates each one with a precious stone and the music of a composer: French (Emeralds, Gabriel Fauré), American (Rubies, Igor Stravinsky) and Russian (Diamonds, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky). Ever since its Premiere on April 13, 1967 at the New York State Theater – the home of Balanchine’s New York City Ballet since 1964 – Jewels has been inextricably linked with the Maison’s history.

In 2007, to celebrate its 40th anniversary, Van Cleef & Arpels created a High Jewellery collection – Ballet Précieux – around the three gems, and supported a new production of this major choreographic work by the Royal Ballet in London. Created in 2020, Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels follows in these footsteps, perpetuating the Maison’s commitment in favor of dance. This first New York edition of the Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels Festival marks a decisive turning point: it provides an opportunity for the Maison to revive its own heritage in the United States, and holds the promise of fruitful interactions. Several major actors of the history of dance in New York are among the prestigious institutions with which Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels is very proud to collaborate. The Festival will open at the New York City Center, the first stage for Balanchine’s New York City Ballet in 1948; 75 years later, it is contributing to the continuation of this rich dialog between High Jewellery and the art of choreography.


Message from Serge Laurent, Van Cleef & Arpels' Director of Dance and Culture Programmes

Launched in 2020, Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels is a programme dedicated to dance, whose main goal is supporting creative artists and institutions linked to the world of choreography. In addition, the initiative stages a festival together with international partners each year: the first events took place in London in March 2022, and in Hong Kong in May 2023. For this US edition, Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels is proud to be collaborating with prestigious New York institutions to showcase the wealth of choreographic creation.

The festival’s programme is inspired by the three values of Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels: creation, transmission and education. Throughout several weeks, some 12 performances will offer a panorama of international choreographic creation, interspersed with recent works, and pieces from the repertoire that have gone down in the history of contemporary dance. With that in mind, we are delighted to inaugurate this edition with Dance by Lucinda Childs at the New York City Center, performed by the Lyon Opera Ballet. The festival’s focus on the work of this choreographer continues with the Ballet national de Marseille, which will present two of the artist’s other pieces at the NYU Skirball: Concerto and Tempo Vicino. The end of November will also be an opportunity to discover Lucinda Childs at The Joyce Theater, in a programme of six choreographers devoted to Philip Glass. Together, they will present five creations that pay tribute to the work of the composer, and his major contribution to the art of choreography. The commitment of Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels to transmission also extends to the Trisha Brown Dance Company, for its huge repertoire and new works, notably via a commission to the choreographer Noé Soulier. At Park Avenue Armory, École des Sables, a research laboratory and artist residency programme in Senegal, presents The Rite of Spring. This masterpiece by Pina Bausch (1975) is performed by a group of 36 dancers, most of whom were trained at the École des Sables in Africa. The historical reference is also established with Bombyx Mori by Ola Maciejewska, a piece directly inspired by the Serpentine Dance by Loïe Fuller, a pioneer of modern dance from the late 19th century.

The richness and diversity of contemporary creation is a powerful presence at New York Live Arts, with L’Étang by Gisèle Vienne. Following on from Crowd at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the choreographer and director now invites audiences to discover a striking work based on a text by the Swiss writer Robert Walser. Also at New York Live Arts, Mailles by Dorothée Munyaneza brings five black female artists who are African or of African descent on stage, to relate their personal history and journey.

We will also discover the Ballet national de Marseille at the NYU Skirball with Mood: a piece by Lasseindra Ninja, a leading French exponent of Voguing – an urban dance form born in the 1970s, and inspired by the poses of models at fashion shows. Also at the NYU Skirball, Boris Charmatz – recently appointed head of the Pina Bausch company – will present SOMNOLE: an astonishing solo piece in which breath becomes both sound and movement. At the BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), Rachid Ouramdane will bring together storytelling, the circus arts and contemporary dance in Corps extrêmes. Back to NYU Skirball, we will also be able to discover the new creation by Dimitri Chamblas and the musician Kim Gordon, a perfect illustration of the traditional relationship between music and dance.

I would like to thank our partners and the Villa Albertine for this new collaboration, which provides a unique opportunity to celebrate the richness of choreographic creation.


About Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels

A devotee of dance ever since its foundation, Van Cleef & Arpels continues and strengthens its artistic commitment with Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels.

Guided by the values of creation, transmission and education, this initiative aims to support artists and institutions that specialise in modern and contemporary choreographic repertoire, while encouraging new productions. Since its launch in 2020, it has supported numerous choreographers for their creations as well as the presentation of various dance performances around the world.

The initiative is complemented each year by major events, including a dance festival. After a first edition in London in 2022, the Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels Festival is presented this year in New York.