Creators of the “Lady Arpels Pont des Amoureux” and the “Midnight Planetarium” timepieces, Van Cleef & Arpels is all about enchantment, and what could be more enchanting than classical ballet? This perfect association is brought to the headlines today as the Richemont Group brand announces its partnership with Dubai Opera, set to open in September 2016 with its first two classical ballets: Coppélia and Giselle, performed by the Russian State Ballet and Orchestra of Siberia.
The announcement was made jointly in Dubai by Alessandro Maffi, Managing Director of Van Cleef & Arpels Middle East & India and Jasper Hope, Dubai Opera – Chief Executive.
Famous for its poetic watch complications and fabulous gems, the haute jeweller and watchmaker, established at 22 Place Vendôme in Paris since 1906, is also renowned for its support of the performing arts, and in particular ballet.
Dance has been a major source of inspiration for the House since the 1940s, when family and company member Louis Arpels, a ballet and opera lover, requested that ballerina clips (brooches) be made.
Ballerinas soon became one of the House signatures, joining flowers, butterflies and other enchanting objects and themes dear to the families of Van Cleef and Arpels. Today, the ballerina clips are among the most highly sought after collectors’ items.
In addition to the creation of the clips, choreographer and co-founder of the New York City Ballet George Balanchine created an actual ballet, the Balanchine ballet ‘Jewels’ first performed in New York in April 1967, inspired by the emeralds, rubies and diamonds first seen at the 5th Avenue boutique with Claude Arpels, Louis Arpels’ nephew. More recently, Van Cleef & Arpels collaborated with Benjamin Millepied, former dancer at the New York City Ballet and founder of L.A. Dance Project in 2012, and is patron of the recent and creative on-line Opéra National de Paris 3e Scène. And the clips continue, as seen with this 2016 creation:
The Dubai Opera building, designed by architect Janus Rostock, Regional Design Director at WS Atkins & partners Overseas, Middle East and India, will host a variety of dance shows and ballets. Shaped like the iconic dhow boat of the Gulf, transformable into three modes, it will enable a wide variety of performances and events including theatre, opera, ballet, orchestras, concerts, fashion shows, live entertainment, conferences, galleries and art exhibitions, with seating for up to 2,000 people in ‘Theatre’ mode and a stunning rooftop restaurant and garden with views of The Dubai Fountain and the Burj Khalifa.
Located in the ‘the most prestigious square kilometre in the world’ in Downtown Dubai.