George Balanchine’s Jewels celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and we’re throwing the biggest birthday party possible! All new costumes and sets are coming to PNB’s production of Jewels. But these things don’t happen overnight. Read on for breathtaking photos AND facts about the process of stitching it all together!

  • A total of 79 costumes were built. We use 66 costumes in each performance; the extra 13 are for different body shapes.
  • We’ve (proudly) used more than two football fields’ length of tulle.
PNB Company dancers in Emeralds, photo © Angela Sterling.
  • The costume-making process took seven months and 32 costumers.
  • Luna Pham (our costume shop draper) bought 2,025 sew-on crystal stones for the Diamonds costume bodices while in Vietnam.
Luna Pham creating Emeralds bodices, photo © Lindsay Thomas.
  • The sew-on crystal stones for Emeralds and Rubies, on the other hand, are originally from China, Taiwan, or Austria (and purchased in California).
  • For all three ballets, more than 100 crystals are hand-sewn to each bodice with the use of a frame.
Photo © Lindsay Thomas.
  • Hundreds of jewels are sewn onto the ribbons on each Rubies skirt.
  • Try counting the sew-on crystal stones on the Rubies bodices: 3,378 stones in total on the 16 bodices.
Sarah Pasch and Company dancers in Rubies, photo © Angela Sterling.
  • The numbers on Diamonds skirts: 18 skirts for the corps and demi dancers (groups and small groups of dancers), and two principal tutus (plus three principal Diamonds men).
Company dancers in Diamonds, photo © Angela Sterling
  • Terry Frank (our milliner) and his team built 48 tiaras (…plus two extras that were created for the winners of our Opening Night Gala auction).
Terry Frank creating Jewels tiaras, photo © Lindsay Thomas.
  • On the four principal and 15 corps Emeralds tiaras, there are 300 sewn-on crystal beads and 3,000 hot-fix crystals.
Company dancers in Emeralds, photo © Angela Sterling.
  • Diamonds features the second-most crystals, with 2,480 hot-fix crystals on the 16 corps tiaras.
Company dancers in Diamonds, photo © Angela Sterling.
  • Rubies features 120 sew-on crystals and 120 hot-fix crystals total on the 10 corps tiaras, plus another 30 sew-on and 94 hot-fix on the two principal tiaras.

Choreography for Emeralds, Rubies, and Diamonds is by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust.

Featured photo: PNB Company dancers is George Balanchine’s Emeralds, photo © Angela Sterling.