Once, she danced with New York City Ballet – now Jamie Wolf has returned as jewelry costumier for their performance of the George Balanchine tour de force, Symphony in C, which took place at the grand Spring Gala on May 10, 2012.
There’s an old saying, which goes: ‘Turn a hobby that you love into a way of earning a living, and you’ll never have to work again’. It makes sense when you think about it – if you work at something you really like, it’s so enjoyable that it no longer feels like work at all.
So there’s something enviable about being in the position to introduce oneself as a ballet dancer-turned-jewelry designer. It seems almost unfair that a person should have two glamorous careers in one lifetime, but this has been the happy outcome for Jamie Wolf, who spent one decade dancing with the New York City Ballet (NYCB), and the next making a living from her other great love: designing jewelry. She says that when she first joined NYCB, ballet master Peter Martins said to her: “I let you into this company, but it’s all up to you now”. She has been applying his advice ever since, and the cast-iron discipline required to succeed in a globally recognized dance company has fuelled her progress in the jewelry business.
Since then, her exquisitely feminine pieces have graced a whole roster of celebrities – Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Halle Berry, Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson and a whole lot more. She also made the engagement ring given to Natalie Portman by friend and former colleague, NYCB principal dancer Benjamin Millepied. It circled Portman’s engagement finger in full view of the cameras at the Academy Awards, for which she was nominated for her role in Black Swan. Publicity doesn’t get any better than this.
So it must be particularly satisfying to have come full circle and created five sets of earrings for the principal ballerinas starring in the performance of the newly modernized George Balanchine classic, Symphony in C. The earrings in question are timeless, floral designs in oxidized silver set with dazzling SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS, which flashed and sparkled under the spotlights, beautifully complementing newly refreshed costumes also embellished with crystals. She says that the commission felt totally natural: “I did all four movements of Symphony in C over the 10 years I danced there. I understand what it’s like to wear a headpiece or earrings, and I know that the weight and scale of the pieces is very important.”
A portion of the sales have gone towards NYBC’s grassroots fundraising initiative, Turn Out, as Wolf’s way of putting something back into something that was so influential in her life. Those fortunate to have attended this year’s Spring Gala – the coveted event on New York’s social calendar – will certainly be boasting about it for years to come.