The evening-length ballet Jewels may not have a plot (when it premiered in 1967, this was almost scandalous), but it does offer a complete survey of the profound talents of its creator, legendary choreographer George Balanchine, who is often credited with popularizing ballet in 20th-century America in the first place. In Jewels, performed today by the Houston Ballet, you can see why his efforts worked: Emeralds, the first of its sections, is a romantic, gentle piece, complete with flowing tutus; Rubies is a bold, neoclassical romp, with a "cheekiness, a sexiness," according to Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch; and Diamonds, says Welch, is "cool, classical and Russian." Let Balanchine convince you of the powers of dance all over again, starting at 7:30 p.m. Through October 3. Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas. For a schedule, call 713-227-2787 or visit www.houstonballet.org. $18 to $148.
Thu., Sept. 23, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 26, 2 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 1, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 2, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 3, 2 p.m., 2010