Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg's Onegin at OCPAC
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The last date listed for Onegin was Sunday May 24, 2009 / 2:00pm.
Currently at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Segerstrom Hall
- Full Price:
- $39 - $59
- Our Price:
- $30 - $45
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Artistic Director and Choreographer of The Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, Russia, Boris Eifman is presenting the Southern California premiere of Onegin, a powerful new interpretation of Alexander Pushkin’s classic, Eugene Onegin. The story was originally set in the 19th century against the opulent backdrop of the Russian Empire, but in Eifman’s inimitable and perceptive choreographic style, he has set Onegin in today’s world: “I transported Pushkin’s characters to our times, placing them in new circumstances, more dramatic, even extreme, when the old world is collapsing and life dictates new rules. …What would the novel’s characters do with their lives today? I needed that experiment in order to answer the question that troubles me: what is the Russian soul today?” Free Preview Talks with Dianne Howe, Ph.D. will be held one hour prior to each performance.
Additionally, the Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg is performing at the Center on May 21 as part of Tour de Force: A Gala Dance Spectacular. For that event, the company is performing excerpts from several of its most renowned works and Eifman is creating a special new work, titled Fallen Angel, to be performed by Nikolay Tsiskaridze. From classic pas de deux to contemporary, beginning at 7:30 p.m., Tour de Force will be a never-to-be-forgotten array of glorious dance artistry and genius.
A young woman’s infatuation meets an aristocrat’s insensitivity in this retelling of one of literature’s most passionate and poignant love stories. In Eifman’s telling, Eugene Onegin is a dashing rogue who toys with the affection of Tatiana, a shy and impressionable country girl. Though Tatiana falls hopelessly under his spell, Onegin mercilessly rejects her, only to recognize his true feelings many years later. As the tale continues, the jaded aristocrat comes to regret his spurning of the lovelorn girl. Onegin’s dramatic declaration of devotion to Tatiana – now married and a member of St. Petersburg’s glittering social scene – ultimately culminates in remorse, heartbreak and love unfulfilled. In the ballet, Eifman explores the turn of events with psychological acuity and emotional drama.
Sumptuous costumes, magical staging and atmospheric lighting generate a theatrical spectacle in which the dancers in the corps de ballet ebb and swirl with dramatic intensity, while the soloists embody their characters with artistic integrity and emotional truth.
Having created more than 40 ballets, Boris Eifman is one of the few Russian choreographers to have sustained such a prolific creative life in recent decades. Eifman has received Russia’s prestigious Golden Mask Award for both his works and his lifetime achievement in contemporary choreography. He is also a four-time recipient of the St. Petersburg theater award, The Golden Sofit. His other awards and distinctions include the Triumph Award, the Russian state award for his contribution to the development of the performing arts, induction into France’s Order of Arts and Letter; the distinguished title of The People’s Artist of Russia and a professorship at the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet.
In 1977, Eifman founded The New Ballet of Leningrad (now known as the St. Petersburg State Academic Ballet Theater, or Eifman Ballet) – Russia’s first and only ballet theater dedicated to performing works by a single choreographer. He is noted for creating original choreographic works based on classical ballet and infused with the spirit of contemporary choreography.
Eifman’s artistic philosophy is rooted in contemporary issues. Immersing himself in the dark and daunting realm of the human psyche (The Idiot, Murderers, Don Quixote, Red Giselle and Russian Hamlet), Eifman creates classic examples of psychoanalysis on stage. He shows extreme states of being, seeing the madness of his characters as mental illness, but as a unique ability to access other worlds and dimensions. He plunges into the depths of today’s most relevant philosophical and spiritual questions – which were the basis for Russian Hamlet, Don Juan and Moliere and Who’s Who. In 2002, Eifman created the one-act ballet Musagete for New York City Ballet as part of the George Balanchine Centennial Celebration program. In creating his style, Eifman worked through many paradigms and styles of movement, turning his theater into a creative lab for exploration and discovery. Concerned above all with the theatrical impact of his productions, the choreographer does not restrict himself to the
conventions of pure classical ballet. His works are each a complex, all-encompassing spectacle, constantly revealing new forms and principles of dancemaking. Eifman creates his own type of theater – a theater ruled by emotion.