St. Petersburg Eifman Ballet, Russia, 2017

Tour Dates: 4th September - 25th September, 2017

Saint Petersburg Eifman Ballet, established by Boris Eifman in 1977, was from day one recognized for its new and innovative concept of ballet....

Tour information:

Shanghai Oriental Art Center
7 September, 19:15, Rodin
8 September, 19:15, Rodin
9 September, 19:15, Anna Karenina
10 September, 19:15, Anna Karenina

National Centre for the Performing Arts
13 September, 19:30, Anna Karenina
14 September, 19:30, Anna Karenina
15 September, 19:30, Rodin
16 September, 19:30, Rodin

Saint Petersburg Eifman Ballet, established by Boris Eifman in 1977, was from day one recognized for its new and innovative concept of ballet. The company’s first performances already stirred the interest of the audiences and ballet critics who argued about new tendencies in Russian ballet.

In the 1980’s the choreographer and his company, characterized by an outstanding dance intellect, continued to explore new genres and develop new repertoires which are all distinguished for their strikingly sharp choreographies, intended to express the fiery passion of the ballet characters.

Today St. Petersburg Eifman Ballet is renowned among ballet lovers in Asia, Europe, the Americas and in Australia for such ballets as Tchaikovsky; I, Don Quixote; Red Giselle, Russian Hamlet, Anna Karenina, The Seagull, Onegin, Rodin, Beyond Sin, Requiem. These works not only represent the highest artistic level of achievements of contemporary Russian ballet, but also welcome the spectators into the immortal spiritual heritage of Russian and world culture that inspired the choreographer and his dancers. The creativity and innovation of Eifman Ballet and their new interpretations of cultural masterpieces carry a huge educational potential to involve a wide audience into the world of high arts.

Boris Eifman’s endeavor to engage his spectators in the infinite world of human passions, to form a spiritual liaison with the audience, to amaze viewers by the brilliance and dynamism of his plastique – all this has ensured a decades-long success of Eifman Ballet’s performances at leading venues around the globe.

Founder & Choreographer:Boris Eifman

Boris Eifman is one of the few, if not the only Russian choreographer who’s energetic and brilliant artistic life has been going on for several decades. He has created more than forty ballet performances and obtained honorary titles such as the People’s Artist of Russia, the Laureate of the State Prize of the Russian Federation, the laureate of the Golden Mask and the Golden Soffit, he is also the holder of the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, and many international prizes and titles.

The choreographer was born in Siberia and received his ballet degree from the department of choreography of the Leningrad Conservatory. Already in 1977 he set up his own company – the Leningrad New Ballet today known to millions of art lovers as St. Petersburg Eifman Ballet. The choreographer and his outstanding dancers are known for creating the new dance repertory of modern Russia. According to Boris Eifman a new century demands new choreographies that closely reflect the modern human being. Earnestly concerned with the problems of today Boris Eifman openly speaks with his audience about complicated and dramatic aspects of human life; he defines his genre as “psychological ballet”. “Throughout my creative life I’ve been expanding the boundaries of the ballet theatre and, first and foremost, searching for a body language capable of expressing the life of human spirit. Dance isn’t a physical process for me, but a spiritual one”, - says Boris Eifman.

Forming a special and innovative repertoire based upon the rich traditions of Russian psychological theater, and new choreography of the XXI century are among the key priorities within the artistic mission of Boris Eifman and his company.

Program: Anna Karenina

Boris Eifman’s ballet Anna Karenina is a true burst of inner psychological energy and is amazingly precise in delivering emotional impact upon its viewers. By setting aside all secondary storylines in Leo Tolstoy’s novel, the choreographer focused on the love triangle «Anna – Karenin – Vronsky». Using the language of dance, Boris Eifman managed to portray the drama of a woman being reborn. According to the choreographer, it is the passion of love, the «basic instinct» which has led the heroine to the breach of the then current norms of social morality, killed her motherly love and destroyed her inner world. Being completely consumed and crushed by passion, a woman is ready for any sacrifice.

The regular life of the Karenin family – the husband’s public service, the strict high society conventions – produced the illusion that harmony and peace reign there. Anna’s passionate love for Vronsky destroyed the “matter of course” in their existence. The sincerity of the lovers’ feelings was doubted and rejected and one was afraid of their frankness. Karenin’s hypocrisy was acceptable to everyone but Anna. She preferred the all-absorbing love for Vronsky over her duties towards her son. And thus she doomed herself to lead the life of an outcast. She saw no pleasure in traveling or in high society entertainments but is tragically constrained by the need of being in a sensual relationship with a man. This sort of dependence causes pain and suffering. Anna committed suicide to set herself free, to end her dreadful and agonizing life.

The choreographer says that his ballet speaks not of the past but of today: the timeless emotional content of the performance and obvious parallels to reality can’t leave the contemporary viewer indifferent.

What is a more important goal in life: to maintain the conventional illusion of existing harmony between duty and feelings, or surrender to a sincere passion? Do we have a right to destroy our family, to deprive a child of his mother’s care just for the sake of what our flesh lusts for?...All these questions haunted Tolstoy in his times, and we can’t avoid raising them over again and again today. But answers are still far-off! What remains there is only our thirst for being understood both in our life and death.

Program: Rodin

“The story of life and love of Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel is an amazing tale about an incredibly dramatic alliance of two artists where everything was entwined: passion, hatred and artistic jealousy. Spiritual and energy exchange between the two sculptors was an outstanding phenomenon: being so close to Rodin, Camille was not only an inspiration for his work helping him find a new style and create masterpieces, she also impetuously went through the development of her own talent becoming a great master of sculpture herself. Her beauty, her youth and her genius – all this was sacrificed to her beloved man.

After breaking up with Claudel the artist stays with devoted but unloved Rose Beuret. Camille tries to find her escape in work, but art critics do not accept her sculptures. In despair, Claudel destroys most of her works and plunges into the darkness of insanity. The wretched woman’s soul is being incinerated by pathological hatred towards her former teacher and lover, who, as Camille believes, has stolen her life and talent.

This new ballet reflects Rodin’s longing for his Muse, torments of his conscience, as well as Camille's delirium caused by the mental illness and saturated with painful obsessions – or rather that of the insane Erinys that the ruthless fate has turned her into.

In our performance, using the language of dance, we talk about passion, inner struggle and despair – of all those human spirit phenomena that were brilliantly expressed by Rodin and Camille in bronze and marble. To turn a moment carved in stone into an unrestrained, emotionally rich stream of body movements is what I was striving for while creating this new ballet performance.

Rodin is a reflection on the extreme price that people of genius have to pay for the creation of eternal masterpieces. And, of course, it is a reflection on those torments and mysteries of creative process that will always be of concern to any artist."

- Boris Eifman

“The ballet world in search of a major choreographer need search no more. He is Boris Eifman”

- Anna Kisselgoff, The New York Times

“There now need be no doubt that choreographer Boris Eifman - theatrical magician extraordinary - is here tostay. Perhaps the only doubt is whether he is the last major choreographer of the 20th century or the first of the21st”

- Clive Barnes, New York Post