Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg returns to New York City on April 6-8, 2018 with a ballet Anna Karenina
Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg is well-known on New York City dance scene. Its performances are eagerly anticipated by the fans of Russian ballet. Boris Eifman, the founder, and creator of this ballet theater, chooses complex psychological stories as the basis for his repertoire requiring from the spectators to know the literary text or the historical intricacies and to be able to appreciate a very abstract form of expression such as dance. In the case of Anna Karenina ballet, he obviously takes the cues from Leo Tolstoy but zeroes in on its main love triangle Anna-Vronsky-Karenin leaving aside the rest of Tolstoy’s characters. The show is dramatically staged and performed by the top-class classically trained dancers of Eifman Ballet theater. The performances in New York City will be taking place at the David H. Koch Theater on April 6-8, 2018. Book your tickets here.
Eifman has started his ballet company in 1977 after choreographing for the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet in St. Petersburg following his graduation from Leningrad Conservatory majoring in Choreography. His visionary style of storytelling using rich theatrical elements delivered using the language of ballet and dance has put his creations at the top of the playbills of the major theaters around the world. With the sold-out houses in Europe, Canada and in North America, the audiences are brought to their toes by the dancers’ technique and the depth of the drama on stage. Some of the critics are fast to compare B. Eifman to Maurice Béjart or Mauris Petipa. However, this comparison calls for even more novelty in choreographic expression. As the New York Time writes, Eifman’s ballets are either “adored by those who thrill to his lavish, dramatic spectacles” or dismissed “as thin”.
For this year New York City appearance the company selected “Anna Karenina” which premiered in 2005. The timeless tale of passion and duty, fall from grace and despair is told with amazing mastery by the principal dancers. Eifman’s excellent ballet corps, the clever use of Tchaikovsky’s music combined with the stage and costume design all make this very personal story played in the cold public eyes felt even more edgy and sad. The amazing power of the choreography in conveying the deeply felt emotions as the ballet moves from one familial scene to the next, culminate in the dramatic finale. The infectious energy of dance corp makes the fluid transitions from high society rout to officers club debouch to the inevitable endpoint. Throughout the show, the fast-paced full corp choreography stand in contrast to elegant duets underscoring a distractive force of the mob vis-à-vis a struggling sole.
And while the purists of Tolstoy’s text as well as some dance critics find that the staging is “desperate, overblown cliche” as is pointed out in The Guardian review, the dramatic story presented by the Eifman ballet clearly deserves the audience admiration. The brilliance of “Anna Karenina” will surely move everyone in attendance.
Dates and Tickets:
Venue: David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center Plaza, NY Dates: April 6-8, 2018
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