Critically-acclaimed as Russia's most innovative contemporary dance company, the EIFMAN BALLET of St. Petersburg returns to Boston with the New England premiere of Onegin, a powerful new interpretation of Alexander Pushkin's classic, Eugene Onegin. Onegin is a ballet in two acts with music by Tchaikovsky and Sitkovetsky. Artistic Director Boris Eifman transports Pushkin's characters to our times in this retelling of one of literature's most passionate and poignant love stories in which a young woman's infatuation meets an aristocrat's insensitivity.
Alexander Pushkin's novel Eugene Onegin has been called "an encyclopedia of Russian life," in which Pushkin saw and created an amazingly accurate archetype of the Russian character of his time, fashioning a poetic image of the Russian soul, mysterious, unpredictable, and incredibly sensual. 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, placing the characters in new, more dramatic circumstances, when the old world is collapsing and life dictates new rules.
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.