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30 April 2020 (Thu), 20:00 Alexandrinsky Imperial Ballet Theatre (established 1756) - Modern Ballet Modern Dance Ballet of Boris Eifman "Onegin". Music: Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Alexander Sitkovetsky

Schedule for Modern Dance Ballet of Boris Eifman "Onegin". Music: Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Alexander Sitkovetsky 2020

Orchestra: Symphony Orchestra "Congress"

Music: P. Tchaikovsky, А. Sitkovetsky
Scenery: Z. Margolin
Lighting: G. Filshtinsky
Costumes: О. Shaishmelashvili, P. Okunev
Video-art: V. Bystrov
Premiered on 3rd of March 2009, St. Petersburg, Russia

‘Onegin’ is a choreographic version of A. Pushkin’s two-act novel in verse ‘Eugene Onegin’. While preserving poetics and philosophy of Pushkin’s work Eifman’s new ballet presents the opportunity to view the story through the eyes of a contemporary. The production of ‘Onegin’ by Eifman Ballet Company became one of the major events in contemporary cultural life in 2009.

Eifman’s name is always associated with most interesting experiments and audacious interpretation of classical works; he renews and enriches the form and the content of the contemporary ballet. The artistic images present an amalgam, a mixture of the real and fantastic, and that causes powerful emotional experience. The same concerns the light and the music. This time the director brings together classical and contemporary music. The combination of P.I. Tchaikovsky’s classical music and A. Sitkovetsky rock music make the audience comprehend the choreographer’s message better.


…The things took on a different look…
And a cool-headed general…
Gathered supporters to his call…
Hastened with strength and boldness to
See the uprising carried through.
(Chapter 10 XIII, XVI, XVII)

The illness with which he'd been smitten
Should have been analysed when caught,
Something like spleen…or Russia's chondria, for short;
It mastered him in slow gradation…

Yes, spleen was waiting like a sentry,
and dutifully shared his life
just like a shadow, or a wife.

No, nothing caused his heart to stir,
And nothing pierced his senses' blur...
(Chapter 1 XXXVIII, LIV)

They got quite close, though wave and stone,
And ice and fire, and prose and poem
Are not so different as they were.
At first these differences disturbed,
They thought each other dull, then drolly
They rather liked each other, then…
Were soon inseparable wholly.

Thinking himself in love a cripple,
Onegin heard, sage-faced, unquivering,
The poet tell all of himself,
In love with his own heart’s distress…

Oh, he did love, as we already
No longer love, as only bards’
Insane poetic souls unsteady
Condemned to love forever are!
(Chapter 2 XIII, XIX, XX)

O flowers, and love, and rustic leisure…
…All this has now gone out of fashion…

So she was called Tatyana. Truly
She lacked her sister's beauty, lacked
The rosy bloom that glowed so newly
To catch the eye and to attract.

…by depression
Her heart had long been overrun:
Her soul was waiting... for someone.
Tatyana now need wait no longer.
Her eyes were opened, and she said
`This is the one!'

All for our tender dreamy maiden
Are coloured in a single tone,
All blend into Eugene alone.
(Chapter 1 LVI; Глава 2 II; Глава 3 VII, VIII, IX)

But you perhaps find no attraction
In any picture of this kind:
For nature's unadorned reaction
As something low and unrefined.

... we … glide on waxed parquet.
In country towns and suchlike places
… Heeltaps, and leaps…
All of this it keeps
As fresh as ever, for its graces
Are here untouched by fashion's reign,
Our modern Russia's plague and bane.
(Chapter 5 III, XLII)

… Lit by the moon.
Elbow on table, spirit seething,
Still filled with Eugene, Tanya wrote,
And in her unconsidered note

‘I write to you - no more confession
Is needed, nothing's left to tell.
I know it's now in your discretion
With scorn to make my world a hell.
But, if you've kept some faint impression
Of pity for my wretched state,
You'll never leave me to my fate…
Why did you visit us, but why?
Lost in our backwoods habitation
I'd not have known you, therefore I
Would have been spared this laceration…
But who are you:
The guardian angel of tradition,
Or some vile agent of perdition
Sent to seduce? Resolve my doubt.
Oh, this could all be false and vain,
A sham that trustful souls work out;
Fate could be something else again..,
Imagine it: quite on my own
I've no one here who comprehends me,
And now a swooning mind attends me,
Dumb I must perish, and alone.
I close. I dread to read this page...
For shame and fear my wits are sliding...
And yet your honour is my gage
And in it boldly I'm confiding''...
(Chapter 3 XXI, XXXI)

… ‘You wrote to me, and nothing spoken
Can disavow that.
And your sincerity of thought
Is dear to me, for it has brought
Feeling to what had long been heartless:

‘But I was simply not intended
For happiness -- that alien role.
Should your perfections be expended
In vain on my unworthy soul?

But you must teach
Your heart some self-restraint; for each
And every man won't understand it
As I have... learn from my belief
That inexperience leads to grief.''
(Chapter 4 XII, XIV, XVI)

From hour to hour a surer capture
For Olga's beauty, Lensky gives
His soul to a delicious rapture
That fills him and in which he lives.

Poor Tanya's bloom begins to languish,
And pale, and fade without a word!
(Chapter 4 XXIV, XXV)

Now all was still. Tatyana slept.
She dreamt of portents.
A group of monsters round
But ever stranger and more fearful
But how she jumped, when in this hovel
Among the guests she recognized
The man she feared and idolized
‘She's mine!’ Evgeny's voice of thunder
Clears in a flash the freezing room;
Onegin takes her
Into a corner, gently makes her
Sit on a flimsy bench, and lays
His head upon her shoulder...
(Chapter 5 X, XI, XVI, XVII, XX)

Between them, every topic started
Reflection or provoked dispute:
Looked down in an access of hate,
Pouted, and swore in furious passion
To wreak, by stirring Lensky's ire,
The best revenge one could desire.
(Chapter 2 XV, XVI, Chapter 5 XXXI)

The festal name day…
Since dawn, whole families have been driving
Towards the Larins'
A ball: the joy of every guest!

Revenge's hour is near, and after
Evgeny, full of inward laughter,
Has gone to Olga…
To talk of this and that…
All are dumbfounded. Lensky shies
Away from trusting his own eyes…

Louder and louder sounds the wrangle:
Eugene has caught up, quick as quick,
A carving-knife -- and in the tangle
Lensky's thrown down. The murk is thick
And growing thicker; then, heart-shaking,
A scream rings out…

A moment earlier, inspiration
Had filled this heart, and detestation
And hope and passion; life had glowed
And blood had bubbled as it flowed;
But now the mansion is forsaken;
Shutters are up, and all is pale
And still within…
(Chapter 6 XXXII)

from St.-Petersburg State Academic Ballet Theatre of Boris Eifman

Schedule for Modern Dance Ballet of Boris Eifman "Onegin". Music: Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Alexander Sitkovetsky 2020

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