Eifman Ballet | Auditorium Theatre | Dance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through May 17 2009
Price: $32-$77
Don't expect a traditional story ballet from choreographer Boris Eifman, head of this accomplished Saint Petersburg-based troupe. Though he often draws on classic sources--Hamlet, Anna Karenina--he's very free about adapting them for his psychology-driven danced dramas. Based on Alexander Pushkin's 1833 verse novel, his new, evening-length Onegin (to be performed here) is set in a timeless present characterized by stark, abstracted costumes and set design--a circle of flaring lights represents the gates of hell. Like Eifman's other works, Onegin doesn't distinguish between reality and imagined or supernatural events. In one terrifying episode, the title character comes face-to-face with the ghost of Lensky, a friend he's killed in a duel. Lensky rolls Onegin on the floor and crouches over him while other spirits surround and torment him. Eifman paints in broad strokes and strong colors but doesn't neglect choreographic details: a passage in which Onegin's love interest, Tanya, leads her grieving sister toward the cemetery--though the sister stumbles backward, her eyes on the past--is echoed at the end, when it's Tanya who needs to be led. --Laura Molzahn

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