The Boris Eifman Ballet troupe from St. Petersburg is a constant guest of the dance series at the Golda center in Tel Aviv (same hall that hosts the New Israeli Opera). He brought here during the last decade all his important works which made of him the best known Russian choreographer of the day. He is kind of a cult hero in Israel, the ballet audiences here especially the ones of Russian origin adore him, although in the Western media he is quite controversial, some criticizing him sharply for the commercial touch of many of his performances.

(video source yk387)

I have seen today the latest work of Eifman, which is inspired by Pushkin’s ‘Onegin’. I liked the performance,¬† although I was neither shocked, nor charmed by everything that happened on the stage. There are two tings that I can complain about – one that the show lacked the inventiveness, the spark, the special ideas I found in other productions of Eifman. Second that too little of the Russian soul or Pushkin;s romanticism made it to the stage. Instead the story was adapted to happen in the period between 1991 and today, and talk about the Russian society of today. The music reflected quite well this discrepancy – the combination of Tchaikovsky¬† and rocker Alexander Sitkovetsky’s music never worked together, and the effect is of rupture rather then of continuity. The dancers were all very good, you would not expect anything less from a first tier troup of Russian dancers, with Nina Zamaitzev especially shining as Tatiana. Stage sets were mostly focused around a circular screen that was used as dynamic background (interesting and efficient) enhanced by masterful light games. Eifman was present at the performance, and received standing ovations from the audience which may have been 80% Russian-speaking.

(video source pointemagazine)

Here are a few professional reviews of Eifman’s Onegin, for these who wish to read more than my amateurish one:

http://me-artsblog.blogspot.com/2009/05/dance-review-eifman-ballets-onegin.html

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2009/05/review-eifman-ballets-onegin-at-ocpac.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/01/arts/dance/01eifm.html

http://www.ballet.co.uk/magazines/yr_09/jul09/et_rev_eifman_ballet_onegin_0509.htm