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Eifman Ballet of St Petersburg, London, April 2012


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Eric Taub wrote this in a Balletco review:

"However, at his best, Eifman can be a pleasure, albeit a Guilty Pleasure. There are times when watching his work that I can forget about his often laughable artistic decisions, his bombast and pretension, the earnest naivety with which he presents the blindingly obvious as revelations, indeed, when I can drink the Cool-Aid, turn off my critical faculties (Eifman does give my BS-detector a heavy workout), and, for awhile, at least, just let myself get swept away on the rush of outrageous, caffeinated theatricality. As in most cases in which one suspends one's own critical awareness, I do indeed feel guilty in the morning, but at least I'm not hungover."

 

Very much worth reading the whole review:

http://www.ballet.co.uk/magazines/yr_07/may07/et_rev_eifman_0407.htm

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Stirrups - why on earth would Eric's review put you off? Read between the lines here - he really enjoyed himself! He just needed to hedge his bets a little...

 

I've long wanted to see an example of Eifman's work but have hesitated because of the negativity about Eifman's work on serious ballet websites (like this one :rolleyes: !), but Eric's review has decided me - if I can get a ticket for 'Anna' I'm there!

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I think both sound quite interesting, but was also thinking about taking a couple of my children - and not so sure it would be appropriate for their age (reading some of the other reviews as well).

 

but yes, he does sound as though he enjoyed it (guiltily of course). Given timing and other commitments, maybe a miss for us this time around.

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I saw Anna Kerinin at the Coliseum and while impressed with the incredible physical dexterity and energy of the lead dancers..have to say I didn't enjoy it. Too close to gymnastics at times. Also the pace was uterly relentless and one dimesnional. seemed to move from one angst ridden, soul searching scene to the next. The woman next to me kept gasping in alarm every time poor old Anna was thrown from one death defying hold to the next..as well she might. Sorry, just not my cup of tea

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Agree, Norman S - I was there too. The relentless pace did remind me somewhat of ice dancing (that, and the lifts at every possible excuse - often even when there wasn't an excuse). I did though enjoy his work for the corps men, particularly the 'marching' movements, but I couldn't forgive the total absence of anything remotely resembling romantic or lyrical dancing for this particular story- none of the steps provided for poor Nina Zmievets as Anna flowed organically from one into another to make the movements look soft and lyrical when they needed to be. But to be fair, most of the audience enjoyed the performance sufficiently to give it a standing, shouting and whistling ovation (but to be be really strictly fair, a lot of last night's audience were Russian).

 

I opted not to buy a programme so can't credit the set and costume designer(s), but I loved the splendid set for the ballroom, which in the effective final scene was adapted to become the menacing steam-filled railway station. The lack of a programme also meant that I was taken completely by surprise at the recorded music. Obviously, I am a totally spoilt ballet-goer.

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I have seen Eifman a number of times and reviewed it for this site. At first I was quite taken away with the superb dancers and the dynamism of the entire concept in all of his ballets. However, the pace is relentless and he makes one (me, anyway) long for a breather - a contrast of tone and intent. There are usually a number of gasping circus type daredevil "oh my gosh - are they really going to do that? moments of derring do. I come away having said lots of "oh's" but not many "ah's." And having gasped in surprise once, I can't imagine returning to see it a second time. I believe it is choreography and concept which will die once its creator is no longer on the scene since it's most probably not transportable - another company taking it up.

 

I wouldn't discourage going, however, it is something one should see - if only for the wonderful (and courageous) dancers.

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some pics, more to follow....

 

 

 

6900149268_170895650c_z.jpg

Eifman Ballet at the Coliseum

© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

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Eifman Ballet at the Coliseum

© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

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Eifman Ballet at the Coliseum

© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

 

See more...

Dave Morgan's Eifman Ballet, a set on Flickr

Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

Edit: Link to gallery corrected.

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