public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:46 am

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Eifman Ballet American tour 2005
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 11:05 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 943
Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
Lewis Segal reviews the first of two Eifman Ballet programs in Orange County this week:

Quote:
It's all flash, and that's not a bad thing
Lewis Segal, LA Times

Boris Eifman's love of art shines through the pyrotechnics of 'Don Juan and Molière.'

More than anything else, "Don Juan and Molière" is Boris Eifman's tribute to the theater and all the imagination and energy it sets free.
...
With all its lapses and excesses, "Don Juan and Molière" is urgently, overwhelmingly alive, teeming with prowess of many kinds, passionately dedicated to theater as a transformative art. It's also a personal statement by someone who lives his dream, and those of us less brave can only look at it with wonder.
more (requires paid subscription)


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 11:15 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 943
Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
Boris Eifman writes an essay for the LA Times about his work and Russian ballet in general. He complains that today's Russian ballet scene is dominated by money instead of artistry, and how the emigration of good teachers has reduced the quality of new Russian dancers. Despite this, he's still optimistic about the future: he also talks about how he wants to start two new companies in addition to Eifman Ballet. One will be dedicated to the classics like Petipa, and the other will be very experimental trying to find "new forms and ideas for Russian ballet in the 21st century." He also intends to start a new school for choreographers and dancers for this new "modern ballet".

Quote:
A struggle of forward motion
Boris Eifman, Special to The Times

Looking to the future with optimism is easy for Eifman, because the Russian love of ballet is "unquenchable".

I created my theater in 1977 as an alternative to Russian classical ballet. I was motivated not by a wish to destroy the great traditions of Russian ballet but by a desire to come up with a new impulse for the development of balletic art. I was sure that Russian ballet hadn't exhausted its potential and would be able to find new forms and ideas.
...
My goal is to nourish two things without which ballet in Russia cannot flourish: not only professional dance artists but creative personalities.
more (requires paid subscription)


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 11:21 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 943
Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
Ouch:

Quote:
Dual swashbucklers
Laura Bleiberg, The Orange County Register
Review: Choreographer Boris Eifman tackles more than even his jackhammer style can manage in 'Don Juan & Molière.'

The return of Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg to the Orange County Performing Arts Center on Tuesday meant facing up to the shortcomings of this Russian juggernaut.
...
The expression "less is more" must not translate into Russian.
more


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 8:08 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 119
Location: So. California
I attended Eiffman Ballet at OCPAC last night...........I left at intermission............ :cry: Will write more later when I have time.....it was an agonizing experience for me. On many levels. Eiffman seems to me to be a pioneer in his country. I do give him credit for forging ahead against all odds wihtin his own country. But on a world class level.....I-yi-yi :!:
Maybe I should not judge this piece alone. Do I dare go to see Red Giselle in L.A.?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2005 12:39 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 943
Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
Fairwind, I believe they're doing Red Giselle this weekend at OCPAC. Their LA date later this month is for Anna Karenina. Anyway, I'll be at the Sunday show if anyone wants to say "Hi".

--Andre


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2005 1:00 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 119
Location: So. California
So my question to you is.....If I had serious troubles with this piece should I venture to another? And if venturing, which one would you select? Anna Karinina or Red Giselle? I have heard so much about this man and have been out of town each time he brought his troupe to OCPAC. I guess I was anticipating an amazing experience of theatrical proportions. What I saw was alot of nice scenery and costumes with little content and extremely two dimensional choreography. Lots of slick and glitz and no heart and soul.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2005 1:42 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 943
Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
Hmm, this will be my first time seeing any Eifman work, so I can't offer you much advice. I've already bought tickets for both, so I'm going to both anyway. But I'm always a sucker for dance, even if past experiences were bad: the first time I saw the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane company, I actually came out of the theater really angry --- not for whatever Jones was trying to say, but for the untheatrical, small scale experience I got that I didn't think deserved to be on a stage. Nevertheless, this year I dutifully signed up for another one of his performances, and it was much better this time, though I've still got a long way to go before warming to the company and his choreography.

You may want to go see Merce Cunningham this weekend at the LA Music Center instead --- it could balance out your Eifman experience.

--Andre


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2005 2:18 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
I know a few who've sworn never to see an Eifman ballet again...


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2005 7:22 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 119
Location: So. California
I may become one of them!
I guess what really made my hair stand on end was the lack of a cohesive movement vocabulary that amounted to a language of expression. Many of the group dances were more like 'skits' and the main characters threw away gesture after gesture.....this is not dance. And it definitely was not ballet either. Lewis Segal had an interesting use of adjectives for Eifman's work that alluded to the theatrical presentation. I was so surprised that Segal's review seemed to me to support the "Don Juan and Molliere" ballet.

Well, I need more that what I saw and with that said, I suppose I should give it one more go so that I can say I tried again :!:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 9:53 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 943
Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
I saw the closing performance of Red Giselle this afternoon at OCPAC. For a choreographer and company billed to be over-the-top, theatrical, etc., I must have missed something as I found myself almost dozing off during parts of the show. I had a full night's sleep, and it was the middle of an afternoon, hours after lunch, so I'm not sure what else to blame besides torpor-inducing choreography.

I certainly don't love the show, but I don't passionately dislike it, as I find myself simply indifferent. The dancers looked visibly tired, as completions of simple technique and most of the partnering were shaky and sloppy. The corps was ragged, and stylistically ununified, as port de bras sprouted like errant weeds. Epaulement of the company was highly exaggerated, and gratuitously distracting. The one exception to the many examples of ragged technique was Yuri Smekalov's strong dancing as The Partner. His solid technique however was powerless in the face of vulgar, trite choreography, and unfocused storytelling.

Borrowing from common everyday gestures, and incorporating them into ballet vocabulary, and a limited set of self-consciously awkward-looking modern movements, the choreography failed to evoke anything beyond what one superficially saw on stage. For example, the opening scene, which uses the 3rd movement of Tchaikovsky's Serenade to accompany a ballet class in St. Petersburg, naturally invites comparison to Balanchine's Serenade, and the comparison illustrates how Eifman's choreography fails. Balanchine famously incorporates everyday events in daily class into his Serenade --- the girl falling down, the late girl, and the varying number of students attending class each day --- but doesn't just insert them as-is into Seranade. Instead, each event is distilled, and used to illustrate the mood or dancing that's already going on. Seeing the intrinsic beauty in these everyday events, Balanchine strips away the superficial layers to show us the essential thing that caught his eye, and informs his choreography. Eifman's ballet class is also full of everyday things, like the girl who doesn't listen, and dancers stretching and interacting before class. But all of this is placed into his work with no editing, and therefore the work becomes vulgar --- he may have seen something wonderful that he wanted in his work, but by presenting us just the everyday event as it is, he doesn't make us see what he wants to see, and therefore fails as a choreographer. Imagine if Michelangelo chose to display a block of marble straight from the quarry instead of his finished David.

This literal, unedited insertion of common gesture and event also makes for choppy, unfocused storytelling as we concentrate on the literal details, which are not sufficiently present, and too randomly selected (why do we need to see the girl who doesn't listen, for example) to make a narrative. Making this situation worse is Eifman's use of chunks of classical music, with odd movements ripped out and played in isolation of the context of the work they came from. The emotional flow set up by each piece of music is interrupted jarringly and repeatedly as Eifman switches to completely different pieces of music by different composers for each scene. The result is emotional detachment and attendent boredom as there is no buildup and constant interruption.

For a successful example of a work in this style --- an apparent stream-of-consciousness storytelling --- see John Neumeier's Nijinsky, which the Hamburg Ballet brought to OCPAC last year. Epic in detail, scope, storytelling, and conception, it is everything Red Giselle tries, but fails, to be.

--Andre


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 10:37 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 943
Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
A feature on Eifman principal dancer Albert Galichanin:

Quote:
The Eifman experience
Laura Bleiberg, Orange County Register

Choreographer Boris Eifman, whose company returns to the Performing Arts Center this week, was an outsider to the country's opera house system. That's had its upsides and downsides for the dancers he worked with, who had to trade stability for innovation, at least in the beginning.

For principal dancer Albert Galichanin, however, the choice whether to join Eifman in 1989 was simple and dramatic.
more


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 10:40 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 943
Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
A very positive review of Saturday's matinee performance of Red Giselle:

Quote:
Outstanding cast helps 'Red Giselle' shine
Laura Bleiberg, Orange County Register

The two-act ballet "Red Giselle" was the calling card that choreographer Boris Eifman presented during his company's inaugural U.S. tour in 1998, and it has been winning him, and his St. Petersburg troupe, a devoted following ever since.

It returned with this current tour, looking even better at the Orange County Performing Arts Center over the weekend. (It was last seen in Los Angeles in 2000.)

more


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 10:54 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 943
Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
A positive review of Friday night's performance of Red Giselle. Not much to summarize here: a plot synopsis that takes over half the article, and some impressions of impressive technical feats by the soloists. He thought the corps was disciplined and energetic, and that the sets and costumes looked good.

Quote:
An artist devastated, an art elevated
Chris Pasles, LA Times

A great artist going mad is a fascinating, evergreen theme. Boris Eifman's "Red Giselle" takes it up powerfully in dramatizing the life of Russian émigré ballerina Olga Spessivtseva, one of the leading Giselles of her day, who suffered a nervous breakdown in the early 1940s. Spessivtseva spent the next two decades in a New Jersey mental hospital and her final years in a New York home for Russian exiles. She died in 1991.

The Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg made this arresting two-act work its calling card for a sensational local debut five years ago (May 2000) at what was then the Universal Amphitheatre, and the vital, engaging company danced it again over the weekend to conclude a six-day run at the Orange County Performing Arts Center.
more (requires paid subscription)


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 12:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 8612
Location: El Granada, CA, USA
They're in Berkeley this week. From the SF Chronicle.

Quote:
Eifman -- a force for change in the world of Russian ballet -- brings troupe to Berkeley
Catherine Pawlick, Special to The Chronicle

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Eifman, a creator of more than 40 ballets and whose company will be dancing Wednesday through Sunday at Zellerbach Hall for Cal Performances, is the only living Russian choreographer with a creative resume on a par with the most up-and-coming Western choreographers. When asked what incited him to choose his profession, he is very firm that he didn't choose it. It chose him.

"A great joy comes with the awareness of one's calling," Eifman says. "You know that all of your life will be dedicated to the realization of your profession. I'm lucky because I sensed my calling very early on: to express thoughts via choreography and emotions via movement, to create energy and send it out. It's a great joy but a big problem as well, because I will try to perfect it all my life."


more...


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 6:12 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Catherine's preview in the SF Chron above is quite educational. And MEHunt says it all in this article in the CC Times:

Quote:
Bold ballet troupe lights Tolstoy afire

By Mary Ellen Hunt
Contra Costa Times

SUBTLE IS NOT a word to describe the Eifman Ballet, the St. Petersburg-based troupe, which Cal Performances presents this weekend at UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall. Extravagant and passionate, certainly bold, Boris Eifman's brand of Russian ballet is a world away from the politely grand classics of the Kirov and, in many ways, more fun than the Soviet dance-dramas of the Bolshoi. more


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
The messages in this forum are posted by members of the general public and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of CriticalDance or its staff.
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group