The reviews say ONEGIN is a hit once again! Check out what the SF Chronicle had to say...
SF BALLET REVIEW: 'ONEGIN' TRIUMPHS
By Allan Ulrich, March 23, 2013
It seems safe to say that, aside from innumerable "Romeo and Juliet" settings, John Cranko's "Onegin" was the latter 20th century's most widely produced full-evening narrative ballet (especially in Europe), and no rivals have presented themselves in the past 13 years. American companies, or at least those that maintain the resources, have been a mite slow catching up, and it took a fresh production borrowed from the National Ballet of Canada to bring the 1965-67 work to the San Francisco Ballet for the first time last season. The superior revival Thursday evening at the War Memorial Opera House did much to justify this encore presentation.
"Onegin" has everything most people might desire in a story ballet - two doomed love affairs, inventive and multiple corps outings, a swift narrative and a Tchaikovsky pastiche score, which goes easily into one ear and out the other with comparable smoothness. What the South African choreographer could not capture so well is the sardonic flavor of Alexander Pushkin's original verse novel, but there are some things, like irony and mothers-in-law, which dance doesn't do so well.
What also keeps "Onegin" on the international boards is Cranko's extraordinary gift for portraying character through movement. Mime is minimal here; most of the story is in the dance, and no two duets or ensembles are interchangeable. In the first scene one need only compare the first reunion of giddy Olga and fiance Lensky with that of the impressionable, bookish Tatiana and the newcomer Onegin.
Olga spins giddily in expectation; Lensky throws himself extravagantly at her feet. But Onegin is stiff and formal as he dances in unison with Tatiana, who is too shy to even look him in the face. Only in the letter scene, as she pours out her infatuation in a turbulent dream dance, does her inner turmoil surface.
Later, Tatiana bourrées hopefully across the stage before Onegin dismisses her. In Act 3, the supportive, stately duet that binds Tatiana and husband Gremin, tells us everything about their warm, confident marriage. The final duet with the chastened Onegin runs through an array of emotions and convinces until a final nod to melodrama.
Little wonder dancers devour their assignments in "Onegin." Thursday's performance reassembled last season's premiere cast, with one notable exception. Joan Boada bowed as the ill-fated Lensky, and throughout you could tell the guy was a poet by profession. The searching solo before the fatal duel is one of this ballet's great moments, and Boada invested the episode with heartbreaking lyricism.
The production was immaculately staged by Reid Anderson and Jane Bourne, with the costumes and designs by Santo Loquasto doing their job. Alas, they don't quite measure up to the now-discarded Jürgen Rose originals (I could have lived with one fewer chandelier). James F. Ingalls' atmospheric lighting contributes much.
Thursday, Vitor Luiz, rail thin in black, epitomized Onegin's jaded, patronizing manner, allowing us to see at the end a soul in agony. You feel the cruelty as he tears up Tatiana's note with a lip-curling sneer. Maria Kochetkova seems born to dance Tatiana. She transitions from sheltered adolescent to reserved aristocrat with a supple torso that suggests every setback and advance to maturity.
Clara Blanco's adorably perky Olga won her a promotion last season, and her quicksilver technique triumphed on Thursday. Pascal Molat's Prince Gremin radiated uxorial tenderness. The company corps, whether waltzing in St. Petersburg or prancing with flexed feet in the countryside, often dazzled. In the pit, Martin West steered the Ballet Orchestra through a majestic reading of Kurt-Heinz Stolze's crafty arrangements of minor Tchaikovskiana. San Francisco Ballet has served "Onegin" well.http://www.facebook.com/sfballet?fref=ts