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Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg

RUSSIA'S EIFMAN BALLET RETURNS TO BOSTON

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2009
PRESS CONTACT: Kathy Rochefort
(617) 247-1299

ONEGIN
-- May 7-10, Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College --

Critically-acclaimed as Russia's most innovative contemporary dance company, the EIFMAN BALLET of St. Petersburg returns to Boston with the New England premiere of Onegin, a powerful new interpretation of Alexander Pushkin's classic, Eugene Onegin.  Playing Thursday, May 7 through Sunday, May 10 at the Cutler Majestic Theatre, Onegin is a ballet in two acts with music by Tchaikovsky and Sitkovetsky.  Artistic Director Boris Eifman transports Pushkin's characters to our times in this retelling of one of literature's most passionate and poignant love stories in which a young woman's infatuation meets an aristocrat's insensitivity. Tickets are now on sale.

Alexander Pushkin's novel Eugene Onegin has been called "an encyclopedia of Russian life," in which Pushkin saw and created an amazingly accurate archetype of the Russian character of his time, fashioning a poetic image of the Russian soul, mysterious, unpredictable, and incredibly sensual.  The story was originally set in the 19th century against the opulent backdrop of the Russian Empire, but in Eifman's inimitable and perceptive choreographic style, he has set Onegin in today's world, placing the characters in new, more dramatic circumstances, when the old world is collapsing and life dictates new rules. 

In Eifman's telling, Eugene Onegin is a dashing rogue who toys with the affection of Tatiana, a shy and impressionable country girl.  Though Tatiana falls hopelessly under his spell, Onegin mercilessly rejects her, only to recognize his true feelings many years later.  As the tale continues, the jaded aristocrat comes to regret his spurning of the lovelorn girl.  Onegin's dramatic declaration of devotion to Tatiana – now married and a member of St. Petersburg's

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glittering social scene – ultimately culminates in remorse, heartbreak and love unfulfilled.  In the
ballet, Eifman explores the turn of events with psychological acuity and emotional drama.  Sumptuous costumes, magical staging and atmospheric lighting generate a theatrical spectacle in which the dancers in the corps de ballet ebb and swirl with dramatic intensity, while the soloists embody their characters with artistic integrity and emotional truth.

            Onegin receives its American premiere on this tour, which marks the troupe's sixth visit to Boston and ninth tour in the United States.  The EIFMAN BALLET tour is produced by New York based Ardani Artists Management, Inc.  
      

Founded by Boris Eifman in 1977 as the St. Petersburg Ballet Theater, the EIFMAN BALLET has revolutionized the concept of classical dance in Russia by taking the art of ballet to its highest level of expressiveness.  Eifman created a new type of dance artists, dancers/actors,                                          who use the solid foundation of impeccable classical ballet training as a launching pad for innovative, modern choreography.  The theater's unique style fuses avant-garde dance with the methods of the 20th century dramatic theater and film, using all aspects of a theatrical production to create a rich and a multi-dimensional theater experience.

Shortly after being formed, the EIFMAN BALLET began touring in Russia, performing to sold-out houses of audiences hungry for original artistic expression.  Despite the pressure for Eifman to leave the country for not making "Soviet art," the company stayed in St. Petersburg and continued to perform to tremendous popular acclaim.

Unable to tour internationally during the first 10 years of its existence for political reasons, the EIFMAN BALLET instantly became known internationally in 1988 after its first performance abroad at the Champs Elysees Theatre in Paris.  The success of that performance has sent the EIFMAN BALLET on tours throughout Western and Eastern Europe, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, Israel, and Latin America.  In January of 1998, Ardani Artists took the risk of introducing American audiences to the unique world of Boris Eifman's daring choreography. Sharply contrasted against the strict conventions of classical ballet set by famous Russian ballet troupes like Bolshoi and Kirov, the EIFMAN BALLET electrified the New York audiences with its vibrant, often shocking and always original style.

Hailed by critics worldwide as one of the most significant contributors to today's culture of ballet arts, the EIFMAN BALLET continues to constantly reinvent the art form.  Responding to the enormous success of its first three seasons in New York, the company began its annual U.S. tours in 2000.  In 1999, the EIFMAN BALLET joined only three other dance companies in the status of a constituent company of City Center, becoming the first non-American company to receive this honor.

Performances of Oneginare Thursday, May 7 (press night) through Saturday, May 9 at 8:00 p.m., with matinees Saturday, May 9 and Sunday, May 10 at 2:00 p.m.  Tickets, priced at $80.00, $60.00, $50.00 and $40.00, can be purchased at the Cutler Majestic Theatre Box Office, 219 Tremont St., Boston, or at Telecharge.com, 800-233-3123, TTY: 888-889-8587.  Discounted group tickets are available through MajesTix Groups at 617-824-8000.  For more information, visit www.maj.org/ballet.