Choreographer: Boris Eifman
Music: Maurice Ravel, Camille Saint-Saëns, Jules Massenet, Erik Satie
Set Designer: Zinovy Margolin
Costumes: Olga Shaishmelashvili
Lighting: Gleb Filshtinsky, Boris Eifman
The Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg made it’s Toronto debut last evening with the Canadian premiere of their latest creation: Rodin. It was a night to remember.
Choreographed by renowned visionary and Artistic Director of the Eifman Ballet, Boris Eifman, Rodin is a dedication to the creative work of sculptor Auguste Rodin and his apprentice, lover and muse, Camille Claudel. When the two breakup, Claudel’s mental health declines, keeping her in an asylum for 30 years, where she is forgotten and gone. It is a story of passionate love, developing this beautiful image of their desire to be with one another and practice their art at the same time.
Unorthodox of me, I did not read into what the ballet piece was about. Sometimes, an art piece may not present the story you have read and wish to see, especially if you haven’t understood the art itself very well. With the Eifman Ballet’s presentation of Rodin, none of that was the case. The body language, the lights, the mind boggling music, all come together to present to you a story that you understand by just the body movements a lone. Eifman has choreographed a piece where the body does all the talking and the presentation of emotions. It is understood that Eifman has his own style, and surely enough, its a beautiful style indeed.
Body movements are the highlight of this production. Each ballet artist pushes the limit of what the human body can actually do. There are some moments where you gasp (in a good way) about what you see on stage. There are moments where you are so involved, its difficult to look away. Eifman truly has left it to the body to narrate and present this story, relying on a talented group of artists to pull off what is undoubtedly a complicated production. The thing that is very beautiful to see is the fluidity of each artists movements. There are certain moments where you would expect one to simply not do what they did in such fluid motion. It is when they are done that you have to find some restraint from jumping up and clapping away.
The production itself is elegant and simple. The costumes are not over the top, the colours are soothing to the eyes and best of all, the music is beautifully choreographed to match the tone and mood of each and every scene. Flashback moments are dealt with in a simple manner, using a combination of lights and blinds, really letting the audience flow with the production without needing to stop and reflect back.
When one steps back from this production and reads into it, you find just how young these performers are. The ladies who portray Camille are between 21 and 24 and the gentleman who portray Rodin are only a bit older. They exhibit maturity in their performance, leaving no room for error. They present themselves as their character with the right emotions and expressions, truly living their roles and expressing themselves with their body. They are quite an outstanding company that we hope will return to Toronto in the near future.
Rodin is a must-watch for any theatre or ballet enthusiast. It is a production that not only presents a beautiful story but does it in a way that goes beyond traditional styles to really create a magical experience. Hats off to the Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg!
Rodin plays at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts from Thursday, May 23 to Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 7:30PM – 2 Performances Left!
To purchase tickets, please call the box office at 1-855-872-SONY (7669) OR visit them online at www.sonycentre.ca
Discounts are available for groups of 8 or more. Call the Group Tix Company: 647-438-5559 or 1-866-447-7849 (toll free) or online at www.thegrouptixcompany.com