Eifman Ballet Of St. Petersburg Led By Renegade Russian Choreographer Boris Eifman Brings Rodin, A Fervent Tale Of Passion And Creation To Zellerbach Hall On May 10–12

A SIGHTLINES pre-performance conversation with choreographer

Boris Eifman and dance specialist Kathryn Roszak will be held Friday, May 10 at 7:00 at Zellerbach Hall

Art and passion will course from the Zellerbach Hall stage when the renowned Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg gives the Bay Area premiere of their latest ballet, Rodin, on Friday through Sunday, May 10–12. Created in 2011 by Russian choreographer Boris Eifman, Rodin explores the stormy and tragic 15-year relationship between the French sculptor Auguste Rodin and his apprentice, lover, and muse, Camille Claudel, in a way that only Eifman—known for the highly charged, emotional tone of his work—can do. Eifman’s “trademark style, with its high drama, color, and expressionist overtones, is anything but subtle” (The Australian).

Rodin, which premiered in St. Petersburg in 2011 and has traveled to the United States just once prior to this tour, has been described by Boris Eifman as “a contemplation of the unreasonable price that geniuses have to pay for the creation of eternal masterpieces, and also about those torments and mysteries of the creative process that will always disturb the minds of artists.” The production begins and ends with Camille Claudel in a mental asylum, and depicts the emotional, physical, and psychological interaction between Claudel and Rodin, as well as the effects of that passion on the art they produced. Done with Eifman’s inimitable sense of stagecraft and drama, Rodin uses a prerecorded soundtrack of great French composers—Maurice Ravel, Camille Saint-Saëns, Jules Massenet, Eric Satie, and Claude Debussy—whose lives and art overlapped with Rodin’s.

Choreographer and artistic director Boris Eifman has long been a rebellious outsider. Born in Siberia, he trained at the Leningrad Conservatory and soon thereafter left the Soviet dance system to found the New Ballet (which received no government subsidies) in 1977. He has created more than 40 ballets in his unique and powerful style over his career, often relying on characters from timeless literature and their stories—Don Quixote, Don Juan, Hamlet, and Anna Karenina. In addition to leading the Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, Eifman also operates the Dance Academy of Boris Eifman in St. Petersburg, a cutting-edge dance training facility that includes ballet halls, a medical complex, sports facilities, and state-of-the-art technology that opened in January 2013. Since renaming itself as Eifman Ballet, the company has dedicated itself solely to works created by its founder. Members of the troupe are selected not only for being outstanding dancers, but also for their acting ability—a key element in Eifman’s psycho-sexual choreography. Fifteen soloists and 20 members of the corps-de-ballet make up the company, whose official website is eifmanballet.ru.


Tickets for Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg performing Rodin in Zellerbach Hall from Friday, May 10–Sunday, May 12 are priced from $30.00–$92.00 and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; and at the door.  Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets.  For more information about discounts, go to http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.

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