Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg Brings RODIN to The Music Center This Weekend

Lovers of dance-theatre and visual arts will be wowed by the much-anticipated return to The Music Center of Russia's leading contemporary ballet company as Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center presents Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg with Rodin.

The company, led by Founder and Artistic Director Boris Eifman, will perform at The Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in a three-day engagement from this weekend, June 12-14, 2015.

A full-length work, Eifman's Rodin explores the tragic nature of genius through the life and creative work of the sculptor, Auguste Rodin, and his apprentice, lover and muse, Camille Claudel. Siberian-born Eifman, who founded his own ballet theatre and created his own style, combines innovative movement with classical Russian choreographic technique to bring to life the tragic story of the lives of these two artistic geniuses.

The Music Center Vice President of Programming Renae Williams Niles said that Eifman's approach engages audiences with experiences that are theatrically spectacular and intensely powerful. "As a leading dance making voice, Eifman has a profound ability to tell the story of love, angst and loss through extraordinarily emotional movement that is gorgeously interpreted by some of the most awe-inspiring dancers. His distinctive dance vocabulary takes audiences to another realm, making us feel every bit of pain and joy that life brings. We are particularly pleased to see Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg return to The Music Center, since it is the most requested company among our dance audiences," she explained.

Currently the only Russian contemporary ballet company touring outside of Russia, Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg was founded by Boris Eifman as the Leningrad New Ballet in 1977. With Eifman's early success, the "new ballet" concept was seen as breakthrough and the company as an experimental laboratory, with advocates of the traditional ballet school and ballet critics debating the new dynamics in Russian ballet. Today, Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg is renowned among ballet lovers worldwide and has become known for works that not only represent the highest artistic level of achievement of contemporary Russian ballet, but also remind audiences of the spiritual heritage of Russian and world culture that inspire Eifman and his dancers. The Los Angeles Times has called Eifman's creations "theatrical, visionary works that delve into characters' lives in the most exciting, probing, titillating, and wondrous ways."

Almost all of Eifman's performances have a plot and often a literary source, which has become his trademark. He sees nuances that others have not noticed, uncovering new meanings, and finds elements that are capable of astonishing audiences. According to Williams Niles, Rodin, which premiered in November 2011, showcases Eifman's strength in taking an original approach to a real-life narrative, using both classical technique and gut-wrenching story-telling to bring audiences into the characters his dancers portray.

As Eifman relates, "The story of life and love of Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel is an amazing tale about an incredibly dramatic alliance of two artists where everything was entwined: passion, hatred and artistic jealousy. The spiritual and energy exchange between the two sculptors was an outstanding phenomenon. Being so close to Rodin, Camille was not only an inspiration for his work, helping him find a new style and create masterpieces, she also impetuously went through the development of her own talent, becoming a great master of sculpture herself. Her beauty, her youth and her genius - all this was sacrificed for her beloved man. After breaking up with Rodin, Claudel plunges into the darkness of insanity. The wretched woman's soul is being incinerated by pathological hatred towards her former teacher and lover, who, as Camille believes, has stolen her life and talent. This new ballet reflects Rodin's longing for his muse, torments of his conscience, as well as Camille's delirium caused by the mental illness and saturated with painful obsessions - or rather that of the insane Erinys that the ruthless fate has turned her into. In our performance, using the language of dance, we talk about passion, inner struggle and despair, of all those human spirit phenomena that were brilliantly expressed by Rodin and Camille in bronze and marble. To turn a moment carved in stone into an unrestrained, emotionally rich stream of body movements is what I was striving for while creating this new ballet performance. Rodin is a reflection of the extreme price that people of genius have to pay for the creation of eternal masterpieces. And, of course, it is a reflection of those torments and mysteries of creative process that will always be of concern to any artist."

DETAILS:

Rodin, a ballet by Boris Eifman
Choreography: Boris Eifman
Music: Maurice Ravel, Camille Saint-Saëns, Jules Massenet
Sets: Zinovy Margolin
Costumes: Olga Shaishmelashvili
Lighting: Gleg Filshtinsky, Boris Eifman

Tickets for Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg start at $34 and are available at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Box Office, 135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90012. Tickets are also available by calling (213) 972-0711 and online at musiccenter.org/rodin. For groups of 10 or more, call (213) 972-8555 or email mcgroupsales@musiccenter.org.

Ticket holders can get a behind-the-scenes perspective and more knowledge about Eifman and the production by joining Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center for DANCETALKS, led by dance historian and writer, Elizabeth Kaye, which will be held in the Eva and Mark Stern Grand Hall of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion beginning one hour prior to each performance. These talks are also accessible in real time at (626) 667-3000 (access code 314902#).

Established by Boris Eifman in 1977, Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg (originally known as the Leningrad New Ballet) has stirred intense interest among audiences since its first performances of works such as Two-Voice and Boomerang. Eifman's novelty in how he chose the literary basis and music for his ballets, and the audacity of the body movement vocabulary, secured his reputation as "a choreographic dissident." Today, the company is renowned among ballet lovers in Asia, Europe, the Americas and Australia for such ballets as Tchaikovsky; I, Don Quixote; Red Giselle; Russian Hamlet; Anna Karenina; The Seagull; Onegin; Rodin; Beyond Sin; Requiem; and Up & Down. Eifman's endeavor to engage his spectators in the infinite world of human passions, form a spiritual liaison with the audience, and amaze viewers by the brilliance and dynamism of his plastique have ensured decades-long success of Eifman Ballet's performances at leading venues around the globe.

Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center is one of the leading presenters of dance on the West Coast. The celebrated series offers significant works by prestigious ballet and contemporary dance artists from around the world. Entering its second decade, Dance at The Music Center continues to be a powerful commissioning force through the support of new works and artists-in-residence projects by today's most influential companies and choreographers. Performances take place throughout The Music Center, including the historic Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the distinctive Ahmanson Theatre and the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall, providing the ideal setting for inspiring dance experiences.

The Music Center is Los Angeles' home to the world's greatest artistic programs and events. With four iconic theaters and four renowned resident companies - Center Theatre Group, the LA Master Chorale, the LA Opera and the LA Philharmonic - and recognized for its illustrious dance programming, Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center, The Music Center is a destination where audiences find inspiration in the very best of live performance, as well as nationally recognized arts education and participatory arts experiences. For more information, visit www.musiccenter.org.

Pictured: Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg; Photo by Gene Schiavone.

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