St. Petersburg Troupe Melds Modern Dance Techniques, Discipline Of Classical Ballet

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St. Petersburg Troupe Melds Modern Dance Techniques, Discipline Of Classical Ballet

No one would have thought that profound ideologies or philosophical thoughts could be depicted in a ballet if it were not for people like Boris Eifman. An acclaimed contemporary Russian choreographer, Eifman is famous for fusing the techniques of classical ballet with the expressiveness of modern dance and creating "philosophical theater." He puts literary works of great masters such as Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Emile Zola into dance, interpreting philosophical themes within the boundaries of classical ballet.

Eifman is bringing his troupe, the Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, to Seoul to perform at LG Arts Center from Sunday through June 2. The performance will feature original works, such one called "The Karamazovs" (June 1 and 2) based on Dostoyevsky's novel, "Red Giselle," based on the tragic life of the legendary Russian ballerina Olga Spessivtseva (May 29 to 31), and "Tchaikovsky," based on the famous Russian composer (Sunday and Monday).

It will be the first time that these three major pieces by the ballet company will be presented in Korea even though the company has performed in here twice in the past.

Eifman has made an impression more as an artist with challenging spirit than as a conventional choreographer. He started choreographing in his teens and worked for the school of Kirov Ballet and the Maly Opera and Ballet Theater, gaining international fame in 1975 when Kirov Ballet performed "Firebird," which he had choreographed. In 1977, when every work of art was censored by the government, he founded the Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg. He created unique tragedies and comic farces using unconventional music by bands like Pink Floyd.

Eifman choreographed many works that explored philosophical and moral problems common to all mankind in an attempt to understand and explain human beings.

There are now many groups, including Bolshoi Theater, that receive support from the government in the former Soviet Union. However, most of these groups do not create new works and stay entirely with the classical repertoire. Eifman's devotion to creating new works shines even brighter when compared to the performers of traditional works.

The choreographer once said, "I have sought to find new possibilities in dance not only by creating new forms and techniques. I have tried to give movement a new psychological and emotional impulse. Today, we have reached the goal by making movement embody the soul."

The upcoming performances in Seoul will be a good chance for aficionados in Korea to get an understanding of the outstanding choreographer's perspective on ballet. Performances will begin at 8 p.m. on weekdays, 3 p.m. and 7: 30 p.m. on Saturdays and at 6 p.m. on Sundays. For more information call the LG Arts Center at 02-2005-0114.

by Park So-young

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