If we try very briefly to describe the state of the ballet of the late 20th and 21st centuries, then it must be said that today there is academic ballet, folk dance and everything else that should be called modern ballet. And here, in the modern ballet, such a variety reigns that you can get lost.
To find one, you can talk about ballet from different countries, recall modern performers, but perhaps the best approach is to start a conversation about ballet masters, those people in the world of ballet who actually create it themselves.
Especially interesting will be those who implement their own choreographic ideas. Such a choreographer is Boris Eifman from St. Petersburg, 69 years old, People’s Artist of the Russian Federation, laureate of several Russian awards, holder of the Order For Services to the Fatherland of various degrees, head of the Ballet Theater (St. Petersburg). And on this with the biography of Eifman and you can finish, because what he did and does is much more interesting.
About personal motives
There is a well-known expression that architecture is frozen music, but then ballet is the sound of music in volume, movement and plastic. Or more - floating architecture, or dancing painting. In general, this means that it’s easy to get carried away and fall in love with ballet, but it’s unlikely to fall out of love.
And it’s good when you can write about a phenomenon, in this case, a ballet, from the standpoint of an amateur. Because, in order to be known as a connoisseur, it will be necessary to use professional language, terms (support, pas de deux, pas de deux, etc.), argue the assessments, show a ballet horizon, etc.
Another thing is an amateur who can show a fresh look at a phenomenon, and with insufficient substantiation, notice: well, well, I'll learn more. And what is important is to talk about personal impressions, but the main thing is that it should not be funny.
The author first met with the ballets of Boris Eifman in the mid-80s. last century in the then Leningrad, and since then, as they say, it has become "love for the rest of life."
What does Eifman have, and what others do not?
Even when he called his Theater simply an ensemble of ballet by B. Eifman (the end of the 70s), his performances stood out anyway. For his performances, the young choreographer chose an exceptionally first-class music: high classics, from contemporary - one that was artistically attractive and convincing. By genre - symphonic, opera, instrumental, chamber, by name - Mozart, Rossini, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Bach, Schnittke, Petrov, Pink Floyd, McLaughlin - and that's not all.
Eifman Ballets are deeply informative, very often for their performances the choreographer takes the plots of classical literature, among the names - Kuprin, Beaumarchais, Shakespeare, Bulgakov, Moliere, Dostoevsky or it can be creative and biographical events, say, associated with the sculptor Roden, ballet dancer Olga Spesyvtseva , composer Tchaikovsky.
Eifman loves contrasts, in one performance he may sound the music of different composers, eras and styles (Tchaikovsky-Bizet-Schnittke, Rachmaninov-Wagner-Mussorgsky). Or a famous literary story can be interpreted by another music (“The Marriage of Figaro” - Rossini, “Hamlet” - Brahms, “The Duel” - Gavrilin).
Regarding the content of the performances of Eifman, it is imperative to talk about high spirituality, emotions and passion, a philosophical beginning. In many performances of the Ballet Theater there is a plot, but this is not a "drama-ballet" of sample 60-70gg. It is rather events saturated with deep feelings and having a plastic interpretation.
On the style beginning at Eifman
An interesting feature of Eifman's biography is that he never was a dancer, did not perform on stage, he began his creative activity immediately as a choreographer (first performances at the age of 16 in a children's choreographic ensemble), and then there was work at the Ballet School. A.Vaganova (Leningrad). This is because Eifman has an academic base, another thing is that in his Ballet Theater he began to look for something else.
It is impossible to speak about the plastic and choreography of Eifman ballets in isolation from the music and the scenic content of the performances. It is a kind of unity of spirit, sound, gesture, movement, and event.
Therefore, it is useless to look for some familiar ballet pas, all the time there is a feeling that any ballet movement in Eifman is the only and unique one.
If you say that this is a plastic interpretation of music, then it will be insulting for Eifman and his dancers, and if you say that this is a "translation" of movement and plastic into music, then it will probably be more accurate. And more precisely: the ballet of the maestro is a kind of trinity of music, dance and theatrical performance.
What is not yet in Eifman?
In St. Petersburg, the Ballet Theater does not yet have its own premises, although the rehearsal base has already appeared. The performances go on the stages of the best Petersburg theaters, you just have to follow the posters.
The Eifman Ballet Theater does not have its own symphony orchestra, the performances go under the phonogram, but this is an artistic principle: high-quality recording performed by the best orchestras or the sound of specially created arrangements. Although once in Moscow one of the performances was voiced by a symphony orchestra conducted by J. Bashmet.
Eifman does not yet have universal world recognition (as, say, Petip, Fokin, Balanchine), but he already has world fame. Authoritative critic New york times wrote that the ballet world can stop the search for choreographer number one, because it already exists: this is Boris Eifman.
Eifman dancers also have no international recognition, but they can do everything in the ballet genre, this can be easily seen when they get to a ballet theater performance. Here are the names of 5 leading dancers of the theater: Vera Arbuzova, Elena Kuzmina, Yuri Ananyan, Albert Galichanin and Igor Markov.
Eifman has no complacency, no desire to end his career as a choreographer, which means there will be more new performances and new artistic upheavals.
In the meantime, we must try to get to the performances of the Ballet Theater in St. Petersburg, try to search online for films made by B. Eufman’s ballets, and finally look at the theater site. And even from the fragments of the performances, it becomes clear that Boris Eifman is a real phenomenon in the modern world, no, not ballet, but art, where music, literature, drama through plastic arts and gestures speak of high spiritual principles.
Boris Eifman Ballet Theater Site - //www.eifmanballet.ru/ru/schedule/