Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg at the Auditorium Theatre Review - Spectacular

I have wanted to see the Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg for years, ever since I missed seeing them in St. Petersburg.  And finally, I had that opportunity as they brought their American premiere of “Up & Down” to the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. This performance was part of the truly amazing series of programs being offered at the Auditorium Theatre celebrating its 125th year. The evening was spectacular, beginning with Boris Eifman talking about how important the day, May 9th is in Russia. At the end, the audience was so enthusiastic that the bows went on and on and there was even a short encore.


“Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg is a company that embodies the Auditorium’s mission to present innovative, diverse and passionate work, and we are thrilled to have them return to Chicago for another incredible performance,” said Auditorium Theatre Executive Director Brett Batterson. “Boris Eifman creates such beautiful yet realistic pictures on the stage and it’s an honor to have this critically-acclaimed company bring the American premiere of ‘Up & Down’ to our landmark theatre.”  Eifman Ballet was last at the Auditorium Theatre when presenting “Rodin” in 2013. 


Doctor and patient

There is no end of “outstanding “ in this production: dancing, costumes, staging, sets, music, lighting – everything.  The story was so complex that when I read the program, I could not imagine how it could be conveyed in dance.  I found out.  In fact, the story was told so dramatically in the dance that was in service of the story, that the action just moved forward and the dance ws integral to the action.  I kept wondering what was going to happen next.


Choreographer Boris Eifmansomehow brought together the intoxicating jazz music of George Gershwin, Alban Berg and Franz Schubert to create just the right mood for this newest “psychological ballet”. 


A wedding-so creative and surprising

This is the story of a young psychiatrist slowly driven to madness after being swept up in the money-fueled glamour of a socialite romance in the 1920s Extending beyond the boundaries of classic ballet, Eifman brings an entirely new approach to storytelling through dance. In this “psychological ballet” he combines dramatic stagecraft, exquisite technique and powerful dramatic interpretation.  The staging and sets were absolutely spectacular. This was a unique and thrilling dance experience. 


The attraction of money

Eifman’s newest ballet comes to life as Set Designer Zinovy Margolin transforms the Auditorium Stage into a kingdom of luxury, set in the American Jazz-Age. Olga Shaishmelashvili offers a striking visual spectacle through her costumes while Gleb Filshtinsky’s and Eifman’s lighting design creates stark contrast between romance and passion infused with greed and madness.  There were so many costume changes, I wondered how they managed. The flowing skirts in the jazz dancing was captivating.  The changes of sets were surprising and startling but perfect for the intended mood.


Spectacular jazz scene

The International Dance Series is sponsored by the NIB Foundation.

The EifmanBallet of St. Petersburg’s “Up & Down” is made possible through the support of Friends of Boris Eifman

The last performance of this production is May 10th at 3:00.  Do not miss it! 

And, as the celebration continues at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, watch for Chicago Rhythm Fest on May 13, 2015 and check the Auditorium Theatre website for one fabulous performance after the next.





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