Robert Greskovic reviews Eifman's latest opus in today's Wall Street Journal. Rush out and buy a copy The text is available online only to subscribers, but here's an excerpt:
To frame and surround the action, Mr. Eifman has drawn on a surface understanding of Broadway dancing a la the none-too-deep Bob Fosse and meshed his received wisdom with a penchant for angular, awkward and strident gesture that disallows most nuance and subtlety. Each of the 26 scenes comes off as a florid minicartoon dominated by broad sight gags and often arch accentuation. Slava Okunev's stylized costumes and spare metallic set are mostly effective and occasionally nondescript.
If this were an isolated example of Mr. Eifman's handiwork, I'd be tempted to assume its lack of distinction stemmed from an American movie genre that the choreographer couldn't quite plumb due to his limited exposure to it. I'm afraid, however, that the crassness on display throughout "Who's Who" is all too typical of Mr. Eifman. His range of dance theater effects is sorely limited, with the monotony of unison calisthenics at one end and the obviousness of silent-movie-style, melodramatic contortions at the other.
The review also mentions that Eifman has been commissioned to do a ballet for NYCB next year in honor of the Balanchine centennary and concludes: "Whether the outcome will be one of Mr. Eifman's lighthearted creations or one of his more tragic depictions, the chances that it will be a ballet worthy of Balanchine's memory are about as likely as those for dodging the bullets of mobster hit men in gangland fiction."