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Eifman in Orange County

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Oh, dear. I saw Eifman’s "Tchaikovsky" tonight. It was a mixed bag.

To begin with, the audience’s applause ethic lost all credence when they applauded the house lights dimming. I simply give up!

My largest impression was the ballet’s angst. Jeez, fellas; lighten up a bit; I’ve never seen so much suffering.

My 2nd largest impression was that the dancing was big. Big leaps, big lifts, big motions from side to side, big arabesques, big flowing skirts/scarves/etc.

I didn’t hate it. I didn’t hate the first act more than I didn’t hate the 2nd act which was really quite boring compared to the 1st. OK, I’ll admit it: for the most part I enjoyed it. It was heavy and the dancing was not what I expect from a ballet, so taking all of that into consideration going in, I enjoyed it. Galichanin was Tchaikovsky and suffered nobly. Povorozniuk was his wife and I liked her, and her dramatic choreography, a lot. I also liked whoever danced Dosselmeyer. I found the corps’ choreography interesting. None of the usual line-up-in-formation-and-do-the-same-steps but rather a group of people dancing with abandon. Extremely noisy toe shoes on the ladies.

I've seen Eifman once before and I think the trick to enjoying him is to think "Eifman" when you see his ballets. No fair thinking Petipa or Ashton; that just won't work.

There were kids present and, like the Don Giovanni thread, I wonder what the heck their parents were thinking. I’d hate to take my child home from that ballet and have him/her start asking question about what was going on!


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We attended the Saturday evening performance. I had read through previous threads on this board regarding Eifman so we definitely were not expecting classical. We also attended the preview which helped to make sense of the story. The dancing was nice - lovely dancers and interesting lines created by the choreography. I didn't care for either the costumes or sets which were very ordinary. They performed to taped music.

Signs at the box office indicated the performance was for "mature audiences". The more risque scenes reminded me typical Hollywood entertainment where overtly explicit scenes are used when a more subtle approach would have served the story equally well.

Dancing daughter (who is also my ballet buddy) says that one of her teachers complains that US audiences give away too many standing ovations. I think I'd tend to agree - Saturday night included.

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