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UP&DOWN premiere


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A ballet by Boris Eifman

Music: George Gershwin, Franz Schubert, Alban Berg

Sets: Zinovy Margolin

Costumes: Olga Shaishmelashvili

Light: Gleb Filshtinsky, Boris Eifman

The ballet will premiere on January 27, 2015 at the Alexandrinsky Theatre (St. Petersburg)

Boris Eifman is justly called a “choreographer-philosopher”. However, a much more subtle definition that accurately captures the aesthetic individuality of the Maestro would be a “choreographer-psychoanalyst”. Rightly believing that ballet tools open truly unlimited research opportunities before a dance creator, Eifman plunges into the unknown depths of his characters’ inner worlds and penetrates into the most hidden places of the subconscious.

The quintessence of the choreographer’s psychoanalytic research has become the ballet Up & Down. The semantic space of the performance encompassed between two oppositely directed vectors of the plot (the degradation of the talented young doctor and the ascension of his wife and patient), is turned into a field for surrealistic experiments. With the help of the original plastic vocabulary Eifman depicts the disintegration of characters’ consciousness, bringing their nightmares and delusions to the surface. The choreographer emphasizes rather ironically: the ballet Up & Down is not just a full point but a blot in his many years of psychiatric ballet epic.

The characters’ ups and downs take place in the magnificent Jazz Age – the unstoppable feast of life; the era of freedom, sensuality, and hedonism, masterfully recreated by Boris Eifman and his dancers.

“Our fate is woven of cruel ironies. Wealth can be more unbearable than the most terrible poverty, and a clear and sharp mind is vulnerable to the chaos of the unconscious.

The ballet Up & Down is a tragic and bright chronicle of a person’s spiritual death. The story about how a dream of happiness turns into a disaster, and an externally beautiful and carefree life flowing to the rhythms of jazz – into a nightmare.

The ballet’s main character – a charming socialite and talented psychiatrist – has everything to realize his gift and make a great academic career. However, in the world enslaved by money and dark instincts a true harmony is impossible.

The kingdom of luxury, in which the doctor immerses, turns out a perilous morass. An attempt to find a balance between his inner world and reality goes into collapse. Concession after concession – and the character loses his identity, actually leaving the profession and becoming a nurse for his half-mad wife. His mind, charisma, and career fall into pieces. Having lost everything, the doctor becomes an outcast in the society where there is no place for the weak.

A person that forgets his mission and destroys his talent is doomed, and a compromise with the treacherous world full of temptations is always wrecking. The ballet Up & Down is to remind of the fatal consequences of a man betraying himself.”

Boris Eifman
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