- Title: Russian choreographer Boris Eifman returns to London with a new production
- Date: 3rd December 2016
- Summary: ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA (RECENT - NOVEMBER 28, 2016) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) BORIS EIFMAN, HEAD OF THE BALLET TROUPE AND CHOREOGRAPHER, SAYING: "I think that the audience will have an unforgettable experience. Speaking of genre, we ended up with something very close to musical theatre. Even though there is no dialogue and no singing, our performance has lots of humour, a lot of beauty, cheerfulness and is dynamic. It is one of our most successful and demanding performances to date."
- Embargoed: 18th December 2016 17:00
- Keywords: Up and Down Boris Eifman 'Tender is the Night' London Coliseum St Petersburg
- Location: ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
- City: ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
- Country: United Kingdom
- Reuters ID: LVA0085BBUJBH
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Using the plot of a complex psychological novel for a ballet production may not seem plausible or even a good idea but Russian choreographer Boris Eifman has taken up the challenge with his new work "Up and Down".
The ballet is based on Scott Fitzgerald's "Tender Is The Night" - a work in which personal tragedies are set against the backdrop of moral and psychological decline in society.
In the novel, Fitzgerald explores the life of Dick Driver, a psychologist in the 1920's, who falls in love with and then marries one of his patients, Nicole. A life initially wrapped up in wealth and glamour soon begins to unravel with tragic consequences.
Eifman said "Up and Down" is an important work for him where he has tried to portray an individual's state of mind through dance.
"For quite a while I have been interested in psychoanalysis and Sigmund Freud in particular. I've always wanted to approach this topic through movement and using the body to express this inner world of a person that is endowed with this specific mad fantasy," said the 70-year-old choreographer.
"Up and Down" features Lyubov Andreyeva in the role of Nicole Driver and Oleg Gabyshev as the psychiatrist Dick Driver.
Andreyeva said she found her role as Nicole challenging but for her, the challenge was more of a psychological one.
"It's more of a psychological challenge for me rather than a physical challenge. This is because (in this role) you need to cross the line, the inner line within yourself, to show the distortions of personality. You shouldn't be afraid to show this distortion through grotesque movement - not to be afraid to look ugly," Andreyeva said during a break in rehearsals in St. Petersburg.
Oleg Gabyshev said he watched episodes of the hit American television series "House M.D." to help him get into the role of Dick Driver.
"Surprisingly, I found the 'House M.D.' television series rather helpful. Every episode is full of tiny psychological details and one can always find certain things. However, we are in a different situation here (with dance). Ballet is not a TV show, so we need to show and express the characters' inner world."
A two-act ballet, "Up and Down" is set to the music of Gershwin and Schubert, with the stage settings switching between a jazz club and a psychiatric ward.
Eifman, who has also adapted works like "Anna Karenina" and "Onegin", said his latest production is close to a musical.
"Speaking of genre, we ended up with something very close to musical theatre. Even though there is no dialogue and no singing, our performance has lots of humour, a lot of beauty, cheerfulness and is dynamic. It is one of our most successful and demanding performances to date."
"Up and Down" is the fourth production by the Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg to be performed by the company in London and is due to open at the city's Coliseum Theatre on December 6. The ballet was first staged outside Russia in May 2015, opening in New York where it received mixed reviews.
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