25 May 2013

Boris Eifman's Rodin



chor. Boris Eifman  (2011)
Eifman Ballet of St Petersburg
Труппа театра балета Бориса Эйфмана
Toronto, 23 - 25 May 2013
Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

The highly emotive work, with a large cast, focuses on the creative and amorous lives of sculptors Auguste Rodin and the much younger Camille Claudel. It is complicated by the presence of a loving and jealous wife, and Claudel's descent into madness. 

Choreographer Eifman brilliantly captures the intensity of their creative work as they transform stone into powerful contemporary statuary. Individual tableaux are amazing. There is wonderful movement of a corps of workers in the foundry and in other scenes. I enjoyed the can-can episode in a Paris nightclub, and something more rural with happy peasants and the trampling of grapes — but their relevance to the main story is somewhat puzzling. 

Quality of dance throughout the evening was outstanding — I attended on the 24th. It was overall a powerful and at times fascinating performance, but Eifman's choreography with many flashbacks sometimes left me confused.