Stage Door News
Toronto: Eifman Ballet presents “Tchaikovsky. PRO et CONTRA” May 9-11
Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Show One Productions and TO Live proudly present Russia’s premier contemporary ballet company Eifman Ballet in Tchaikovsky. PRO et CONTRA, on stage for three performances only, May 9–11, 2019, at The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. This heart-rending choreographic love letter to the illustrious Russian composer implements Artistic Director Boris Eifman’s signature sublime theatricality, delving into the tormented psyche of composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky as he battles to reconcile his public persona with his inner demons.
Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased online at ticketmaster.ca, by phone, or in person at select TO Live box offices.
“Eifman Ballet is a perennial favourite with Toronto audiences. Their unabashed emotional commitment and unparalleled physical prowess are a rare spectacle,” says Svetlana Dvoretsky, President & Executive Producer of Show One Productions. “With Tchaikovsky. PRO et CONTRA, we witness the marriage of two great Russian artists, Tchaikovsky and Eifman, each at the pinnacle of their respective art forms. Interpreted by Eifman Ballet’s exquisite dancers, the result is a powerful meditation on the nature of genius and the price of fame.”
“TO Live is thrilled to once again work with Show One Productions in presenting the return of Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg,” said Clyde Wagner, President & CEO of TO Live. "Having played to sold out houses on previous visits to Toronto, we look forward to continuing their success with their innovative presentation Tchaikovsky.PRO et CONTRA and its tragic exploration of the well-known artist.”
The result of decades of contemplating the great composer’s oeuvre, Tchaikovsky. PRO et CONTRA premiered in Russia in 2016, just before Eifman’s 70th birthday. Having choreographed several ballets to Tchaikovsky’s music, including The Idiot (1980), Tchaikovsky (1993), Red Giselle (1997), Musagete (2004), Anna Karenina (2005) and Eugene Onegin (2009), Eifman has long drawn creative energy from the iconic composer, admiring his ability to awaken real emotion in the listener. The harrowing thread of tragedy woven throughout Tchaikovsky’s music has long inspired a deep curiosity in Eifman, prompting him to explore the source of Tchaikovsky's suffering: the hostility of the world, the oppressive awareness of his own otherness, and the eternal loneliness of his soul.
Set amidst Tchaikovsky’s death-bed reveries, poignant chapters and recollections from the composer’s life blend with intrusions of characters from his iconic masterpieces, including audience favourites The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and Eugene Onegin. The breathtaking lighting design by Alexander Sivaev and Eifman illuminates the elegant minimalism of Zinovy Margolin’s sets and provides a beautiful foil for Olga Shaishmelashvili’s lavish costumes. Embodying the joy, the suffering, and the devastating isolation that accompanied Tchaikovsky’s towering talent, the exquisite company of 40 dancers will express a symphony of passion through Eifman’s ingenious choreography and the composer’s own immortal creations.
Born in Siberia in 1946, Eifman is considered one of the world’s leading choreographers working today. His innate sense of movement and choreographic training at the Leningrad Conservatory led to a decade-long tenure choreographing at the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet. In 1977 he founded Eifman Ballet (originally called Leningrad New Ballet), an innovative and daring company that stirred a passionate debate among ballet critics. The audacity of his movement vocabulary and his unprecedented choices of music and source material earned him a reputation among the traditional ballet establishment as “a choreographic dissident.” Distinguished by its brilliant technique and charismatic theatricality, Eifman Ballet has come to represent the highest level of artistic achievements of contemporary Russian ballet and is an ambassador of the spiritual heritage of the Russian culture in performances around the world. Eifman holds the titles of People’s Artist of Russia and the Laureate of the State Prize of the Russian Federation, and Order of Merit for the Fatherland, 2nd Class, among others.
Pre-Show Talks will take place May 9–11 from 7pm to 7:30pm in the Sony Centre Lower Lobby, moderated by Dance Critic Deirdre Kelly with artists from Eifman Ballet.
Tickets at ticketmaster.ca, by calling 1.855.872.7669, or in person at any TO Live box office:
- Toronto Centre for the Arts Box Office, 5040 YongeSt., Tuesday – Saturday, 1–6pm
- St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts Box Office 27 Front St.E., Monday – Friday, 12–6pm
Further information at showoneproductions.ca.
Photo: Scene from Tchaikovsky. PRO et CONTRA. © 2017 Roberto Ricci.