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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Choreographer of our time, Boris Eifman 70 years


It is impossible to believe — live classics of our time, Boris Eifman turns 70 today! But he’s also young and full of energy just like 40 years ago when I was just created his own, today known all over the world, theatre! Looking at the fate of the choreographer once again convinced of the validity of the thesis that choreographers do not become, them are born. Similarly to question 15-the summer teenager how to become a choreographer, and answered Leonid Yakobson, the great choreographer, who later became his teacher… Almost 40 years Boris Eifman runs his own theater and established during this time, the author’s repertoire. For our country and for the world, an unprecedented phenomenon. On the eve of his 70 th anniversary of the Maestro doesn’t want to reminisce about the past — his childhood, about how it all began… the construction of the Palace of dance and Children’s dance theatre, the creation of a unique ballet repertoire, which he considers to be its main merit, occupy all his thoughts today…

Photo: Stanislav Beloevskiy.

Features of the Russian ballet repertoire of the XIX century — the performances of Petipa. There is the domestic repertoire of the XX century, it is mainly Grigorovich. And there is a new choreographic repertoire of modern Russia, which creates and represents the theatre. This is related to three era of the Russian ballet. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t suffer from delusions of grandeur. I calmly refer to the person. Much rethinking, redesigning… it’s Just a historical fact. I am lucky that I have my own theater that I was in the Soviet times not squeezed out of the country. If I hadn’t founded his company 40 years ago, who today would be represented in the world of modern Russian ballet?

— What about Jacobson, Goleizovsky?

— Not only was Jacobson and Goleizovsky. There were many other Soviet choreographers… But is there a theatre Goleizovsky, Belsky, Vinogradov? No. I’m not talking about who was before me, and the theaters are preserved in the author’s repertoire. On stage are the ballets of Petipa, Grigorovich. And there is our theatre, whose repertoire today, 12 full-scale performances — those performances that have survived. All the rest is ballet history. And it’s not because I am great, and Jacobson, Belsky, Goleizovsky — no. On the contrary, they are my mentors. But our creative destiny has developed differently. For decades I compose ballets in the theater — as well as Balanchine wrote for his company, Grigorovich — Large, and Petipa at the Mariinsky.

You whole life wandering rental scenes. And now, nothing has changed in this respect — their building was not, and no… You are still without a home… even Though you were promised on the highest level, in the 16th year, the theater will be built. Here we live in a 16-year — no theatre, no… Actually see the end of this story?

— Everyone has their own destiny, and she painted to the last detail. Apparently, guardian angels protect me. Because if I got the theater, it would have plunged into the abyss of administrative problems in creating a huge workforce of repertoire policy, organizational structure… Because the theatre is not just a building. To run such a complex mechanism (especially given the seriousness of my intentions), that means for a few years to move away from staged works. But God willing, I still continued to do. Probably, before to enter the walls of the Palace of dance, I have to compose a number of ballets. Of course, I, on the one hand, suffer from the fact that our troupe is not your home. On the other hand, understand that this is my fate — infinitely to write. Let’s see, my colleagues, Kylian, Ek, and many others — have done to create. They don’t want to do it. I, however, still enjoy the process of creating choreography.

— Returning to the dance Palace… still some work will begin in the fall?

— Now there is engineering expertise. That is the stage that you want to end the workers went to the site.

— How long will this examination?

It is hard to say, but this mechanism is running with acceleration. Set a specific time and allocated money to the dance Palace actually appeared. Indeed, in the center of St. Petersburg for nearly 20 years, is the pit surrounded by a fence. Of course, all this care: citizens and authorities. I really hope to 2018-2019 year new ballet center will be built. The project must adjoin the Park. I wish he was associated with the world of ballet. It can be named alleys, monuments, artists and choreographers. I see this space as a special district associated with dance art.


The last ballet master Up&Down. Photo: Yevgeny Matveyev.

— Boris, a neighborhood with a judicial quarter, you do not mind?

— First, I think it confused everyone. But now I realized that the deeper will be the life of the dance Palace, the less work will be the judges. This neighborhood is just very symbolic, because the culture and government cannot be separated. They should be interwoven in a special, complex relationships. Today, when our theatre tours around the world and is a true success, we see how the colossal importance of culture. We come to countries that are openly negative towards Russia, but on our performances to full houses, and in the end the audience stands up and passionately applauds. This is a manifestation of the integrating power of art. I am convinced that those foreign visitors who at least once got on our entry and the resulting emotions, perceive Russia not as an axis of evil, and as the axis of beauty, love and spirituality.

— You say now about power and the state. You used to be such a ballet dissident, and now you come to the performances senior officials of the state, applaud, and how you, a former dissident, in the arms of the authorities?

— When I was a dissident, a lot of time left to fight windmills, to defend their performances on the endless artistic Council. In all, it spent a huge amount of nerves and strength. After each performance a special Commission I drank validol and shouted: “Manuscripts do not burn!” It was a fierce struggle for the right to be an independent artist. The worst thing is that I was constantly made to feel an outcast in your own country, a second class citizen. Today I’m completely free. I have moral and financial support of the state. However, I do not abuse a good ratio of power to run the offices. I received the most valuable — the ability to fully focus on the art, to working on the limit, realize God has given me creativity.

— Boris, how do you respond to those accusations that I had to hear that because of the merger with the government, we’re talking about here, we can see in your work such a metamorphosis that has unwittingly occurred, for example, in your last, in fact, a completely new ballet “Tchaikovsky. PRO et CONTRA”. Because they fully fit into the mainstream well-known statements of the Minister of culture that relate to the great Russian composer…

— None of my performance was not established in line with any socio-political trends. If today I prefer not to delve into the private life and passions of Tchaikovsky and better understand him as an artist, it is only because I personally find it more interesting. The theme of otherness composer in the ballet still remains, but the outline is now really different. Such metamorphoses occur in the result of the change in my own attitude and not because of external pressure. Never in my life I was not under the influence of someone else (unless under the influence of artists I accept and respect). The first performance the composer, I put in 1993 — in an age of almost unlimited freedom, permissiveness. I was then a young man caught up in the new world. Now I’m wise life and experiences and my attitude to the composer and his own art was different.

— And why such a passion for tinkering, because this is not the first ballet that you remake?

— I can’t watch his old ballets, as they see their imperfection. The theater needs continual updated. Believe me: if we now demonstrated intact performances Petipa, a lot of this, perhaps, would look strange. I want to enter the Palace of dance with a renewed repertoire. With productions that would meet the technologies of the modern era and today’s creative possibilities. I am a perfectionist and so, I will strive to present their art at the highest professional and artistic level.

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