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Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg returns to the Center
with Southern California Premiere of Onegin
May 20, 22 – 24 in Segerstrom Hall
Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg’s Onegin
Orange County Performing Arts Center - Segerstrom Hall
May 20 & 22 at 7:30 p.m.
May 23 at 2 and 7:30 p.m.
May 24 at 2 p.m.
Orange County Performing Arts Center, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA
Tickets: $25 – $85
The Center Box Office - Open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily
600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Phone: 714.556.2787
Group Sales : 714.755.0236
TTY number: 714.556.2746
In person:
Costa Mesa, CA
The Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, Russia returns to the Orange County Performing
Arts Center for its fifth engagement in Segerstrom Hall May 20 and 22 – 24. Artistic
Director and Choreographer Boris Eifman is presenting the Southern California
premiere of Onegin, a powerful new interpretation of Alexander Pushkin’s classic,
Eugene Onegin. The story was originally set in the 19th century against the opulent
backdrop of the Russian Empire, but in Eifman’s inimitable and perceptive
choreographic style, he has set Onegin in today’s world: “I transported Pushkin’s
characters to our times, placing them in new circumstances, more dramatic, even
extreme, when the old world is collapsing and life dictates new rules. …What would the
novel’s characters do with their lives today? I needed that experiment in order to answer
the question that troubles me: what is the Russian soul today?”
Additionally, the Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg is performing at the Center on May 21 as part of Tour de
Force: A Gala Dance Spectacular. For that event, the company is performing excerpts from several of its
most renowned works and Eifman is creating a special new work, titled Fallen Angel, to be performed by
Nikolay Tsiskaridze. From classic pas de deux to contemporary, beginning at 7:30 p.m., Tour de Force
will be a never-to-be-forgotten array of glorious dance artistry and genius.
600 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
T 714.556.2121
F 714.556.8984
Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg
February 17, 2009
NEWS 2/3
A young woman’s infatuation meets an aristocrat’s insensitivity in this retelling of one of
literature’s most passionate and poignant love stories. In Eifman’s telling, Eugene
Onegin is a dashing rogue who toys with the affection of Tatiana, a shy and
impressionable country girl. Though Tatiana falls hopelessly under his spell, Onegin
mercilessly rejects her, only to recognize his true feelings many years later. As the tale
continues, the jaded aristocrat comes to regret his spurning of the lovelorn girl. Onegin’s
dramatic declaration of devotion to Tatiana – now married and a member of St.
Petersburg’s glittering social scene – ultimately culminates in remorse, heartbreak and
love unfulfilled. In the ballet, Eifman explores the turn of events with psychological
acuity and emotional drama.
Sumptuous costumes, magical staging and atmospheric lighting generate a theatrical
spectacle in which the dancers in the corps de ballet ebb and swirl with dramatic
intensity, while the soloists embody their characters with artistic integrity and emotional
Boris Eifman
Having created more than 40 ballets, Boris Eifman is one of the few Russian
choreographers to have sustained such a prolific creative life in recent decades. Eifman
has received Russia’s prestigious Golden Mask Award for both his works and his
lifetime achievement in contemporary choreography. He is also a four-time recipient of
the St. Petersburg theater award, The Golden Sofit. His other awards and distinctions
include the Triumph Award, the Russian state award for his contribution to the
development of the performing arts, induction into France’s Order of Arts and Letter; the
distinguished title of The People’s Artist of Russia and a professorship at the Vaganova
Academy of Russian Ballet.
In 1977, Eifman founded The New Ballet of Leningrad (now known as the St.
Petersburg State Academic Ballet Theater, or Eifman Ballet) – Russia’s first and only
ballet theater dedicated to performing works by a single choreographer. He is noted for
creating original choreographic works based on classical ballet and infused with the
spirit of contemporary choreography.
Eifman’s artistic philosophy is rooted in contemporary issues. Immersing himself in the
dark and daunting realm of the human psyche (The Idiot, Murderers, Don Quixote, Red
Giselle and Russian Hamlet), Eifman creates classic examples of psychoanalysis on
stage. He shows extreme states of being, seeing the madness of his characters as
mental illness, but as a unique ability to access other worlds and dimensions. He
plunges into the depths of today’s most relevant philosophical and spiritual questions –
600 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
T 714.556.2121
F 714.556.8984
Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg
February 17, 2009
NEWS 3/3
which were the basis for Russian Hamlet, Don Juan and Moliere and Who’s Who. In
2002, Eifman created the one-act ballet Musagete for New York City Ballet as part of
the George Balanchine Centennial Celebration program. In creating his style, Eifman
worked through many paradigms and styles of movement, turning his theater into a
creative lab for exploration and discovery. Concerned above all with the theatrical
impact of his productions, the choreographer does not restrict himself to the
conventions of pure classical ballet. His works are each a complex, all-encompassing
spectacle, constantly revealing new forms and principles of dancemaking. Eifman
creates his own type of theater – a theater ruled by emotion.
Orange County Performing Arts Center
The Orange County Performing Arts Center presents a wide variety of the most significant national and
international productions of music, dance and theater to the people of Southern California. It is
committed to supporting artistic excellence on all of its stages and engaging the entire community in new
and exciting ways through an array of inspiring programs and an unsurpassed attendance experience.
It owns and operates the 3,000-seat Segerstrom Hall and intimate 250-seat Founders Hall, which opened
in 1986, and the 2,000-seat Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, which opened in 2006 and also
houses the 500-seat Samueli Theater, and the Lawrence and Kristina Dodge Education Center’s studio
performance space and Boeing Education Lab. These state-of-the-art facilities are united by a
community arts plaza.
The Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall and community plaza, along with facilities of the
adjacent Tony® Award-winning South Coast Repertory and a site designated as the new home of the
Orange County Museum of Art, are located at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
The Orange County Performing Arts Center presents a broad range of programming each season for
audiences of all ages from throughout Orange County, and beyond, including international ballet and
dance, national tours of top Broadway shows, intimate performances of jazz and cabaret, contemporary
artists, up and coming indie bands, classical music performed by renowned chamber orchestras and
ensembles, family-friendly programming, free performances open to the public from outdoor movie
screenings to dancing on the plaza and many other special events.
It offers many education programs designed to inspire young people through the arts. These programs
reach more than 500,000 students of all ages with vital arts-in-education programs, enhancing their
studies and enriching their lives well into the future.
The Orange County Performing Arts Center is proud to serve as the artistic home to the region’s major
performing arts organizations: Pacific Symphony, the Philharmonic Society of Orange County and the
Pacific Chorale.
For more information, visit
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600 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
T 714.556.2121
F 714.556.8984