Eifman Ballet returned to London to reprise performances of Anna Karenina as part of the UK-Russia Year of Culture 2014; where his astonishing choreography re-tells the fate of Tolstoy’s famous literary figure focusing on the Anna-Karenin-Vronsky love triangle.
The Eifman Ballet, founded in St Petersburg in 1977, is the only individually managed theatre in Russia. His work was and continues to be extremely theatrical, combining a good mixture of reality and fantasy. Working on over 40 ballets, Eifman’s work is fast-paced, super-energetic, and acrobatic with difficult lifts and high extensions, making each performance an unforgettable experience. London and culture bloggers were invited to meet and interview Eifman about his choreography & enchanting dance performances upon his arrival in the UK but sadly I was unable to attend however, thanks to the wonders of twitter, I was invited to see one of only two reprise performances of the Eifman Ballet Company’s Anna Karenina at The Coliseum theatre on Saturday.
The Coliseum is a beautiful building near Trafalgar Square which I fondly refer to as the theatre with the globey thing on top. It’s location makes it tricky to get a good picture of this magnificent building but it really is a beauty. Inside is even more spectacular with an incredible amount of attention to detail. Theatres are some of my favourite buildings, old or new they have a lot of character.
Having never attended a ballet before I was unsure what to expect but I had seen the Keira Knightly movie when it was first release so was vaguely aware of the storyline. I have never been so enraptured in my life. I knew that the dancing would be incredible but I still wasn’t prepared for the gracefulness or the intricacy of the choreography. Having taken many dance classes in the past (although never ballet as I’m just not fluid enough for that) and having prepared for a dance show where I took part in only one of a number I knew how much hard work and effort goes in to making each step perfect.
I was truly stunned by the way the story and, more importantly, the emotion of the tale was portrayed without any words. My friend and I found ourselves completely taken aback at the interval happening so quickly but it had in fact been a full 45 minutes; we were just so engrossed the whole way that it didn’t feel like any where that long! The costumes and use of the set were beautiful, quite how the female dancers managed to avoid getting tangled in those long flowing dresses still alludes me, and it all added to the magical experience that was the ballet. In fact this may have triggered a new love for me and I’ve already resolved that I MUST see Swan Lake and the Nutcracker performed on stage in my lifetime.