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Full screen ballet. Boris Eyfman’s “Tender is the night” play will become film


Boris Eyfman’s Up&Down play will be saved for future generations. The choreographer is currently shooting a ballet-film.


It’s been almost a year since the theatrical premiere of the surreal story based on Francis Fitzgerald’s book “Tender is the night”. Critics and spectators alike were highly praiseful of it. Now, it’s being made into a film. The crew is out of time, it still has to edit it before presenting the outcome to the public. Alexandra Lee took a peek behind the curtains

Alexandra Lee, reporter: “This is one of the most important decorations for the Up&Down play by Boris Eyfman, based on Fitzgerald’s book “Tender is the night”. Although, it spends most of the time behind the curtains. Right now, the play is everything but the second part of its name – its on the peak of its popularity. As if trying to keep that momentum going, the director has decided to put it on the big screen”

Eyfman the director is almost entirely similar to Eyfman the choreographer. Movement of his truppe matters the most – filmed from all angles. He had previously directed 4 plays for the big screen and has always personally controlled the editing process. Maybe that’s why he’s so meticulous about the filming process.

Boris Eyfman, artistic director of ballet theatre: “On the one hand, I understand that something gets lost on this monitor. On the other hand – it is an attempt to preserve our art. Because theatre is, unfortunately, the art of the moment. The curtain goes down and the legend is over. That’s it”

Only two weeks are allocated for the full-screen filming of the play. Its catastrophically not enough, according to the author. But it will give everyone – from Nakhodka to Melbourne – the chance to see the play, even after a hundred years.

“I think it was 1987, when we filmed Maya Plisetskaya. 4 acts. Although not shot by shot – like they do it in the movies – but non-stop”

The cinematographer, who was lucky to witness Plisetskaya’s dance through his lens, as well as working with Vladimir Bortko on “Dog’s heart” movie and Valeriy Todorovskiy on “The land of the deaf” film, shoots a ballet-film for the first time in his career.

Yuriy Shaygardanov, acclaimed cinematographer: “It’s very different! Cant film the top, cant film the bottom, cant film the curtains, no reversals. All in the same space more or less. Difficult”

Performers are going through a hard time too. They say the stage is like a minefield now – no wrong moves, no suppressed emotions. Like under a magnifying glass – even pleats on clothes can be seen now. 

Oleg Gabyshev, soloist of B. Eyfman’s theatre: “My blazer – you see, everything’s modest, because he’s a doctor after all. I am going insane in this one, only torn a bit. The degradation of my character happens quickly – literally in 10 minutes. Like in real life – you can fall from grace in just a day”

The performance of renowned actor Oleg Gabyshev, playing Fitzgerald’s Dr. Dick Diver going insane, has already been highly acclaimed by the international community. The troupe particularly values the evaluation by American critics – the play takes place in the 1920s United States.

By using cinematic effects, the author hopes to carry the atmosphere of the theatre play, delve deeper into the drama of the story and capture art – with all its Ups and Downs.