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Boris Eyfman’s Theater turns 40


He created a new language of plasticity, combined Pink Floyd with Tchaikovsky, pas-de-de with tap dance. Boris Eyfman has been storming the ballet stage for 40 years. His art has no equals. A designer’s theater without a theater, yet with a powerful and relentless designer.


Boris Eyfman, creator and artistic director of the Boris Eyfman ballet: “For me, these 40 years feel like wandering around. Searching for my inner self, searching for a theater, searching across Russia for the performer. The selection process is very strict, very scrupulous”

He began his scrupulous search back in 1977. The young choreographer of Vaganova’s Academy created his own ballet group. Few believed in his idea, but through hard work and great love for ballet he managed to create the impossible. An experiment with genres and topics – that’s Boris Eyfman’s trademark. From day one, he has been creating unique plays: “Contest” based on Kuprin’s story, but with Khachaturian’s music. “The Master and Maragarita” with Andrey Petrov’s music. Dostoevsky’s “Idiot” with the music from Tchaikovsky’s sixth symphony.

Valeriy Mikhailovskiy, former lead dancer of the Boris Eyfman ballet, renowned performer: “he’s not just creating a dance, not just creating a ballet, but inspires philosophical thinking. About problems, about life. Ad just look at topics! In my times those were “Idiot”, “The Master and Margarita”, “The 12th night”. Its captivating for a performer. No other theater in the world has that”

The lead dancer of Eyfman Theatre’s first squad – Valeriy Mikhailovskiy – describes the past as a “whirlwind”. The maestro trained with his performers in a basketball hall at the outskirts of the city. Things which would become famous globally were born there. Because Eyfman was not afraid to break stereotypes and add modern plasticity to a classical dance.

Olga Fedorchenko, ballet critic: “Boris Eyfman reconciled the masses with the modern dance. A modern dance is being seen as something sophisticated, distracting and self-sufficient. Boris Eyfman penetrated the realm of mass consciousness, without losing the academic approach”

The anniversary night marking the 40th birthday began with a “star parade” – people who wont be seen at this stage on a regular night anymore took it this time. Those are the “veterans” of Eyfman’s troupe. But those who are only making their first steps in ballet also came up on the stage. Boris Eyfman’s Academy of dance has been in existence for 5 years. Young performers confidently take their places on the stage. Who else but them could be described as the future of the Russian ballet?

Boris Eyfman, creator and artistic director of the Boris Eyfman ballet: “I’ve already reached the stage when you think about what you can give to the people and the country. Im really happy to have lived to the days when I can see the results of my work”

A birthday is another chance to see the maestro himself on stage. A rascal of a performance – Boris Eyfman takes to the stage in a chariot.

Eyfman’s Theatre bears the name “Academic”. However, there’s not one academic performance here. The best ballet performers are anxious to be part of it, but understand that they would be in for a very hard work.

Oleg Gabyshev, lead dancer at Boris Eyfman ballet, renowned performer of Russia: “I wanted some sort of openness – both for the body and the soul. So when I saw that here people work not only on dance moves and turns, but also work on their inner world and the way it affects a role – I thought this is where I’d be able to show my strengths”

In his festive night, the maestro admits – he will not choreograph tragedies in the nearest future. There’s enough deep thought in his repertoire. The next in line – a comedy with Strauss’ music

Tatyana Bazhenova, reporter: “Eyfman’s troupe celebrated the anniversary at Alexandrinskiy Theatre. The festivity was slightly marred by the fact that in 40 years the ballet has not got itself a permanent home. Although, the House of Dance is in construction, while Eyfman’s troupe is constantly on tour. Even today the party was short – the maestro and his team have left for Canada. A global theatre, no matter how you look at it”