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The Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg in “Don Quixote, Or Fantasies of a Madman” May 17, 2011

Posted by lycan librarian in Uncategorized.

     The Lycan Librarian had the wonderful privilege to catch The Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg (Russia) in “Don Quixote, Or Fantasies of a Madman.” It was in this area for three days only, so just as her horoscope predicted, May is turning into a lucky month for this Leo librarian. This irreverent ballet begins in a madhouse where one inspirational inmate is convinced he is Don Quixote. This  rebellious interpretation of the original ballet is inventive, radical and absolutely, positively wonderful! The elite Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg was founded in 1977 by Boris Eifman, who has been recognized by the New York Times as today’s “most successful Russian choreographer.”

     This quote by Boris Eifman, the genius behind the ballet, says it all: “We are living under the debris of our own illusions. In his dreams, man creates the plot of his life, but when the fantasy and the reality meet, it produces a tragic effect. I have taken on this ballet because I saw in it the possibility to combine eternal, abiding beauty, which is so sorely needed, with the modern-day reality. An ill man imagines himself to be Don Quixote and tries to be kind, caring and loving towards other people – but is such an attempt a symptom of a mental disability? If it is, then long live the madman’s fantasy which allows him, albeit in a dream, to build a harmonious world which is able to transcend the mundane inertia of being and challenge the power of evil engulfing humankind.”

      The costumes were either all grey and white when in the insane asylum, or in vivid and bright colors, as in the accompanying photo, during Quixote’s fantasies. They were fanciful and perfectly designed in both settings. The  dancing was incredible, and the music was superb. Even as the dancers took their final bows, a lively tune played and the audience applauded in time to the music, so everyone left the theater with a huge smile on their face. This show is a tribute to the dreamer’s mind and its ability to transcend the mundane. I would love to see it again, but would also be thrilled to see more of Eifman’s original ballets, and eventually, all of them. From what I’ve read, each pushes the limits of the imagination, is unique, unexpected, riveting and emotional.



1. Rich Figel - May 17, 2011

Sounds wonderful! Did you happen to see BLACK SWAN yet? Interesting movie… very surreal. Really more of a psychological horror story.

lycan librarian - May 17, 2011

Yes, I did see it. I loved Barbara Hershey as the crazy, controlling mother. I kept hearing how disturbing it was, so being this wild-minded, expected more horrific scenes. I found the ending predictible but satisfying, and loved the costumes.

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