7-18 Sept. In Onegin, choreography by John Cranko, with Roberto Bolle and guest artist Maria Eichwald. Cranko’s Onegin is an effective vehicle for Pushkin’s love story. It brilliantly brings to life the emotions described with wonderfully choreographed sequences of swooning, desperate running and above all, the lifts in which the female dancer’s body becomes a tragic, expressive figure in the male dancer’s hands.
Cranko ably tells the story of Pushkin’s Onegin, a cautionary tale about a bored St Petersburg dandy who comes face to face with love and is unable to recognise it until it is too late. In Cranko’s telling the narrative is clear and flowing and the pacing of the ballet, which is divided into three acts, is excellent. At two-and-a-half hours, including two intermissions, it never drags. The music is a mix of Tchaikovsky pieces (mostly composed for the piano), arranged and re-orchestrated by Kurt-Heinz Stolze. As Stolze has written, the pieces have been “changed harmonically and rhythmically” to serve the dramatic structure of the ballet.