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Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg is concluding their tour of North America with performances of “Up and Down” (Segerstrom Center for the Arts last week) and “Rodin” in three performances this week at the Los Angeles Music Center. “Up and Down” is an American jazz age story. It was originally based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel “Tender is the Night”. Of the two, “Rodin” (2011) makes a better impression both for its music (a more or less unified assemblage of French music by Ravel, Satie, and others roughly contemporaneous with the life of the sculptor himself) but also for a more clearly articulated storyline. “Up and Down” draws on excerpted music from wildly disparate sources such as Gershwin, Alban Berg, and Schubert. “Rodin” still looks like dance. “Up and Down”, though charged with the same outsized attention to theatrically and staging, felt overwhelmed by Mr. Eifman’s brand of expressionistic movement and mime. The dancing seemed aimed at creating novel effects rather than an honest communication of intimate details.
Choreographer Boris Eifman is fascinated by characters living beyond the brink of sanity or obsession.The company's new Rodin is a freewheeling work that blends past & present in an impressionistic work.It features modern ballet & vivid theatrics.