Onegin (1965), choreographed by John Cranko after witnessing a performance, takes music from throughout Tchaikovsky’s career, using them to create an intense, compressed version of Puskhin’s narrative. This is narrative dance at its most resonant, creating fully developed characters through the interplay of motion and music. Cranko fuses classical ballet with folk, modern and acrobatic dance, creating an eclectic showcase for its soloists. A hardy perennial in the Royal Ballet’s repertoire, it was last revived in 2013 to strong reviews and huge audience appreciation.
The story is a tragic one. Tired of the ennui-laden balls of Saint Petersburg life, the dandyish Eugene Onegin inherits his uncle’s estate and moves to the county. When the quiet, bookish Tatiana falls in love with him, he rejects her, bemoaning the straightjacket of marriage. Out of this single action, a tragic machinery is set in motion, one that will radically transform both Eugene and Tatiana’s lives.
A rotating selection of the Royal Ballet’s principal dancers and soloists will play the ballet’s five parts. Watch out for Vadim Muntagirov, the troupe’s newest principal dancer, who takes to the stage as Lensky for three of the fifteen performances. On the 2nd, 11th and 27th of February, there will be a bookable introductory talk with an expert in the Clore Studio Upstairs.
John Cranko was born in South Africa and began training to dance in Cape Town. Quickly transitioning from performance, Cranko became one of the Royal Ballet’s in-house choreographers. He twice collaborated with Benjamin Britten, on the ballet The Prince of the Pagodas and the opera A Midsummer Night’s Dream. After prosecution for homosexual activity in 1960, he fled Britain and became the director of the Stuttgart Ballet, where he premiered Onegin. He died in 1973, at the age of 47, after an allergic reaction to a sleeping pill. He remains one of the century’s most influential choreographers. Onegin will be one of the most rewarding ballets in London this season.
|What||Onegin, Royal Ballet|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
24 Jan 15 – 27 Feb 15, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Royal Opera House.|