Below is a selection of a frequently asked questions. If you cannot find a topic of interest there please use the form on your right to send us your query.

Boris Eifman's answers (March 2012):

- Do you feel the need to keep with current trends in the dance community or do you create in a bubble?

-I’ve never been interested in the concept of fashion, actuality. The only guiding line in creativity for me used to be and still is complete internal freedom and absolute honestywith the audience and with yourself. As long as I have my own spectatorsthose who love and appreciate my artI will feel that I am in-demand and successful. Fashionable, if you like.

-Has dance changed since you began choreographing?

-Speaking about my own creative way, first of all, I want to believe that during the years went by my choreography has become more emotionally rich, diverse, vivid. My aesthetic philosophy hasn’t changed at that: I’m still interested, first of all, in search of new abilities of the body as a device of human passions expression.

-How free is dancer in his own expression doing your choreography? Do you adapt your ideas to dancer who performs them? How far are you willing to do that in process of rehearsing?

-I certainly see like-minded persons in my artists, I seek to «infect» them with my ideas. And I’m always happy when performers take a creative and active position concerning the given choreographic material, seek to comprehend it creatively. But one shouldn’t forget that an artist, first of all, is the one who expresses a choreographer’s creative fantasies. That is why I, first of all, expect adequate and most accurate evocation of my creative ideas from dancers.
As for the second part of the question
, there is no definite answer. When creating choreography beyond the walls of ballet class, I can abstract from my troupe staff, psychophysical characteristics of the artists. But when creative work is on directly in the hall, all these factors start playing the most significant role.

-As a philosopher and thinker you’re probably not immune to today’s problems. Which seems to be of the most importance by your opinion?

-Nowadays the Mass Media speak a lot about world depression, global social problems, ecology. But, as for me, the most important problem issue still is the spiritual world of a modern person, living, unfortunately, in quite sad time. We see the most important moral and human values, ideas of creativity, transfiguring of reality being lost and replaced by the cult of consumption. And ballet, beyond all doubt (as well as other kinds of high art) is that bright power, which is able to counter these negative processes. Of course, one cannot change the world and people around in a flash. But one can shake them, strike a deep chord in the souls. And this is going to be an important victory.

-You just premiered your latest production, Rodin. Can you tell us a little bit more about the piece? Is there anything new or different you’ve done with Rodin that you haven’t tried before?

-The main idea of the new production is the price that great artists have to pay for their masterpieces, which is deep drama and intolerable severity of their earthly life. We want the spectator who came to see “Rodin” to think about great price Rodin and Camille Claudel, his muse and apprentice, had to pay for their masterpieces which people have been enjoying for a number of decades. I was incredibly interested in the inner world of Rodin and Camille, in the mysteries of their emotional and mental life. And the creative work of two artists became a clue for their solution. In the new performance we combined the plastic world of Rodin and Claudel with our own view of human body as a means of soul perception. We have not illustrated the creative work of great sculptors, but have given a new look at great heritage of Rodin and Claudel and at their tragic story of love. 

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Boris Eifman's answers (February 2011):

- Why, in your opinion, your ballets are so popular all over the world?

- The spectator wants to receieve from ballet performance, first of all, a catharsis, a deep emotional shock. And visiting our performances, he receives this live emotional charge. We aspire to that the psychological theater would be the privilege not only of a drama, but also of a ballet. And from this point of view we are unique. Such type of theater to which our troupe belongs – with the strong dramaturgic base, the deep philosophical maintenance and high heat of passions - is necessary for many spectators.

- What themes interest you now as choreographer?

- Secrets of life of human soul, elements of human passions always interested me. My characters – swept, searching, plunging into sufferings and madness. But often happens so that any concrete theme, life area, and the certain historical character – Tchaikovsky, ballerina Spessivtseva, tsarevitch Pavel acts as an impulse to creation of ballet. At present I work over new ballet "Rodin". I want to show, what terrestrial price geniuses pay for creation of eternal masterpieces.

- Do people in today's Russia love ballet and arts as deeply as earlier?

- Certainly, our time is cynical enough and mercantile. And today that fragile, elite in many respects art which ballet is, has not the most iridescent times. There is an active approach of pop culture, show business, shows. The modern person is accustomed not to think and empathize, but to consume thoughtlessly. However, while performing in Petersburg and cities of Russia, we see that our spectators – and this is the intelligent, well-educated and spiritually developed people – still sincerely love our creativity and appreciates art of dance.

- In your opinion, what is a condition of Russian ballet today?

- Today the ballet art is in notable crisis: both major and provincial theaters of Russia are experiencing the strongest personnel hunger, there are no young choreographers, new leaders of the ballet world, the prestige of the profession drops. However if we all realize that ballet is our national property and we have no right to lose it we will overcome the crisis. Therefore I look ahead with optimism and from my part I do everything in order that my theatre may become the original Russian psychological ballet theater of the beginning of the XXIst century.

- What do you think about the future of Russian ballet?

- The XXth century became the period of the big openings and reforms in ballet art, but at this particular time, in second half of century, choreographers deduce dance from ballet theater and prefer abstractions. Today it is obvious that such way is a deadlock. The new century, a new era demands the new forms of choreographic art close to the modern person and its attitude. And our aim is to create new ballet repertoire of modern Russia on the basis of traditions of Russian ballet theater. I am convinced, what it is exactly Russian psychological ballet theater that will become the really original art of the XXIst century.

PR Department answers (March 2011):

- My daughter (aged 12) studies in the second class of a ballet school. Will she have an opportunity to enter Dance Academy?

- What is the age of students for Dance Academy and when it will be opened?

- Will there be an admission in Dance Academy in 2011? What are the requirements?

- Dance Academy is planned to be opened on September, 1, 2012. Students starting from the age of 7 will be admitted.

- Will Efman Ballet issue any official DVDs ?

- In January and February 2011 «Anna Karenina» and «Onegin» ballet films were shot in St. Petersburg. These films will be probably issued on DVD.

- Why do you perform so rarely in St. Petersburg?

- Our theatre doesn’t have its own stage and performs on various rented St. Petersburg stages – at Alexandrinsky Theatre etc. Our performances in St. Petersburg are very expensive because of advertising, rental and other charges. Moreover, stages rented by our company have its own repertoire and thus we can perform there only at the dates that are suggested by our partners.

- Почему, на Ваш взгляд, Ваши постановки так востребованы в мире?

- Зритель ждет от балетного спектакля, прежде всего, катарсиса, глубокого эмоционального потрясения. И приходя на наши постановки, он получает этот живой эмоциональный заряд. Мы стремимся к тому, чтобы психологический театр был бы привилегией не только драмы, но и балета. И в этом плане мы уникальны. Многим зрителям необходим именно такой тип театра, к которому принадлежит наш коллектив – с сильным драматургическим фундаментом, глубоким философским содержанием и высоким накалом страстей.

- Какие темы интересуют Вас сейчас как хореографа?

-  Меня всегда интересовали тайны жизни человеческой души, стихии человеческих страстей. Мои персонажи – метущиеся, ищущие,  погружающиеся в страдания и безумие. Но часто бывает так, что импульсом к созданию балета выступает не какая-то конкретная тема, область бытия, а определенный исторический персонаж – Чайковский, балерина Спесивцева, царевич Павел. В данный момент я работаю над новым балетом «Роден». Хочу показать, какую земную цену платят гении за создание вечных шедевров.

- В сегодняшней России люди так же любят балет и иcкусство, как раньше?

- Конечно же, наше время – довольно циничное и меркантильное. И сегодня то хрупкое, элитарное во многом искусство, которым является балет, переживает не самые радужные времена. Идет активное наступление поп-культуры, индустрии развлечений, зрелищ. Современный человек приучен не мыслить и сопереживать, а бездумно потреблять. Однако, выступая в Петербурге и городах России, мы видим, что наш зритель – а это интеллигентные, образованные и духовно развитые люди – по-прежнему искренне любит наше творчество и ценит искусство танца.

- На Ваш взгляд, каково сегодня состояние балета в России?

- Cегодня балетное искусство находится в ощутимом кризисе: как ведущие, так и провинциальные театры России испытывают сильнейший кадровый голод, не видно молодых хореографов, новых лидеров балетного мира, падает престиж профессии. Однако если мы все же осознаем, что балет – это наше национальное достояние и утрачивать его мы не имеем права, то кризис будет преодолен. Поэтому я, по большому счету, смотрю в будущее с оптимизмом и со своей стороны делаю все, чтобы наш коллектив был подлинным русским психологическим балетным театром начала ХХI века.

- Каким Вы видите будущее русского балета?

- ХХ век стал периодом больших открытий и реформ в балетном искусстве, но именно в это время, во второй половине столетия, хореографы выводят танец из балетного театра, отдают предпочтение абстракции. Сегодня очевидно, что подобный путь – тупиковый. Новый век, новая эра требуют новых форм хореографического искусства, близких современному человеку и его мироощущению. И наша задача – создать на базе традиций русского балетного театра новый балетный репертуар современной России. Я убежден, что именно русский психологический балетный театр станет подлинным искусством ХХI века.