The ballet, Anna Karenina, is based on Leo Tolstoy’s famous late nineteenth-century novel and bears the same title as that great work of literature. Published in 1887, Tolstoy’s novel relates the story of Anna, a beautiful young princess and mother who is prominent among the aristocratic elite of nineteenth-century Moscow. Tolstoy brilliantly conveys the disturbing emotional conflict that creates a complex web of suffering which unravels relentlessly and ends in tragedy. Leo Tolstoy, who is best known for his epic novel War and Peace, is celebrated for vivid psychological characterisations and his ability to create literature that seems as realistic as life itself.
The ballet was conceived by the celebrated Russian choreographer, Boris Eifman who produced the work in a great burst of creative energy. The result was a ballet with tremendous emotional impact. Stripping away the secondary storylines in Tolstoy’s richly complex novel, Eifman focused on the three main characters, Anna, her husband, Karenin, and a military officer named Vronsky. Using the language of dance and combining excerpts from music by Tchaikovsky in a remarkably impressive way to demonstrate the brilliant technical mastery of the dancers, Eifman portrays the important nuances of Tolstoy’s novel, including the stunning turning point in the plot and the drama of Anna’s deteriorating emotional state.
Eifman designed Anna Karenina as a ballet that speaks not of times past, but of today. The work is performed by the Eifman Ballet Theatre of St. Petersburg with Tchaikovsky’s music under the baton of the masterful American conductor, David Levi.
Renowned especially as a maestro of ballet, David Levi, who will conduct Anna Karenina in three performances at the ROHM, has recently led performances of this ballet in Vienna and in Bologna, Italy. A graduate of Harvard and the Manhattan School of Music, David Levi is known for versatility and remarkable flair across different genres of music, as well as for his initiative in introducing lesser known works. He raises his baton on a world platform encompassing Europe, South and North America, China and Japan.
Boris Eifman is the most celebrated choreographer in Russia today and his turbulent and dramatically seductive Anna Karenina is a signature production. The implementation of Eifman’s contemporary interpretation is electric and highly-charged. He brings to life, not simply the drama of the story, but also the inner emotions and psychology of the characters. In Eifman’s own words, “Creating a ballet is an immersion. And it involves not just your consciousness but your subconscious, too… I think intuitive insights are very important in shaping a ballet.”
The Royal Opera House Muscat presents the ballet, Anna Karenina on Thursday the 15th, and Friday the 16th December at 7:00 pm, as well as on Saturday the 17th of December at 4:00 pm. For further information and booking, consult the ROHM website – www.rohmuscat.org.om