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Modern Ballet Modern Dance Ballet of Boris Eifman. "Rodin" Music: Maurice Ravel, Camille Saint-Saëns, Jules Massenet
Alexandrinsky Imperial Ballet Theatre (established 1756)

Schedule for Modern Dance Ballet of Boris Eifman. "Rodin" Music: Maurice Ravel, Camille Saint-Saëns, Jules Massenet 2020

Composer: Camille Saint-Saens
Composer: Maurice Ravel
Composer: Jules Massenet
Choreography: Boris Eifman

Orchestra: Symphony Orchestra "Congress"

Boris Eifman’s ballet Rodin tells about the life and work of two great sculptors: Auguste Rodin and his disciple, mistress and Muse – Camille Claudel.

The story of their love is truly a tragic one. For over 15 years Rodin and Claudel were one integral whole, both sensuously and creatively. The breakup of the lovers that ensued eventually was a fatal blow to the mental health of Camille leading to her tragic end. Half-forgotten, hardened, hopelessly impecunious, Camille goes mad. A paranoiac idea of a conspiracy against her being lead and inspired by Rodin himself incessantly torments the already weakened mind of the wretched woman. 30 long years had she spent in a mental clinic just to die in 1943, forlorn and completely forgotten by all and everybody.

Eifman’s Rodin is a comprehensively creative study of such a subject as how tragic may be people of genius’ lives. By resorting to the uniquely plastique of the modern psychological ballet, that was so brilliantly mastered by the choreographer in his other productions (OneginThe SeagullAnna KareninaRussian Hamlet, etc.), Boris Eifman not only offers a new interpretation of the world of human passions studied masterfully by Rodin and Claudel, but creates a picture of the insoluble mystery of the creative process.


“The story of life and love of Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel is an amazing tale about an incredibly dramatic alliance of two artists where everything was entwined: passion, hatred and artistic jealousy. Spiritual and energy exchange between the two sculptors was an outstanding phenomenon: being so close to Rodin, Camille was not only an inspiration for his work helping him find a new style and create masterpieces, she also impetuously went through the development of her own talent becoming a great master of sculpture herself. Her beauty, her youth and her genius – all this was sacrificed to her beloved man.

After breaking up with Claudel the artist stays with devoted but unloved Rose Beuret. Camille tries to find her escape in work, but art critics do not accept her sculptures. In despair, Claudel destroys most of her works and plunges into the darkness of insanity. The wretched woman’s soul is being incinerated by pathological hatred towards her former teacher and lover, who, as Camille believes, has stolen her life and talent.

This new ballet reflects Rodin’s longing for his Muse, torments of his conscience, as well as Camille's delirium caused by the mental illness and saturated with painful obsessions – or rather that of the insane Erinys that the ruthless fate has turned her into.

In our performance, using the language of dance, we talk about passion, inner struggle and despair – of all those human spirit phenomena that were brilliantly expressed by Rodin and Camille in bronze and marble. To turn a moment carved in stone into an unrestrained, emotionally rich stream of body movements is what I was striving for while creating this new ballet performance.

Rodin is a reflection on the extreme price that people of genius have to pay for the creation of eternal masterpieces. And, of course, it is a reflection on those torments and mysteries of creative process that will always be of concern to any artist.”

Boris Eifman




A mental asylum, where patients wander like somnambulists, is the last shelter for Camille Claudel, a lover of the great Rodin. After a visit from the sculptor, she feels nothing but pain and despair. In his memories, Rodin returns in his past...
Sculptor’s workshop. Here is the place where Rodin’s wild fantasies come to life through clay and bronze. With her appearance, Camille, a young model, starts a fire in the heart of Rodin, who is in his middle age.
It is intolerable for Camille to wake up in the mental asylum. However, her sufferings at the hands of the other female patients, who beat and abuse her, are nothing compared to the horrible emptiness that enlaced Camille’s soul.
The life of old Rodin is full of grief. The tenderness of his devoted Rose is heavier than iron bonds. The sculptor is buried in his thoughts, where he finds himself an impetuous creator again. Camille is by his side, with her passion and gift of genius that give him power. Rodin’s indifference makes Rose suffer.
Camille’s coming insanity is already near: her mind becomes bedimmed with an obsession. But still her life is an endless vortex, in the very center of which is Rodin. Without hesitation, she gives her genius to her beloved and her master. Envy of Camille as an artist grows in the sculptor’s soul.
Rodin wins his success. Camille, his mate and co-author of his works, is left behind as an unknown witness of another’s glory.


The Gates of Hell are created in sufferings. Camille works devotedly with Rodin. Rose follows Rodin constantly, which makes him go through torment and repentance. Happy moments of his life revive in his mind: young Rose, beautiful and lovely bacchante, whom Rodin meets at a grape festival.
Camille’s relationship with her master becomes a torture for her. In a blaze of despair, she escapes from her beloved. A passing affair with a random lover cannot heal her scars. She has no other choice than to return to Rodin, who is her destiny and her curse.
The sculptor is embarrassed. His heart is torn between burning passion for one woman and sincere affection for another one. How can he break this vicious circle of incessant torments?
Camille is coming closer and closer to the edge of the abyss. Her work on Clotho, fearful anthem to ruthless Fate, exhausts her mental state completely. Distressed by critics, Camille destroys her sculpture in a blaze of rage.
Camille suffers from nightmares. She sees Rodin as an ugly beast who is guilty of all her tortures. The poor woman has no way to escape from this insanity, which captures her mind and soul.

Schedule for Modern Dance Ballet of Boris Eifman. "Rodin" Music: Maurice Ravel, Camille Saint-Saëns, Jules Massenet 2020

Boris Eifman's "Rodin" - Official Trailer (2014)
About This Video
A ballet by Boris Eifman

Music: Maurice Ravel, Camille Saint-Saëns, Jules Massenet

Sets: Zinovy Margolin

Costumes: Olga Shaishmelashvili

Light: Gleb Filshtinsky, Boris Eifman

Premiere: November 22, 2011

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