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16 October 2018 (Tue), 20:00 Alexandrinsky Imperial Ballet Theatre (established 1756) - Modern Ballet Modern Dance Ballet of Boris Eifman "Requiem" Music: Dmitri Shostakovich, W. A. Mozart

Schedule for Modern Dance Ballet of Boris Eifman "Requiem" Music: Dmitri Shostakovich, W. A. Mozart 2019

Orchestra: Symphony Orchestra "Congress"

A ballet by Boris Eifman
Act I:
Dedication to Anna Akhmatova
Music: Dmitri Shostakovich
Act II:
Music: Requiem by W. A. Mozart

Sets: Simon Pastukh, Zinovy Margolin
Costumes: Olga Shaishmelashvili
Light: Boris Eifman

Premiere: January 27, 2014

The story of this ballet’s making was unusual in its own way. Back in 1991, at the very dawn of the new post-soviet era, Boris Eifman staged a one-act Requiem ballet to the music of W. A. Mozart; it was a philosophical parable exploring the never-ending mystery of human life.

More than two decades later Eifman – a restless artistic mind always in search of a new and ever more perfect dance language – reverted to his past production and, proceeding from it, created a full-scale ballet performance. By largely rethinking its choreographic dance score, Eifman has added one more act to the ballet dedicated to a famous Russian XX century poetess Anna Akhmatova; it was set to the music of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony “To the Memory of Victims of Nazism and War”.

The premiere of the ballet was held on January 27, 2014 at the Alexandrinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg and marked the 70th anniversary of the complete raising of the Nazi siege of Leningrad – a great day symbolizing the victory of life over the powers of death and destruction. Eifman Ballet performed the Requiem ballet together with the “Moscow Virtuosi” Chamber Orchestra (Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Vladimir Spivakov) and The Grand Choir “Masters of Choral Singing”. The WWII veterans, defenders and inhabitants of besieged Leningrad became the first viewers of the new production.

“Each time I read the Requiem I am deeply impressed by the bitterness of pain that is throbbing in Anna Akhmatova’s poetry. The dreadful images of those ‘furious years’ of Stalinist terror overwhelm my heart over and over again. And long lines of people, buried alive, stay frozen in waiting in front of prison gates…

In Anna Akhmatova’s poem, the anguished cry of a woman who has gone through a true ordeal is echoed by the groaning of thousands and thousands of wretched mothers and wives. This symphony of desolation keeps resounding in my mind. The holy pain does not ease.

The world of human suffering is in truth immeasurable. But the very current of life is underlain by the divine continuity of being that was so brilliantly celebrated by Mozart in his Requiem. Listening to it, I can always feel the winds of Eternity. Dismay and fears do vanish, I am imbued with the anticipation of a cosmic mystery. Wherefrom have I come? Why is my life? What is I? I turn to my memory. It is the memory which introduces a vulnerable Youth into this world, which revives the hardships of maturity and the frustrations of senility. So much enmity and slander and violence have survived in my memory… And still, so many moments of happiness and love!..

Distress, despair, hope – all this is inside me, inside all of us. And the mournful threnody blends together with Mozart’s hymn to the life.”

Boris Eifman



Schedule for Modern Dance Ballet of Boris Eifman "Requiem" Music: Dmitri Shostakovich, W. A. Mozart 2019

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