Boris Eifman’s ballet Anna Karenina is a true burst of inner psychological energy and is amazingly precise in delivering emotional impact upon its viewers. By setting aside all secondary storylines in Leo Tolstoy’s novel, the choreographer focused on the love triangle “Anna – Karenin – Vronsky”.
Using dance language, Boris Eifman in his ballet managed to portray the drama of a woman being reborn. According to the choreographer, it is the love passion, the “basic instinct” which has led the heroine to the breach of the then current norms of social morality, killed motherly love in Anna Karenina and destroyed her inner world. Being so completely consumed and crushed by passion, a woman is ready for any sacrifice.
The choreographer says that his ballet speaks not of previous times but of today: the timeless emotional content of the performance and obvious parallels to reality can’t leave the contemporary viewer indifferent. The brilliant technical mastery of the company’s dancers and Boris Eifman’s astounding choreography present to us in a remarkably impressive way all the aspects and peripeteias of the Tolstoy’s novel.
The scene opens with Anna Karenina in the heart of her family in St. Petersburg. At a high society ball, Anna meets a dashing young officer Count Vronsky. In the Karenin household there is marital discord. Anna and Vronsky meet again at the horse races, they fall deeply in love. Anna’s life becomes difficult as rumours and gossip starts to spread about the Karenin’s relationship. At a long-awaited assignation passion overcomes the lovers’ rational thoughts. After a confrontation with Karenin Anna is overcome with dark thoughts foreboding. The married couple makes a reconciliation.
Vronsky is at his officers club. Following a meeting at the Karenins` home. Anna leaves her husband. At a Carnival in Venice. The affection between Anna and Vronsky begins to break down In St. Petersburg high society turns its back on Anna. She becomes shunned and isolated. In an opium induced state of mind, Anna is in the grip of visions and fantasies. Final despair. Anna’s suicide.