The Boston Ballet, in this pre-spring season, showcased “Onegin.” The tragic love story of Onegin and Tatiana, who unfortunately by circumstances and personal choices are unable to live a life together. The show premiered this season on Feb. 25 but was originally performed by the Boston Ballet in 2002.
The Boston Ballet did a wonderful job, setting high expectations for the performance. From the gorgeous set design and lighting, to giving the audience the chance to write personal messages on postcards to send to their loved ones.
Choreographed by John Cranko, Onegin featured a live orchestra music by P.I. Tchaikovsky. The dance was paired harmoniously with the music to portray all aspects of emotions, from love, to jealousy and remorse.
The story was dramatic from the start, set in 19th century Russia based on the novel by the same name written by Alexander Pushkin.
Even a seemingly casual birthday picnic was depicted dramatically with lots of humor as the dancers were seen doing arabesques to involve everyone around them in their mischievous actions.
Laughs were heard and smiles were seen throughout the audience as Olga, performed by Ashley Ellis, tried to involve her sister in her antics.
Colors seemed to play a significant role throughout the show, as each color symbolized an emotion. These emotions were enhanced with the choreography which had a myriad of beautiful dancers doing split leaps and pas de bourées effortlessly.
The character of Onegin, portrayed by Lasha Khozashvili, was seen in all black clad attire throughout, which captured his aristocracy. This set a jarring contrast to the female lead Tatiana, performed by Petra Conti, dressed in an array of warm tones, trying to pursue eternal love.
The music was heavy and dramatic every time Onegin graced the stage with his presence. The dancers also put on a dramatic façade in every interaction between Onegin and Tatiana.
These dramatic, tense situations were contrasted by two things: the playful dances between every dramatic scene, mainly involving Tatiana’s sister Olga, and dancers like the nanny who kept trying to get Tatiana to go to bed. These scenes added comic relief to the performance and were responded by laughter from the audience.
Few aspects of the whole show clearly stood out. One of them was when Tatiana dreamt passionately about Onegin in Act I Scene II.
Cranko’s choreography brought out the passion in a lovestruck teenager, who loved Onegin so recklessly that she seemed exhausted by the dream.
This sequence, complemented by a blue, dark background, somehow filled the room with warmth. Fantastically bringing out the joie the vivre of falling in love the first time.
Not only did the dancers show how heartbreaking the pain of unrequited love was in the 18th century, but they also successfully shed light on how the youth of today go through the exact same emotions and come out stronger from it.
Boston Ballet’s production of “Onegin” made it very relatable to the youth of today. From the feeling of rejection and unrequited love, to males letting their egos get the best of them, the story of “Onegin” is timeless.
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Get your tickets today at http://www.bostonballet.org/onegin/