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Eifman Honors Blockade Survivors

Published: January 29, 2014 (Issue # 1795)



  • Boris Eifman's 'Requiem' at the Alexandrinsky Theater on Jan. 27.
    Photo: Yevgenia Matveeva

  • Boris Eifman's 'Requiem' at the Alexandrinsky Theater on Jan. 27.
    Photo: Yevgenia Matveeva

World War II veterans and survivors from the Siege of Leningrad were among the first to be invited to preview Boris Eifmans ballet, "Requiem," which premiered at the Alexandrinsky Theater Monday night.

Dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the final lifting of the Siege of Leningrad, the performance was based on a poem by Anna Akhmatovas set to music by Shostakovich and Mozart. Supporting the modern ballet performance was the Moscow Virtuosi chamber orchestra, led by renowned conductor Vladimir Spivakov and joined by the chorus and soloists from the Masters of Choral Singing.

Related: Eifman Academy holds auditions

President Vladimir Putin, who was in the city Monday to pay tribute to the victims of the siege, also made a brief appearance, attending the first act along with former St. Petersburg Governor and current Chairman of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko. Current St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko was also in the audience along with other city officials.

Performing to a full house, Eifmans dramatic interpretation began with a one minute silence before then being presented in two acts each exploring the themes of loss, love and triumph during the 872-day siege. True to form, the evening was a display of technical bravura that drew on all the elements for which Eifman is celebrated lighting, sets and costumes, all of which explore psychological dimensions.

Related: City Remembers Siege of Leningrad

I have never been so sincere, so spiritually naked as in Mozarts Requiem, said Eifman. It is my past, present and future, whether you accept it or reject it. This is my memory, which brings an unprotected youth into the world, resurrects the ordeals of maturity, the wisdom and weakness of old age. How much viciousness, defamation, jealousy and violence my memory holds, how many never-fading touches of happiness, love This is all inside me, inside each of us.

The event, in addition to being dedicated to survivors of the siege, provided local residents the opportunity to remember and pay respect to the sacrifices made by those who perished while defending the city.

'Requiem' will be performed again at the Alexandrinsky Theatre on Feb. 10 and 11.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 28


Learn more about the citys upcoming municipal elections during the presentation of the project Road Map for the Municipal Elections being presented this evening in the conference hall on the third floor of Biblioteka at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. Steve Kaddins, a coordinator for Beautiful St. Petersburg, which gives residents an online forum to lodge complaints about infrastructure problems in the city, will be on hand to answer any questions. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all.



Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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