John Cranko was one of modern ballet’s greatest interpreters of literary works, and his trademark skill with drama, character and the unfolding and shaping of narrative was never more fully displayed than in his 1965 version of Alexander Pushkin’s classic verse novel Eugene Onegin. Employing the arch-romantic sonorities of Tchaikovsky’s music, Cranko breathes fresh and insightful life into the story of the jaded aristocrat Eugene Onegin, who callously trifles with the affections of the trusting, innocent country girl, Tatiana, only to have the tables turned years later when a very changed Tatiana rejects him.
This familiar but potent meditation on ill-starred love and tragic irony is given a bold and fresh revision in Cranko’s ballet, especially in his approach to the character of Tatiana, whose maturation from the shy, vulnerable girl of the first act to the poised, self-possessed woman of the finale is a wonder of dramatic transformation.
The breathtaking sets and costumes by veteran stage designer Santo Loquasto complete this heartrending portrait of human frailty and the often cruel vicissitudes of love.
For tickets: www.National.Ballet.ca
Venue: Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts — 145 Queen Street West