To the Reader: This is the first in a projected series of brief pieces that I’ll be posting on SEEING THINGS along with my longer essays.
Believe it or not, I thought Boris Eifman’s Rodin (holding forth at the City Center) better than the earlier works we’ve been subject to here in New York. The Eifmanesque absurdities, portentousness, pretentiousness, and lowbrow concepts of “Life” remain; they are a given—a mirror of the man’s soul, as E himself might put it. As for his dated sexual politics, they’re a shame for the neighbors. Still, Rodin offers several persuasive moments, since two of the three principal characters—Lyubov Andreyeva and Yulia Manjeles, as the sculptor’s Significant Love Interests, old and new—can act. What’s more, a couple of set pieces (like the cancan) are well handled, even—can it be?—with a small streak of irony. Forget about musicality; it’s not in this choreographer’s skill set. Eifman co-opts segments of familiar classical hits to devise a loop of sound with too many repeats.
© 2012 Tobi Tobias