Tchaikovsky: Onegin ***
Staatsballett Berlin, Schiller Theater, 8th October 2015
“Happiness was once so near us.” That line from Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin should be crushing, the tender moment when Onegin and Tatyana realise what could have been. That final scene should also be crushing in John Cranko’s ballet based on Pushkin’s novel in verse, Tatyana desperately trying to stay strong enough to reject Onegin’s pleading. But what if there’s little connection between the leads? No spark? You end up with a performance such as that from Staatsballett Berlin which was very neatly danced, but lacked an emotional core. In Onegin, that just won’t do.
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