Boris Eifman began his career as a choreographer at the Leningrad Conservatory in 1966 and has drawn the attention of critics since his successful first ballet, Icarus. The same year, he was named official choreographer of the Vaganova Academy and the Kirov Ballet School, and was given the opportunity to choreograph for television productions and artistic ice-skating.
He then founded his own troupe in 1977, breaking with strict Russian academism and expressing his strong independent streak. He has developed his own unique style and shies away from passing trends, insisting instead upon a highly personal, groundbreaking mode of expression. In a way, he has joined together the emotion of modern dance and the syntax of classical ballet.
Here is how Eifman defines his art: “All is in the aesthetic, but the formal beauty of the gesture is not an end in itself. When I create a movement, it’s most certainly because I want to create an emotion, express a feeling… This emotion necessarily occurs because of an aesthetic need.” After a long, though battle against a rigid system, that ended in a victorious way, he claimed a creative right for himself and his country.
Today, the Ballet Theatre comprises sixty dancers and finally has its own Dance Centre set up by the Russian State and the City of Saint Petersburg. It is the only ballet company who presents one or two productions a year, despite of the country’s difficulties.
Since 1990, Boris Eifman continues, over his new creations, to increase his reputation in the whole world.
In 1997, he introduced La Giselle Rouge in Saint-Petersburg ballet who relates the life of the famous Russian ballerina Olga Spessivtseva.
For the first time in October 1997, the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow opened him its doors which gave him the opportunity to present three works : Tchaikovsky, The Red Giselle and Russian Hamlet (which relates the life of Tsar Paul I). A triumphant success, the Russian press celebrated Eifman as the only Russian choreographer able to change the face of Russian dance and his troupe as one of the best in the country.
In 2000, the Bolshoi included Russian Hamlet in its repertoire, and in 2001 presented an Eifman Ballet Theatre retrospective for the first time.
In April 1998, invited by the City Center in New York, he triumphed with the Red Giselle. The City Center invited him again the following season, with four different programs. Since then, the company has been invited every two years and toured for 3 months across the U.S. and Canada.
His success in the U.S is so great that the New York City Ballet asked him, in 2004, to create a piece in tribute to Balanchine, under the title of Musagète. In July 2001, the Bolshoi Theatre presents a retrospective of the Boris Eifman’s ballets. Meanwhile Mr Molière and Don Juan is presented to the Mariinsky Theatre (Kirov) in St. Petersburg. In 2002, on the occasion of the twenty-five years of the company, the Theatre Marinsky opens its doors to Boris Eifman and present several of his ballets, with his own company.
Boris Eifman's repertoire includes more than forty ballets including his beautiful creation Anna Karenina created in April 2005, The Seagull (based upon the Chekhov's work) created in 2007 and his latest creation Eugene Onegin drawn from the work of A . Pushkin (2009).
The company of the Eifman Ballet Theatre has a loyal audience around the world and regularly tours in: Spain, Holland, France, Italy, Israel, USA, Germany, Greece but also in Eastern Europe, Canada, Finland, China, England ... For the 2010-2011 season, the company was in residence in Genoa (Italy), and toured in the Netherlands, Spain, Baalbeck Festival, USA, Greece, Israel ... In December 2010, to mark the end of the Year of Russia in France the company performed at the prestigious “Théâtre des Champs-Elysees” in Paris and at the “Maison de la Danse” at Lyon.
In recognition of his impressive career, Boris Eifman was promoted in France Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.