Ballet is a very special art form that gives us an opportunity to permeate into the subconscious and dive into the heart of psychological drama. Each new ballet is an expedition into the unknown.
Tolstoy’s novel, Anna Karenina, has always captured my interest. When reading Tolstoy, one can viscerally feel the author’s acute understanding of his characters’ psyche and revel in his astonishing sensitivity and incredible detail in portraying life in Russia. The novel, Anna Karenina, allows us not only to submerge deep into the psyche of the heroine, but also to fully understand her psychoerotic essence. Even today’s literature does not offer such passion, metamorphoses, and phantasmagorias. All this stood at the core of my choreographic investigation.
The Karenine family’s steady rhythm of life – the government service of the head of the family, the family’s strict adherence to societal norms – created an illusion of harmony and peace. But Anna’s passion for Vronsky crushed the familiar. The sincerity of the feelings between the two lovers was reviled and openly criticized. Karenin’s hypocrisy was acceptable for everyone but Anna. She preferred the sweeping passion for the man she loved to the duty of a mother to her son – and thus condemned herself to the life of an outcast.
She did not find happiness in travels, her husband’s rich estate, or the habitual amusement of the society in which she lived. Instead, she fell captive to a woman’s tragic enslavement to her sensuality.
I understand a woman who becomes dependent on a man. This dependence, however, like any other disease, brings only suffering.
Eventually, Anna is driven to commit suicide in order to break free and put an end to her unbearable and torturous life. Like in a werewolf, two people lived in Anna : one was the outwardly known lady of high society, who was familiar to Karenin, her son, and every one around her. The other was a woman drowning in a sea of passion.
What is more important – to preserve the widely accepted illusion of harmony between duty and emotion, or to allow sincere passion to take over ? Do we have the right to destroy our family and to rid a child of a mother for the sake of carnal pleasure ? These questions beleaguered Tolstoy in the past, and they are still inescapable today.
Yet there are no answers. There is just the unquenchable thirst for understanding, either in life or in death.