Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Beautiful Brazilian Twists

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Beautiful Brazilian Twists

Article excerpt

Byline: LYNDSEY WINSHIP

IF YOU don't know the story of Eugene Onegin, you certainly won't be much the wiser after this, Brazilian choreographer Deborah Colker's take on the classic Pushkin novel. But that's not really the point.

There's no straightforward narrative -- you could call it a character study, except that there's very little differentiation choreographically between the roles. Instead, Colker's angle is to multiply the characters so you have four Tatyanas, four Onegins and so on. At times it's a bit like watching a splitscreen montage, and it's lovely to look at but, to be honest, it doesn't really go much deeper than that. At the centre of it all there's Pushkin himself, pulling the strings and conjuring with his protagonists like a bleach-blond David Copperfield in leatherette.

If you know the book, all the key scenes are here, illustrated in Colker's lucid and lyrical lines, with a touch of quirk -- like the first-flush-of-infatuation scene with Tatyana excitedly kicking her feet and fanning her face, or when the pistols in Onegin and Lensky's duel are replaced by a fan and a deadly silver-topped cane. …

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