Reception for Boris Eifman at Russian Pointe Dance Boutique

Aleksandra Efimova and Boris EifmanBoris Eifman

The Moscow Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International, chaired by Aleksandra Efimova and Prince Piotr Galitzine, was proud to host a pre-performance reception for Russian choreographer Boris Eifman on May 17, prior to the Eifman Ballet’s performance at the Auditorium Theater.

A native of St. Petersburg, Mr. Eifman is known for his expressionistic ballets that explore psychological themes and showcase bold, athletic, cutting-edge choreography.

His newest ballet, Rodin, follows the story of French sculptor Auguste Rodin’s turbulent love affair with Camille Claudel, his mistress and muse. Set to the music of Ravel, Saint-Saens and Massenet—all contemporaries of the sculptor who lived in Paris from 1840-1917—the ballet explores themes of artistic inspiration, madness, sexual desire, and the terrible price of genius.

More than 80 esteemed guests attended the elegant pre-performance reception at the Russian Pointe Dance Boutique, which included cocktails, hors d’oeuvers, and a chance to meet the famous choreographer before attending the ballet.

Alexei Kremnev, The Joffrey Ballet Academy’s Artistic Director, called the reception a first-class cultural event. “It’s very important to be able to meet close in person some of the brightest and the most talented artists of our generation,” Kremnev said. “The Russian Pointe Dance Boutique certainly plays a very important role in Chicago’s cultural life.”

This is the third time that Ms. Efimova has held a reception for Mr. Eifman at the Russian Pointe Dance Boutique, and she said she is honored to give attendees the opportunity to meet one of Russia’s greatest dance visionaries and to showcase Russia’s high-quality, contemporary ballet.

“I am proud to be able to share Mr. Eifman’s talent with so many Russians and Americans and introduce them to him in an intimate atmosphere,” Ms. Efimova said.

Growing up in St. Petersburg, Ms. Efimova vividly remembers being mesmerized by Mr. Eifman’s ballets as a little girl. “Being able to host a reception for him here in Chicago truly touches my heart,” she said.

At the reception, Mr. Eifman spoke about the new state-of-the-art dance academy that he is building in Russia to provide outstanding dance education to underprivileged children.

Alexander Tseitline, Vice President of Technology and Research at NLMK Indiana Corp., said he and his wife have always loved Mr. Eifman’s innovative ballets, but he said speaking with the choreographer in person gave them a new appreciation for him as a man.

“Boris told us about his dream to teach talented children from deprived families to dance,” Tseitline said. “We realized that his talent is much bigger than just as a ballet innovator and an excellent stage director.”

Chicago Sister Cities International coordinates programs and projects with Chicago’s 28 sister cities and is committed to promoting Chicago as a global city, developing international partnerships and networks, and sharing best practices on a city-to-city basis.

Since its inception in 1960, Chicago Sister Cities International has built bridges between the people of Chicago and its international neighbors to achieve greater mutual understanding and to strengthen civic, economic, and cultural ties. Chicago has been a sister city with Moscow since 1997.