With its tortured romance and soaring choreography, John Cranko’s “Onegin” feels right at home on the Royal Opera House stage. Cranko famously toyed with Pushkin’s plot when adapting the poet’s nineteenth-century verse-novel into a ballet back in 1965; even more famously he passed over Tchaikovsky’s opera “Eugene Onegin” when choosing his score, instead setting his work to a mish-mash of lesser-known Tchaikovsky variations. An element Cranko preserved from both works, however, was the pathos that cloaks Tatiana’s eventual rejection of Onegin—something the Royal Ballet takes to new heights here with an inspired and heart-wrenching final scene.
Marianela Núñez and Thiago Soares in the Royal Ballet's “Onegin.” Photograph by Tristram Kenton
When a choreographer takes on volcanic and iconic works from American musical giants like Leonard Bernstein and John Adams one move they could take is to cool them down with a couple of more soothing European works in between.Continue Reading