Chicago, IL

Chicago Dance Lovers Impacted by War in Ukraine as Russia's Eifman Ballet Cancels Performances

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

The Eifman Ballet canceles May performances in Chicago, citing. "COVID-19 restrictions for international travel and the current geopolitical climate"

With the pandemic seeming to be winding down or at least under control, many establishments have been reopened and some activites are being held for the first time in two years or more. Theater goers in Chicago have been particularly excited as the cities theaters and local and visiting performance groups have started scheduling upcoming shows.

However, while the pandemic may not be halting all performances in Chicago as it did this time last year, the war in the Ukraine is now affecting what performances are being held in the city. One such cancelation is the Eifman Ballet which was scheduled to perform Russian Hamlet, one of their most popular ballets, at the Chicago Auditorium Theatre on May 20, May 21, and May 22, 2022. It reimagines the Shakespeare original, focusing the storyline on the ignoble times of Tzar Paul I, who was assasinated and replace by his son, who was involved in his fathers deposition.

The Eifman Ballet canceled the upcoming Chicago performances, saying it wasn't a good time for a Russian ballet to visit.Their new schedule includes performances only held in Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin is among Eifman's biggest fans and presented him with the country’s highest honor, the Order for the Merit to the Fatherland in 2012.

The St. Petersburg ballet company was founded by reknowned choreographer Boris Eifman in 1977. Eifman is known for having created his own style of ballet and has been referred to as “one of the leading choreographers in the world” and an “amazing magician of the theater”. Tp date he has chroreographed over 50 ballets and a number of movies.

While you won't be able to see the ballet company perform in Chicago this year, you can watch an exerpt of Russian Hamlet in the video below:

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