The Pygmalion Effect ballet, Boris Eifman’s first venture in the tragicomedy genre, took place at the Dubai Opera on November 7th and 8th. The choreographer presented a ballet interpretation of the Pygmalion tale about a sculptor who fell in love with his creation, a captivating woman’s sculpture that came to life. Entangled in the story’s historical and cultural value, Eifman delivered his standpoint on this story in a graceful and dainty ballet. The production was hosted by ViWhite, a pioneer company in the show industry, focusing on the UAE as a cultural center for the entertainment sphere.
Once again, he outdid himself with this piece of work, detailedly exploring the manners in which a tale could be told from a physical perspective, exploring how body movements can express characters and cultures. The storyline presented in the ballet begins with a superstar ballroom dancer who “sculpts” a classy ordinary girl into a skilled dancing doll. With Johann Strauss the Son’s music, the ballet embodies the storytelling of the heroine’s character development.
The Pygmalion Effect ballet refers to a series of psychological studies that explain a phenomenon that occurs when humans achieve success driven by others’ high expectations. This effect illustrates situations in which people improve their behavior and performance due to the pressure of high expectations. As a tenacious passionate about the human soul and mind, Boris Eifman justified the topic and title of his ballet by portraying the human mind and its flexibility to change and accomplish things by undergoing motivations and impulses.
Boris Eiman, a persistent thinker of the human soul, expressed how enigmatic human nature is, full of unknown potential, discoveries, and particular energy that allow each human being to develop into a better version. What is so odd about this is how humans remain unaware of this potential and need an external force to help unlock these capabilities. The influence of other people plays a leading role in personal development and growth.
The ballet The Pygmalion Effect is an interpretation of the mythical tale about an artist and his beloved sculpture from a perspective in which art and life are entwined but never end up being one. The ballet’s main character is an outskirts girl who enters the rich and remarkable world of performances and ballroom dancing when she meets a bespoke performer who decides to transform her into a top dancer. Through hard work and body movement transformation, the heroine embraces the challenge, amused by the glamorous world she lives in. What starts as a fun and exciting venture ends in conflicts of interest and drama.
No matter how much the heroine mastered her movements and improved her dancing skills, reality hits when she realizes that there is no equality in the extravagant world of ballroom dancing; poverty and luxury are cruelly separated, and one cannot escape it. The character ends up devastated by her realization, holding on to her most profound dreams and fantasies.
In this production, Eifman portrays a comprehensive artistic and intellectual portrait of the human mind and the ability to unlock levels of self-development.
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