Left – Reiko Hombo and Daniel Gaudiello. Cover – Madeline Eastoe and Andrew Killian. Photos – Belinda Strodder
Why is it that good girls always seem to fall for the bad boys? Is it the dark brooding features, hint of danger or glimpse into the exciting unknown?
Onegin delves into the psyche of the original bad boy in John Cranko's 1965 narrative ballet of the same name.
It is a tale as old as time itself, remaining as relevant as ever 100 years after the original concept of arrogant aristocrat Eugene Onegin was created by Russian poet Alexander Pushkin.
It is simple, romantic and oh so familiar; good girl falls for the handsome stranger who in turn pays her no heed. Instead of giving up, this ambivalence only makes the hero more attractive, more desirable, more unattainable.
Pulsing with lust, love and betrayal, the current production of Onegin is a passionate display of naivety, temptation and misplaced desire.
Resurrected after 16 years, The Australian Ballet has added the much-loved ballet to its repertoire in celebration of their 50th birthday celebrations.
This exceptional ballet and demanding choreography commands so much from its performers and yet the roles are so intricate and wonderfully rich it is easy to see why they are so coveted.
Requiring more than simply flawless technique, Onegin needs performers with a strong presence capable of dominating the stage. Adam Bull (playing the title character) is one such presence whose raw energy and sexuality made him the perfect anti-hero and obvious choice for Tatiana's (Amber Scott) first love.
Both impeccable in their technique, the two drive the story with their passionate performance, sweeping the audience into their world of romance and ultimately tragedy.
However it is Kevin Jackson as Lensky, (Onegin's friend and fiancé to Tatiana's sister Olga) who stole the show. An incredible form, Jackson is the definition of "art in motion." He dances as though his life depends on it, and with all the passion of a young man madly in love. Partnered with the stunning Leanne Stojmenov as Olga, the two play a couple very much in love and both are at their best during their scenes together.
Stojmenov is an absolute delight, her expressive face and perfect poise make her an ideal match for Jackson as the two combine a series of powerful lifts and incredible jumps.
Coached by the great Fiona Tonkin and Steven Heathcote, The Australian Ballet dancers had the benefit of years of wisdom and a deep respect and understanding for this much loved ballet.
Onegin is an exceptional piece and an amazing expression of talent. Onegin will move, disturb and break your heart, in the most beautiful way. Like any bad boy, Onegin will leave you speechless and begging for more.
The Australian Ballet Presents
Venue: State Theatre, The Arts Centre Melbourne
Dates: 23 June – 4 July, 2012
Tickets: $39 – $190