A novel in verse written by Alexander Pushkin - a classic of Russian literature,  romantic, psychological story of love and betrayal, tragedy and drama closes San Francisco Ballet season with Eugene Onegin in a magnificent setting. The new stage and costume design by Santo Loquasto, inspired by Russian culture, corresponded perfectly to the time when the poem was born to great Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (the founder of the Russian literature). Details such as Tatiana's letter written on the stage curtain,  birch trees in the background and Russian tea kettle, known as Samovar set on the table, are just a few to mention.

Luke Ingham danced the part of Eugene Onegin with Shanghai born, principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet, Yuan Yuan Tan dancing the part of Tatiana.
The creativity of Yuan Yuan Tan left us speechless. Delicate, feminine, flexible, truly a professional in the world of ballet. Her artistry and skill has left an indelible mark.
So fragile, slender, yet stately, elegant,  distinctive and strong-willed in the dance, Yuan Yuan Tan delivered most complicated elements and combinations of ballet so perfectly.
Luke and Yuan managed to convey to viewers the core of famous poem, characteristics of the main characters, taking us back in the age and years when the poem was written. True professionalism of classical ballet.

John Cranko ballet from 1965 has not been much performed in the States and made its premiere in San Francisco in 2012. Onegin had been on SF Ballet Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson's wish list for quiet a while.

It’s one of those dramatic story ballets that are very good for the Company members to experience and be challenged by, especially some who have been with me for a while
— Helgi Tomasson

The ballet's orchestra, under Martin West performed music by Tchaikovsky brilliantly.
The corps de ballet multiple jetés diagonally across the stage excited the audience, triggering a round of applause. After 45 years of the premiere of Onegin, Cranko's masterpiece still has the power to astonish the audience. Helgi Tomasson's choreography left the audience looking forward to next season.  Now this is the Ballet!


Photos courtesy San Francisco Ballet