In his 1965 three-act ballet Onegin, based on the 19th century novel Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin, the illustrious South African choreographer John Cranko created one of the most affecting and powerful of all modern narrative ballets. Emotionally complex and powered by a rare level of psychological realism and nuance, Onegin satisfies by being grounded in the naturalism, historical context and detail of its original source while soaring with some of the most evocative and universally expressive choreography found in any ballet.
Set to music by Tchaikovsky, Onegin tells the story of the bored Russian aristocrat Eugene Onegin, who meets, seduces and then casually abandons the trusting and innocent Tatiana. Years later, Onegin encounters a much changed, more worldly and selfpossessed Tatiana and, finding himself genuinely in love with her, is himself rejected. With beautifully modulated character development, exquisite choreography and glorious sets and costumes by Santo Loquasto, Onegin is classic balletic storytelling par excellence.
“It's impossible not to get swept up in this foreboding autumn world… All things combined, this Onegin is pure magic”
“A glorious, heartstring-touching sobfest of a ballet – complete with fatal duel – and the National’s dancers play it for all it’s worth.”
— Toronto Star
“A triumphant revival of John Cranko's dance melodrama... (Designer) Loquasto creates a sense of almost surreal other-worldiness”
— Dance International
Three Act Ballet by:
Based on the Novel by Alexander Pushkin
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Arrangement and Orchestrated by:
Set and Costume Design:
James F. Ingalis
Onegin is generously supported by an anonymous friend of the National Ballet.
The National Ballet invites you to attend the Onegin Ballet Talk 45 minutes before every show in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
Enhance your experience and learn more about our productions from Lindsay Fischer, Artistic Director, YOU dance/Principal Ballet Master.
Get more insight into Onegin through our Virtual Museum featuring set and costume sketches, footwear, artifacts and more from the National Ballet Archives.
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