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(CHICAGO, IL) Russia’s most innovative ballet company, Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, returns to the Auditorium Theatre May 17-19 to give the North American premiere to company founder and artistic director Boris Eifman’s The Pygmalion Effect.

Inspired by the classic Greek myth in which a talented sculptor crafts his ideal woman out of marble, The Pygmalion Effect follows the story of a champion ballroom dancer who must turn a clumsy young woman into a graceful dancer. Set to a score by “the Waltz King” Johann Strauss,The Pygmalion Effect is a darkly comedic ballet that explores the psychological phenomenon in which expectations influence reality.

“It is always thrilling to glimpse into Boris Eifman’s mind through his ingenious, original ballets, which we have been presenting to the city since 2000 as Eifman Ballet’s Chicago home,” says C.J. Dillon, Auditorium Theatre Chief Programming Officer. “We are honored to be the first North American city to host The Pygmalion Effect, and we look forward to seeing what twists and turns Eifman has in store for us in this new ballet.”

Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg was established in 1977 by Boris Eifman as a company that would serve as “a ballet theatre” for his original works. Combining the rich traditions of Russian theatre with an original ballet repertoire, Eifman is known for productions that explore the complicated and dramatic aspects of human life. “What we create is a new type of theatre: Russian psychological ballet theatre,” Eifman said to the Los Angeles Times in 2015. “It’s very important, because we try always to pursue our own path artistically and to develop our own style of art — not similar to the Western companies. We try to be individual.”

The company made its Auditorium debut in 2000 with Red Giselle, and has since performed other original works by Eifman on its historic stage, including Up & DownRodin, and The Seagull, among others. Eifman’s creations have been lauded by the Chicago Sun-Times as “virtuosic” and by the Chicago Tribune for their “unrestrained, unabashed drama.” The company’s performance of Red Giselle at the Auditorium Theatre in 2017 was named one of the best dance performances of the year by the Chicago Tribune.

THE NIB FOUNDATION – International Dance Series Sponsor
DENISE LITTLEFIELD SOBEL – Presenting Sponsor
Additional support provided by the ELIZABETH F. CHENEY FOUNDATION.

SPECIAL EIFMAN BALLET EVENTS – For more information or to purchase tickets to these events, please visit AuditoriumTheatre.org.

Young Professionals’ Night | Friday, May 17 at 7:30PM

The Auditorium Theatre hosts a special Young Professionals Night for people ages 21-45 on Friday, May 17. Young Professionals tickets are $50 and include a seat to the performance and a post-show reception at Russian Tea Time that includes light bites and two vodka drinks. Tickets may be reserved online here using the promo code YOUNGPRO. 

FREE Dance Master Class | Saturday, May 18 at 11AM

Dancers from Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg lead a free Dance Master Class at the Auditorium Theatre’s Katten-Landau Studio (425 S Wabash, 4th Floor) on Saturday, May 18 at 11AM. Intermediate and advanced dancers may register for the Master Class here.   

FREE Post-Show Q&A | Sunday, May 19 immediately following the 2PM matinee performance

A free post-show Q&A with members of Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg and the Auditorium Theatre’s Creative Engagement staff takes place immediately following the Sunday, May 19 performance.   


Event Information

Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg – The Pygmalion Effect

Friday, May 17 | 7:30PM
Saturday, May 18 | 7:30PM
Sunday, May 19 | 2PM

Tickets start at $34 and are available online at AuditoriumTheatre.org, by phone at 312.341.2300, or in person at the Auditorium Theatre Box Office. Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more people are also available.

The Auditorium Theatre also offers $15 student rush tickets to full-time college students and $5 tickets to young people ages 13-19 with Urban Gateways’ Teen Arts Pass program. The Auditorium Theatre’s ADMIT ONE program offers complimentary tickets to Chicago-area community groups.


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