Everyone knows about Pinocchio’s nose, which when he lies, grows and grows. But the Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, which brings the ballet version of the classic Italian tale to City Center, April 19-20, tells the tale differently. A ballet for both children and adults, “Pinocchio” is performed as part of Eifman Ballet’s New York season.
A Russian spectacle of shimmering light and color, the stage of Eifman’s “Pinocchio” is crowded with a cast of fantastical characters including donkeys, fairies, a fox, a dove, pirates, gypsies and clowns. In the ballet, Karabas, an evil magician with the soul of a dictator, dreams of turning the world into a puppet theater. It is the irrepressibly mischievous Pinocchio, who misadventure after misadventure, finally with the aid of The Good Fairy, saves the day. How Pinocchio succeeds, why and what finally becomes of him is the subject of this riveting ballet. Performed by Eifman’s internationally renowned dancers, the ballet, created in 1989, is a story of the victory of compassion over cruelty and dictatorship.