Beyond Sin (Ballet by Boris Eifman) - Bolshoi Theatre
Choreography: Boris Eifman
Based on the novel by F. Dostoyevsky
Music by S. Rachmaninov, M. Mussorgsky, R. Wagner
Sets and costumes: Vyacheslav Okunev
Premiered on 10 October 1995
For all the multitude of differences which divide them, Dmitri, Ivan and Alyosha are linked to each other by invisible threads: for the "stinking, sinful" blood of their father, Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov, runs in their veins.
The monk Alyosha tries in vain to soften the impact of passions which have got out of hand. He is an observer of the bitter rivalry between his father and brother Dmitri for the favors of Grushenka, of his father s constant drunken orgies, of the desperate veering backwards and forwards of Katerina Ivanovna s emotions who is unable to decide whether it is Dmitri or Ivan she loves. But not only is Alyosha incapable of helping his nearest and dearest, he too discovers within himself to an increasing degree the despicable traits of "Karamazovship".
Ivan, who is full of compassion for "the insulted and the injured", hates his father and Dmitri, his brother. The whole family is drawn into the battle for Grushenka between Fyodor Pavlovich and Dmitri Karamasov. Fyodor Pavlovich is killed... and Dmitri is accused of his father s murder.
Dmitri is in prison. He is innocent of the crime of which he is accused and the loss of Grushenka is a very heavy blow for him.
Ivan and Alyosha argue endlessly about the meaning of existence and about man s soul. Their argument assumes material form in the figures of the Great Inquisitor and of Christ, who has come back to the sinful world, in the legend composed by Ivan. The Inquisitor-Ivan asserts that only tyrany can give people "weak creatures such as they have been created, peaceful, humble happiness". But Christ-Alyosha wishes to free people of their fear and to provide them with "a free heart so that they may determine what is good and what is evil"
A gesture from The Inquisitor - and an obedient crowd is again ready to crucify Christ. "Why have you come here to hinder us?.. Be off and never come back, never!"
Ivan is lacerated by pangs of conscience: he accuses himself of having harbored a wish to kill his father. Reality and fantasy become confused in his mind and he sees the ghost of Fyodor Pavlovich...
Ivan comes to visit Dmitri who is languishing in jail in order to confess to him his sinful desires. Despite the prison bars, the brothers are reconciled and they now love each other.
Alyosha is unable to watch human suffering and, driven by love for his fellow men, he frees the convicts incarcerated in "The House of the Dead". Their heads reeling from the belief that "everything is permitted" to them, the convicts destroy everything on their path.
The family come to a dreadful end: Fyodor Pavlovich is murdered, Dmitri is in jail, Ivan goes off his head, Alyosha is made responsible for the fate of numerous innocent victims...But, however far sinful man may fall, he may be saved if he repents for his sins.