Segerstrom Center for the Arts is proud to welcome the return of the Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg with the West Coast Premiere of The Pygmalion Effect May 24–26, 2019 in Segerstrom Hall. A new ballet from the company’s award-winning artistic director and choreographer, Boris Eifman, The Pygmalion Effect is inspired by the Greek mythological tale of Pygmalion – a sculptor who became infatuated with his own life-like carving of a beautiful girl. Renowned for works that are “bold, psychological and highly theatrical” (The New York Times), Boris Eifman infuses his signature choreographic style into this dynamic new production, set to a score by “The Waltz King”
Johann Strauss II.
Single tickets for The Pygmalion Effect start at $29 and are available now online at, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787. For inquiries about group ticket discounts for 10 or more, call the Group Services office at (714) 755-0236.
The Pygmalion Effect is presented with special underwriting from Tim and Mary Harward. Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ International Dance Series is made possible by the Audrey Steele Burnand Endowed Fund for International Dance and The Segerstrom Foundation Endowment for Great Performances. Segerstrom Center for the Arts thanks its corporate partners including Kia Motors America, Official Automotive Partner; and United Airlines, Official Airline. Classical KUSC and COAST Magazine are Media Partners of the International Dance Series.
About The Pygmalion Effect
The Pygmalion Effect received its world premiere in St. Petersburg’s Alexandrinsky Theatre on February 6, 2019. This new production marks chorographer Boris Eifman’s return to the genre of comedy or, more accurately, tragicomedy – a form which the choreographer has perfected. Eifman offers the audience a balletic interpretation of the archetypical story of Pygmalion, the sculptor who fell in love with his own creation. In the ballet the protagonist is a successful ballroom dancer who transforms a clumsy girl into a virtuoso performer against the background of music by Johann Strauss II. This is the first time in the choreographer’s prolific creative career that he has worked with the music of “The Waltz King.”
In this production, Eifman presents a comprehensive artistic and philosophical portrayal of a human personality’s remarkable flexibility and ability to adjust in response to set aims and aspirations. The title is a reference to a well-known physiological phenomenon whereby a person’s performance is positively influenced by the expectations of others.
Eifman said, “We are not fully aware of our real capabilities. Each of us possesses creative energy, which gives a human being capacity for personal development. Nonetheless, in order to achieve transformation, we often need someone to help us find faith in ourselves.” He added, “The Pygmalion Effect is a choreographic interpretation of the myth about an artist and his creation, a new view on how art and life are intricately intertwined but never one and the same.”
About the Artists
The company’s ability to immerse their audiences into the boundless world of human passion, to build a strong spiritual bond, to amaze and sometimes overwhelm them by the intensity and energy of its plastique, has defined and ensured its recognition and the decades-long success of Eifman Ballet’s performances at leading venues around the globe. His works have inspired ballet lovers in Asia, Europe, the Americas and Australia. Don Quixote, I, Red Giselle, Russian Hamlet, Anna Karenina, The Seagull, Eugene Onegin, Rodin, Her Eternal Idol, Beyond Sin, Requiem, Up & Down, Tchaikovsky and PRO et CONTRA represent the highest artistic level of achievement in contemporary Russian ballet.
Boris Eifman is not just a choreographer, he is a philosopher deeply concerned about the issues of today and challenged by the mystique of creativity. Eifman speaks directly to his audience about the most
complex and dramatic aspects of human existence. He defines the genre as “psychological ballet.” The New York Times calls Boris Eifman the leader among living choreographers: “The World in search of a major choreographer need search no more. He is Boris Eifman.”
Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg was established by Boris Eifman in 1977 (the original name of the company was the Leningrad New Ballet). The concept of the New Ballet was more than innovative for its time: from the first days of its work it was conceived and developed as an experimental laboratory, a ballet theatre for one choreographer.
Segerstrom Center for the Arts is an acclaimed arts institution as well as a beautiful multi-disciplinary cultural campus. It is committed to supporting artistic excellence, offering unsurpassed experiences and to engaging the entire community in new and exciting ways through the unique power of live performance and a diverse array of inspiring arts-based education and community engagement programs.
Previously called the Orange County Performing Arts Center, Segerstrom Center is Orange County’s largest non-profit arts organization. In addition to its six performance venues, Segerstrom Center is also home to the American Ballet Theatre William J. Gillespie School.
The Center presents a broad range of programming for audiences of all ages, including international ballet and dance, national tours of top Broadway shows, jazz and cabaret, contemporary artists, classical music performed by renowned chamber orchestras and ensembles, family-friendly programming, free performances open to the public from outdoor movie screenings to dancing on the plaza and many other special events.
Segerstrom Center is a leader among the nation’s performing arts centers for providing education programs designed to inspire young people through the arts. The Center’s programs reach hundreds of thousands of students each year in five Southern California counties. Community engagement programs developed through the Center for Dance and Innovation and Center Without Boundaries also connect the Center more comprehensively with Orange County’s many diverse communities. The CDI supports flagship artistic programming and a wide range of projects that celebrate innovation, nurture creativity and engage audiences of the future. It is home to the ABT Gillespie School and the School of Dance and Music for Children with Disabilities. The Center Without Boundaries develops partnerships with non-cultural organizations to help them in their own efforts to respond to the ever-changing needs of the community.
Segerstrom Center for the Arts is also proud to serve as the artistic home to three of the region’s major performing arts organizations: Pacific Symphony, Philharmonic Society of Orange County and Pacific Chorale, who contribute greatly to the artistic life of the region with annual seasons performed at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
The Pygmalion Effect
Segerstrom Center for the Arts –
Segerstrom Hall
600 Town Center Drive, Costa
Mesa, CA
Friday, May 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Information provided is accurate at the time of printing but is subject to change. Segerstrom Center for the Arts is a public, non-profit organization. “Segerstrom Center for the Arts” is a registered trademark.

This legal notice expires, and will be moved to the archive, on Sunday May 26th, 2019.