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The Bolshoy Theatre on YouTube and at Home

The Bolshoy Theatre on YouTube and at Home

Many people want to get inside the renovated Bolshoy Theatre, but so far it is nearly impossible due to the frenzy surrounding it. However, theatregoers now have a new opportunity to meet the country's main theatre: the Bolshoy has set up its own YouTube channel, where it uploads virtual tours, legendary recordings of the past and, of course, new productions.

Musicians have another opportunity to get inside the Bolshoy Theatre: December 4th through 9th, the theatre will be holding a competition to fill several vacancies within the orchestra (two first violins, one second violin, two violas, as well as deputy accompanists for cellos and double bass).

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"The School" Awaits a Teacher

Sergei Kapkov, the new head of Moscow's Department of Culture, is actively negotiating with director Anatoly Vasiliev regarding his return to Moscow to the School of Dramatic Art Theatre that he had created.  Kapkov emphasizes, however, that the initiative for this move did not come from his department.  Unofficial negotiations for Vasiliev's return began much earlier, and now they entered the official stage.  Vasiliev does not exclude the possibility of returning at least in teaching capacity to the theatre building located at 20 Povarskaya Street. 

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Elections and Reelections

Elections and Reelections

Alexander Kalyagin was selected Chairman of the Theatre Union of Russia for the fourth time.  He was formally in competition with his assistant Gennady Smirnov (the latter actively encouraged the high assembly to vote for his "opponent").     Mr. Kalyagin announced his plans for the next five years of Theatre Union leadership. According to him, it is necessary to create a centre that would accumulate information about all of the country's theatres.  This organization should resemble the Civic Chamber.  Theatre historian Alexander Chepurov, professor of the Department of Russian Theatre Studies, filled the position of Acting President of the St Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy - another position that is very important to the theatre world. 

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An Un-theatrical Reaction

An Un-theatrical Reaction

Theatre de la Ville of Paris issued an address to the theatre community, signed by notable theatre figures, wherein it informed the community about an attack against the freedom of artistic expression on the part of right-wing fundamentalists.  The letter was triggered by attacks on the part of Catholic fundamentalists during the performances of Romeo Castellucci's "'J' Project. On the Concept of the Face, Regarding the Son of God".  An organized group of spectators was shouting out protests "Down with Christianophobia", waving posters, throwing eggs and stink bombs, and spraying tear gas.  Theatre staff was forced to call the police.  The address contains a request for thorough investigation into what happened.

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The Festival of Rising Sun

The Festival of Rising Sun

The Sakhalin Island acquired its own theatre festival - its capital Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk played host to the very first Sakhalin Footlights Festival.  Its proximity to many Asian countries and a certain informational shortage (mutual one, at that) make this festival a very profitable venue for theatrical "investments".  Theatres from Moscow ("The Sakhalin Wife" and "The Nutcracker" ballet) and St Petersburg ("Natasha's Dream"), as well as a team of critics and managers have all come to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to meet with companies from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Blagoveshchensk, Komsomolsk-on-Amur, and Ussuriysk.   The Sakhalin Footlights can be called a festival of new drama.  Its "oldest" play was "The Suicide", which served as the basis for the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk production of "To Be or Not to Be".

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Shakespeare in All Languages

Shakespeare in All Languages

Two directors will be representing Russia at the first World Shakespeare Festival that will take place in Britain.  The Festival will be part of the Cultural Olympiad, coinciding with the 2012 Summer Olympic Games that will be held in London.  Shakespeare will be presented in 37 languages, and the geography of his productions will include countries like New Zealand, Afghanistan and South Sudan - all very exotic places from the mainstream theatre perspective.  Festival organizers prefer directors who do not restrict themselves artistically, but also do not stray too far from the original.

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Meyerhold's Anniversary

Meyerhold's Anniversary

Vsevolod Meyerhold, the great theatre reformer and creator of the famous biomechanics, was shot to death in 1940 in the NKVD torture chamber.  A month after his arrest, his beautiful wife, actress Zinaida Reich, was brutally murdered in their own apartment - unknown assailants inflicted multiple stab wounds and disappeared.  Afterwards the government quickly moved in new tenants into Meyerhold and Reich's apartment in the famous "House of Artists" on Bryusov Lane.   Those were people from security services, who had nothing to do with theatre.

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The Maly Theatre Will Raise the Flags of Europe

The Maly Theatre Will Raise the Flags of Europe

From March 10 to April 23, the Maly Theatre, newest member of the Union of the Theatres of Europe, will play host to its theatre establishment colleagues. It will be recalled that the Union of the Theatres of Europe has already been around for twenty-one years and is funded by the European Union, which is invested in creating a united cultural space.  It is comprised of 22 theatres from 14 countries (two of them Russian).   The showing of productions by participating theatres is accompanied by workshops by leading directors and exhibitions by set designers, who play a key role in the European theatre space.  So the Maly Theatre will have to bring its entire complex into play: the Main Stage, the branch stage, and the Schepkin School.  Over five hundred representatives of the European cultural elite are expected at the festival.

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On the Spanish Shore

On the Spanish Shore

For almost two years the Russian Youth Theatre has been preparing for a premiere of Tom Stoppard's “The Coast of Utopia”: a ten-hour production, whose main characters are liberal ideas of Herzen, Bakunin, Ogarev, Chaadayev, and Belinsky. In this year “The Coast of Utopia” was invited to Madrid by the Spanish National Drama Centre and received excellent reviews in the press. “A feat unparalleled in the number of performers and the quality of their acting, the orchestration of movement, the individual acting, the beauty of monologues and the strength of silence. It is the level of the Bridge Project, the level of Robert Lepage,” wrote J. S. Deus. “Director Alexei Borodin and set designer Stanislav Benediktov tapped into the true and distinct pulse by visualizing the opinion in exactly such a way as to have ideas become theatre,” echoed Javier Villan (El Mundo). “The Coast” has proven that lamentations of the imminent demise of theatre of thought and theatre of word were groundless.

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