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A Set Designer's Anniversary Exhibition

A Set Designer's Anniversary Exhibition

Photos courtesy of the A.A. Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum

September 22 marks the 75th anniversary of Eduard Kochergin, a famous set designer and art director of the G.A. Tovstonogov Big Drama Theatre. An exhibition dedicated to the artist will open at the A.A. Bakhrushin Theatre Museum on his birthday. "I am dedicating this exhibition," says Kochergin, "to the memory of famous directors and artists, with whom I had the pleasure of working, creators of legendary productions that are now part of the treasury of the national theatre culture".

The bulk of the exhibition reflects three of the most important periods in the set designer's career: his collaboration with Georgy Tovstonogov, Lev Dodin and Kama Ginkas. In addition, the exhibition features Kochergin's sketches and set models to the productions of Boris Ravenskikh, Yuri Lyubimov, Henrietta Yanovskaya, Sergei Yursky, Adolf Shapiro, and Temur Chkheidze.

The bulk of the exposition is made up of the materials from collections of the A.A. Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum, the Saint-Petersburg State Museum of Theatre and Music, the F.M. Dostoyevsky Literary Memorial Museum, the Moscow Art Theatre School Museum, as well as items from Eduard Kochergin's private collection. The exhibition will run through October 19.

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To America with a Russian Eliot

To America with a Russian Eliot

The Eugene O'Neill Theatre Centre has invited "Russian" Americans Cazimir Liske and Odin Biron, who remained in Russia following their studies at the Moscow Art Theatre School, to take part in a dramaturgic conference. The latter, in turn, invited composer Alexander Manotskov, choreographer Oleg Glushkov, actress Inna Sukhoretskaya, and director Kirill Vytoptov to collaborate on a joint production. They selected poetry by Thomas Stearns Eliot. Participation in this rather spontaneous project by a composer and a choreographer proposes an abundance of dance and musical numbers (the actors all know how to play musical instruments). American audiences got to see the results of the work of the Russian visitors on August 15; the project is expected to be shown in Moscow at the end of September.

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"Gavroche" with a German Accent

From September 14 through 23, Moscow's Teatrium on Serpukhovka is hosting another children's theatre festival "Gavroche", which this year has a German accent. You will recall that the festival is structured as a meeting of the Russian children's theatre with a children's theatre from one of the European countries (in previous years, those were France, Sweden and Italy). The German guests will come to Moscow with "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" from Dresden (director Christian Fuchs combined drama and shadow play for children six and up), "H2O" from Hamm (a production for two-year-olds who like to splash around in the water – in other words, for the audience that experiences the most acute theatre deficit), "Peter and the Wolf" from Berlin in Nikolaus Woernle's production (elimination of musical illiteracy for children five and above), "Klasse Klasse", also from Berlin, in the production of Michael Vogel, who resolved to address the most complex audience – teenagers, and the most universal theme – school. Russia will respond with productions of "The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales" by the Ivanovo Puppet Theatre, "Bicycle with Red Wheels" by Saratov's Kiselev Academic Youth Theatre, "Hello, Ray" by the SamArt Samara Theatre for Young Spectators, and "The Girl Who Could Fly" by Teatrium on Serpukhovka.

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Space and Time Through the Prism of Theatre

Space and Time Through the Prism of Theatre

International theatre festival of educational techniques Chronotopos: Time and Space in Theatre will take place in Cyprus on September, 16 – 22 under the patronage of Theatre Education & Training Committee of ITI.

Festival’s art director is a famous teacher and “collector” of various techniques, trainings  and exercises for actors,  Jurij Alschitz, will also act as “a moderator and instigator” of  discussions on problems of a modern theatre. Four festival days out of five will be given for practical training with international theatre teachers. Groups will work simultaneously, participants are allowed to rotate. On the fifth day the groups will present the outcome of their training, their leaders will talk about the techniques and all the participants will discuss their efficiency at the roundtable discussion.

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Pyotr Fomenko died

Pyotr Fomenko died

On August 9, 2012 a famous Russian director Pyotr Fomenko has passed away because of the aftereffects of a heart  attack, he was 80. During his career Pyotr Fomenko  staged more than 60 plays in Russian and foreign theatres and founded one of Moscow leading theatres - The Pyotr Fomenko Workshop. He started his career as an actor in 1958. In the 1960s, he became a director and staged performances at Moscow theatres. In 1993 Fomenko founded his own theatre with students from Moscow Theatre Academy, where he worked as a teacher. The Pyotr Fomenko Workshop quickly became popular and performed at different Moscow locations before finally moving into its own quarters in 2000.

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Europe through the prism of drama

Europe through the prism of drama

On June 14 – 24 2012 in Wiesbaden and Mainz, Germany, a Biennale of New Plays from Europe will be held in their original language with the simultaneous interpreting into German. This time representatives of 25 countries – from Turkey to Iceland – will be present and perform 31 shows in 25 languages accordingly.

As an addition to this “main course” “complex side dishes” will be served, such as after show discussions, lectures, concerts, DJ shows, seminars on translation of theatre text and other pleasures of the brain and body. Among the plays presented for the biennale is Serbian Gypermnezia (written by eight actors reminiscing on their Yugoslavian childhood), Latvian Black Milk (written by Sigarev, staged by Hermanis, Russian Circo Ambulante (written and staged by Andrey Moguchiy and Maxim Issayev, Theatre of Nations) and Murderer by Alexander Molchanov, Moscow Young Generation Theatre, a new trilogy by Mark Ravenhill from Great Britain and many others.

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Juliette Binoche Exonerated Julie

Juliette Binoche Exonerated Julie

Juliette Binoche makes her triumphant return to the stage after a 24-year-long absence, appearing from May 18 through June 24 in Paris's Thйвtre de l'Odйon and from September 20 through 29 in London's Barbican Theatre. Frйdйric Fisbach directed Strindberg's "Miss Julie" with Binoche in the title role. The action is moved to modern day; servants become employees; social stratification, which was of tremendous importance in Strindberg's day, loses its relevance. The production's creators focused on the psychological problems of people, who are incapable of overcoming their phobias and inhibitions.    

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Marina Abramović Performed in Theatre

Marina Abramović Performed in Theatre

The Teatro Real (Royal Theatre) of Madrid hosted the premiere of one of the season's most unusual productions – "The Life and Death of Marina Abramović". The production was staged by Robert Wilson to the music of American composer Anthony Hegarty and featured the stage debut of Svetlana Spajić, a Serbian folk music performer and fellow countrywoman of the artist-performansist. The driving force behind the idea was Marina Abramović herself, who offered to theatricalize... her own funeral. The task of theatricalizing her own life turned out to be no less complicated: her relationship with her mother, the cultivation of the kind of obsessive inner dedication without which art would have been impossible, a journey along the Great Wall of China (2500 km of road in order to part from her beloved), the process of washing the meat and blood off some lamb bones (to prove that spilt blood cannot be washed off), and other artistic actions that came so close to the boundaries of life.    

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A White Night's Dream

A White Night's Dream

From May 25 through July 15 St Petersburg will be hosting the "Stars of the White Nights" Festival, one of the chief projects of the indefatigable Valery Gergiev. "Boris Godunov" in Graham Vick's production will be the festival's principal operatic debut. Daniele Finzi Pasca, who staged "Aida" at the Mariinsky Theatre, will continue his collaboration with the theatre by staging Giuseppe Verdi's "Requiem". The other significant premiere is George Balanchine's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" set to the music of Mendelssohn. For the first time the famous Scottish percussionist Evelyn Glennie will perform together with the symphony orchestra under the direction of Valery Gergiev. And maestro himself will pay tribute to Brahms – he will conduct all of the composer's symphonies and instrumental concerts. Theatre stars Chulpan Khamatova and Evgeni Mironov will take part in one of the numerous concerts of the "Stars of the White Nights" Festival. 

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Avignon Thinks About Russia

Avignon Thinks About Russia

This July Avignon is hosting theatregoers from all over the world at the festival whose artistic image will be defined this time around by Simon McBurney, actor, director and writer. In keeping with the tradition, the festival's artistic director must show his own production. McBurney's choice fell on "The Master and Margarita" (the director came to Moscow expressly for the purpose of working on the production). This is not the first production of Bulgakov in Mcburney's career – he had already staged Alexander Raskatov's opera "The Heart of a Dog", and his "The Master and Margarita" is currently playing in London. Arthur Nauzyciel's "The Seagull", which picks up the story from the end - from Treplev's funeral, will continue the Russian theme. 

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