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Family According to the Theory of Relativity

Family According to the Theory of Relativity

Bulgarian director Javor Gardev, known to Russian audiences for his movie "Zift" and his stage production of Jordi Galceran's "The Grцnholm Method" at the Theatre of Nations, once again came to work in Russia. This time around he staged a fantastical tragicomedy "Cancun", authored by the very same Galceran, at St Petersburg's theatre "The Shelter of a Comedian". Galceran, author of multilayered, intellectual conundrums, sets up the problem (the family stops recognizing the mother) and the possible solutions: one can suppose, for example, that it is simply a cruel joke or a shift in time and space according to Einstein. Thus it becomes difficult to define the production's genre – whether it is a quantum mystery play or a family improvement course.

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Theatre Went to School

Theatre Went to School

Children in general do not much like reading, as we all know, and do not always hold literature courses in high regard. Russian theatre actors decided to combat that attitude. Sergei Bezrukov, Elizaveta Boyarskaya, Yuri Galtsev, Ivan Krasko, Aristarkh Livanov, Irina Mazurkevich, Sergei Parshin, Sergei Safronov, Tatyana Tkach, and others took part in creating a large-scale educational project called "Audioanthology" - an audio course based on school curricula (and beyond) instituted by the Ministry of Education. Production directors, sound technicians, editors, and academic advisors work on every audio track. Over six hundred classics from Russian and world literature have already been recorded; over one hundred hours of audio compiled. 

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Children of the "Underground"

Children of the

The "Underground" studio began operating at the Vakhtangov Theatre in the month of May. The official grand opening will take place in autumn of this year. The goal of the studio is to draw a bridge between an institution of higher education, where young artists show off their talents, and professional theatre, where they often end up waiting for years for a decent debut, gradually squandering all they've learned. The "Underground" studio is expected to expand its employment beyond just the graduates from the Shchukin Theatre Institute: the Vakhtangov School, which for many years remained closed off, has recently begun to advocate more and more intermixing of theatre blood.

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Mozart is easier

Mozart is easier

The International Conference “Russian Music Theatre NOW” took place in St-Petersburg. It is being held by ITI Committee of Music Theatre on the threshold of Music Theatre Now competition. The conference gave a chance to us - Russian modern opera theatre - to see people of the world musical theatre and to be seen by them. The conference was organized by Russian National Centre of ITI and Russian Association of Music theatres (CEO – Natalya Zykova). Members of ITI Committee of Music Theatre participated in the conference, such as Nico Schaafsma (the Netherlands), manager of music theatre department of Performing Arts Fund, Laura Berman (Germany), art director of Bregenz Festival, dramatist Roland Peter (Germany), director of Music Theatre NOW international competition, theatre producer Wong Yue Wai (Hong Kong), director and dramatist Tian Mansha (China), art director of Meta Theatre Axel Tangerding (Germany), art director of Antwerp Muziektheatr Transparant Guy Coolen (Belgium) et al.

One of the program items was the presentation of a long-last project Music Theatre Now, which invites modern music shows to virtual competition (there is no budget for a real one) and exchange of experience. Some extracts presented by Laura Berman, a leader of this year Music Theatre NOW, demonstrate a high level of producting. By the 25th of July music theatres of the world are invited to submit videotaped performances for the jury from five continents. They are Brett Bailey, South Africa, Martin Bauer, Argentina, Beth Morrison, USA, Roland Quitt, Germany, and Danny Yung, Hong Kong. Eighteen shows will be chosen and their authors will be invited to Jцnkцping, Sweden to the Swedish Biennial for Performing Arts on May 22-26, 2013 with mini-lecture and presentation.

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Bad Boys and Good Girls

Bad Boys and Good Girls

The traditional Dance Open Festival is being held in St.Petersburg from April 13 to 16. It will open with a unique sort of ode to the St.Petersburg ballet school – junior ballet dancers from all over the world will demonstrate what they learned from their St.Petersburg instructors in a class concert. There will be a separate gala concert dedicated to Natalia Dudinskaya, where Uliana Lopatkina, Vladimir Malakhov, Victoria Tereshkina, Yonah Acosta, Joseph Gatti, Natalia Osipova, Ivan Vasiliev, and many others will be performing dances from her repertoire. Rasta Thomas' Bad Boys of Dance, an American company that boldly mixes the classics, martial arts, tap dance, acrobatics and contemporary dance, laying claim to the title of the world's most fascinating male dance show, will also be presenting their program at the Festival. Following the final gala concert, the jury will select Mister and Miss Virtuosity, Mister and Miss Expressiveness, and the best duet, while the audience will decide who is worthy of its special prize.

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To London! To Moscow!

To London! To Moscow!

The St. Petersburg State Academic Ballet Theatre under the direction of Boris Eifman is celebrating its 35th anniversary on the road.

In April of this year the company is being welcomed by London's Coliseum Theatre, where they will present "Anna Karenina" and "Onegin" (set to the music of not only Tchaikovsky but also of rock composer Alexander Sitkovetsky).

During its anniversary year the theatre will tour in China, Mexico, USA, Germany, Italy, Finland, and Australia. Moscow will not be left out either – the choreographer will present his new ballet "Rodin", with its spectacular scenes involving the creation of sculptures using the dancers' bodies, on the stage of the Bolshoi Theatre in May.

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The Swap of Languages and Directors

The Swap of Languages and Directors

2012 is the year that France is hosting the season of Russian language and literature and Russia – the season of French language and literature. This is a continuation of 2010, the Year of Russia-France, and the Chekhov Moscow Art Theatre's project "French Theatre. First Time in Russian", during which five French directors together with actors and students of the Moscow Art Theatre created production projects based on French plays that were translated into Russian for the very first time. As a result, two of those projects – "Shaga" and "Fairies" – became full-blown productions. This season work began on four plays at once (following a tough competition between a hundred plays and dozens of directors). The four plays are Pascal Rambert's "Clфture de l'amour" ("The Limits of Love") (Evgeniya Dobrovolskaya and Andrei Kuzichev perform two confessions, a man's and a woman's, two love soliloquies that never make it into a dialogue.) Copi's "An Inopportune Visit" – a play about theatre, where the acting continues even beyond life. "Circles/Fictions", a play about the circles of human history from the Middle Ages to the present, by Joлl Pommerat, who has already endeared himself to the Russian audience. And, last but not least, Marguerite Duras' "Savannah Bay", where two women, one young and one old, are playing theatre of their memories. "We are teaching one of the world's most sophisticated theatres – the French – to speak Russian," said Oleg Tabakov.

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Donnellan Returned to Cinematography

Donnellan Returned to Cinematography

Declan Donnellan, a famous British theatre director (and, perhaps, the most "Russian" of all foreign directors), artistic director of the Cheek by Jowl Theatre, made a film version of Maupassant's "Bel Ami". An unexpected parallel: Maupassant's main novel was published in Russia even earlier than in France, just like Donnellan's book "The Actor and the Target". "This is a modern-day story – a man who rises to the top despite having absolutely no talent," said the director. The film features actors Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Christina Ricci.

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And Firs Is So Young

And Firs Is So Young

In the beginning of May, Hamburg's Thalia Theatre hosted the premiere of its director's, Luk Perceval's, production of "The Cherry Orchard". The Russian audiences should be able to see this production at the next Stanislavsky Season Festival that will take place the year of the classic's 150th anniversary. Luk Percival is often prepared to sacrifice a letter (even Chekhov's letter) for the sake of the spirit of the work. This time it was Carl Hegemann, a German playwright, who adapted Chekhov's play to today's reality. The action unfolds in the mind of Firs, who has been forgotten by everyone else. He remembers the high points of his life and himself as a young, strong man. And when he picks Ranevskaya up in his arms and begins spinning her around in a dance, the audience no longer has any doubt – the loss of the cherry orchard, one's roots and graves destroys all hope that life can go on.

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Harps and Orpheuses

Harps and Orpheuses

On March 19, Switzerland's Vidy-Lausanne Theatre with the participation of the Chekhov International Theatre Festival hosted the premiere of Vladimir Pankov's production "The Syndrome of Orpheus" based on the works of Jean Cocteau ("Orpheus"), Vladimir Mayakovsky ("The Backbone Flute" and "A Cloud in Trousers") and Christoph Gluck ("Orpheus and Eurydice"). Vladimir Pankov was presented in Switzerland as an inventor of the universe and an initiator of collisions between theatre disciplines. The production will be performed in two languages by the actors from both countries: Pavel Akimkin, Manon Andral, Joele Antonioli, Sandra Bourdais, Olga Demina, Alisa Estrina, Alexander Gusev, Pyotr Markin, Jonas Marmy, Karine Mkrtchyan, and Anastasia Sytcheva. Following ten premiere showings the project will go on a big tour across France. Moscow audiences will be able to see the production in July of 2013.

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