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Theatre preview

Marina Lukanina

Pushkin Fairy Tales in Music and Dance
The Sats State Academic Children’s Music Theatre

Photographer D. Kulikov

Pushkin’s fairy tales have always been quite popular among composers, painters and theatre directors. An unusual opening night took place at the Sats Theatre. On March 18th there was the opening night of a performance, called Pushkin Fairy Tales in Music and Dance, which consists of two acts: the first is a symphonic fairy tale about Tsar Saltan based on Rimsky-Korsakov’s music, and the second is the ballet “Blockhead” based on Shostakovich’s music. During the first act the actors read the Tsar Saltan fairy tale accompanied by wonderful music. However, it is best to read this fairy tale prior to coming to this performance since a

When: May 21 at 3pm
Where: The Sats State Academic
Children’s Music Theater
5 Prospect Vernadskogo
Tel: +7 964 595-21-30

large part of it is “music only”. You have to know the story to be able to figure out what is going on.

The Blockhead ballet tells a preachy story about the priest and his worker who was called “blockhead”. It is a very colourful and dynamic ballet that is definitely interesting and entertaining for children. It is staged by the famous ballet dancer and theatre director, Vladimir Vasyliev. If you want a lovely family afternoon with exposure to one of the best aspects of the Russian culture, go for this performance.

The Demons
The Malaya Bronnaya Theater

Photographer V. Gumenuk

This theatre keeps launching more and more plays. The Demons, first shown in March, is called “the theater business card of a new actors’ generation”. This performance is a diploma production of recent graduates of Sergey Golomazov’s workshop of the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts (Sergey is also the current Artistic Director of this theatre). Of course it was adapted and improved prior its opening night on the main stage.

Since it’s next to impossible to stage the entire novel, the director took only one chapter, The Night, where the main character, Nikolai Stavrogin, meets with different people. That is why the full title of the play is: The Demons: Scenes from Nikolai Stavrogin’s Life.

You can feel the young vibe and energy while watching the performance coming from all actors. It is uplifting to see the work of so many talented young actors, especially of Dmitry Serdyk who plays Peter Verkhovensky.

The set design consists of many

When: May 14, 29
Where: The Malaya Bronnaya Theater
4 Malaya Bronnaya str.
Tel: +7 (495) 690-67-31,
+7 (495) 690-40-93

backless stools that are also used to depict bridges, beds, columns, etc. Almost in every episode the actors build some new figure from them that is fragile and easily breaks by a subtle touch of the hand—probably a hint how fragile and unstable things are in this world.

This is an interesting interpretation of Dostoevsky, but be prepared to hear long and psychologically exhausting dialogues among actors.

La Esmeralda
The Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theatre

photographer Vadim Lapin

I have to confess that this theatre is one of my favorites in Moscow. Their operas and ballets are not comparable with those of any other music theatre in Moscow. This is not just my personal opinion, rather it is proved by a lot of awards that theatre productions get nominated for, and receive.

La Esmeralda was originally staged in 1950 by a famous ballet director Vladimir Burgmeister. In November 2009 this ballet was fully restaged. Valery Levental served as a set designer.

The ballet plot is based on a famous novel by Victor Hugo, The Notre Dame de Paris, and tells a sad story of gipsy, Esmeralda, priest Floro, Captain Fed and of course the hunchback of Notre Dame, Quasimodo. They say that La Esmeralda ballet has the same significance for this theatre as Chekhov’s plays have for Moscow Art Theatre.

When: please check the repertoire
Where: The Stanislavsky Music Theater
17 B. Dmitrovka str.
Tel: +7 (495) 629-28-35

I was particularly impressed by Quasimodo part (danced by Anton Domashev, Honored artist of Russia, award winner of Moscow). He managed to depict a cripple ugly man yet in a ballet style. Natalia Ledovskaya (People’s Artist) dancing Esmeralda part is nominated for the Golden Mask Award as the “ballet best actress”. The entire production is nominated for the Golden Mask Award in “ballet/best production” category.

The Moscow Young Generation Theatre (MTYuZ)

photographer Elena Lapina

This performance has one some of the best Golden Mask Award nominations: Drama/best large scale production, best director (Kama Ginkas), best female actress, best male actor, and best designer.

This is a fusion of Seneca’s powerful tragic text and the contemporary language of Jean Anouih, the language of streets and kitchens coupled up with Brodsky’s poems. At first the combination of these three completely different writers seemed impossible. Yet when I saw the performance it again became clear to me that classical works would always remain immortal and relevant no matter how long ago they were written. Through an ancient myth of the story about Medea and Yason and the tragedy that followed Yason’s betrayal, one could very well notice the allusions to today’s problems that exist in our society.

The scenography by Sergei Barkhin is somewhat eclectic: the mountain surrounded by dirty walls, the leaking wash stand that makes the whole swimming-pool where various kitchen and household appliances are floating—the awful living conditions of an extraordinary woman named Medea.

I was very happy there was no intermission so that the audience could be fully immersed in the story,

When: May 13
Where: The Moscow Young
Generation Theater (MTYuZ)
10 Mamonovsky per.
Tel: +7 (495) 699-5360

from the beginning to the end, and feel the intensity of emotions.

It is a story of a real passion, self-sacrifice and renunciation. Ekaterina Karpushina plays Medea role very convincingly. She expends so much strength and emotion that you soon forget that you are watching a theatre performance and instead imagine you are a witness of a real woman’s tragedy.

This is an extremely powerful performance that takes your breath away.

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