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Russian Theatre Digest May 2013

Chekhov International Theatre Festival-2013/ Aleksandrinsky Pulls a New Curtain Aside/ Anatoly Vasilievs Comeback to Russia/ Theatre School Students Feature their Productions at Your Chance Festival/ New Issue of Teatr Magazine is out of Print

Chekhov International Theatre Festival-2013

On May 19 the 11th Chekhov t International Theatre Festival began working in Moscow. The bi-annual festival, which has a history of more than 20 years and is regarded in Russia as the biggest theatre event of the international scale will continue to July 14, 2013.

After the break-up of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s it was exactly the Chekhov festival that helped  the Russian spectators learn about the modern European theatre, remaining  for many years  the only theatre forum in Russia, presenting the best productions of the world’ theatres. Neighboring on the same bill it featured were the names of such directing luminaries as Giorgio Strehler, Peter Brook, Christoph Marthaler, Peter Stein, Eimuntas Nekrosius, Krystian Lupa and Ariane Mnoushkine.

In the recent years the Chekhov festival has changed its format to a certain degree. At present, when Moscow and Petersburg host quite a few international theatrical forums attended by European drama theatres, the Chekhov festival has been increasingly extending  the number of non-verbal  productions, for example, featuring performances abundant with dance, staged by the leading European choreographers and mostly unknown in Russia “new circus” genre.

As a matter of fact, out of the 19 spectacles at the 2013 Chekhov festival presented by companies from 12 countries, drama productions were but an insignificant number. The festival’s programme is available on the web www.chekhovfest.ru/en/.

The opening performance of the 2013 Chekhov festival was Raoul,  shown by the company La Compagnie du Hanneton (Paris, France) staged and performed by James Thiérréé, Charlie Chaplin’s grandson and the great-grandson of American playwright Eugene O’Neill.

Aleksandrinsky Pulls a New Curtain Aside

On May 15 the Petersburg Aleksandrinsky Theatre officially opened its new second stage.

The academic Aleksandrinsky drama, Russia’s oldest professional state-owned theatre, was founded in 1756 with premises in Petersburg’s downtown in a building designed by Carlo Rossi and built in 1832.

The construction of this new platform started in 2010 and was completed in April of 2013.The new stage is a theatrical centre comprising several buildings with the main auditorium seating 300, training rooms, rehearsal halls, a media centre and experimental stages with modern state-of-the-art equipment.

In the view of Valery Fokin, the artistic director of the Aleksandrinsky Theatre, the new stage is a facility for young directors, experimental performances and creativity projects.

The new stage began operating by presenting productions and performances staged by young directors after Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment.  Another event timed to its launching was the 7th Aleksandrinsky International Festival, held in Petersburg from May 15 to 24, 2013.

lenta.ru/news/2013/05/15/alexandrinka/.

en.alexandrinsky.ru/news/theatre/putin.

Anatoly Vasiliev’s Comeback to Russia

The world-renowned Russian stage director Anatoly Vasiliev intends to return to his work in Russia. The decision followed his protracted negotiations with the Moscow government. 

A reminder, in 2006 Anatoly Vasiliev left Russia, making a statement that it was impossible for a creative personality to work in this country. The pretext for his statement was his conflict with then Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov, on whose orders the well-known premises in Povarskaya Street 20,of the theatre of the “disobedient” director, were first to be dislocated, after which the artistic director of the School of Dramatic Art himself was fired.

The current Moscow government has asked Anatoly Vasiliev to resume his work in Moscow.  At present the director’s plans include the “Pedagogic for Pedagogues” project, which is to begin in the same historical Povarskaya Street studio, where the School of Dramatic Art was started.

Apart from that, on June 15, 2013 Anatoly Vasiliev will hold master classes for the students of the International Summer School, annually held by the Russia’s Theatre Union.

This time it will be held June 1 to 29. The competition selection listed 500 nominees from 28 countries, finally choosing 80 actors. The courses programme includes lectures, training sessions, laboratories, master classes, rehearsals, group and individual study of all the basic professional disciplines – acting, stage speech, stage movement, fencing, modern  dance, improvisation and rhythmic. Information about the school is available on www.schoolstd.ru.

Theatre School Students Feature their Productions at “Your Chance” Festival

May 13 to 26 Moscow hosted the 9th International theatre schools festival “Your Chance”. The festival is supported by the Russian Culture Ministry, the Culture Department of the Moscow government, Russia’s Theatre Union and the “Na Strastnom” Theatre centre.

20 productions, staged by students of Russian, Swiss, Polish, German, Slovak and the Czech Republic’s theatre schools were presented at the event. Aside from the performances the festival programme included concerts of music groups, master classes and a display of the young stage designers. Throughout the time of the festival there worked casting and producer agencies.

The Grand  Prix of the Your Chance-2013 festival was awarded to the spectacle Crime and Punishment after Fyodor Dostoevsky, presented by the Petersburg Baltic Foreign Languages and Inter-Culture Cooperation Institute. Details are on www.strastnoy.theatre.ru/.

New Issue of Teatr Magazine is out of Print

The 10th issue of Teatr (Theatre) magazine out of print in May is completely dedicated to issues of the professional theatre education and the level of the state of correspondence of the methods of training in Russia’s theatre schools to the present day’s theatre.

This volume publishes articles, interviews and materials on the discussions linked to different aspects of theatre education. Several blocks are dedicated to the methods resorted to by Konstantin Stanislavsky, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Pyotr Fomenko, Anatoly Vasiliev and Jacques Lecoq. There are also descriptions of German and Polish theatre schools, as well as materials about ways of continuing education in Europe. In the near future an electronic version of this issue will be presented in Russian on the Teatr magazine’s web site oteatre.info/.

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