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10 June

June, 10 – Day 8 of Platonov Arts Festival

Yuri Arabov. Photo by Natalia Esipova.

At 6 p.m. in art centre “Commune” the meeting with Yuri Arabov was held - a scriptwriter, Aleksandr Sokurov’s regular co-author, head of the drama composition department at the Russian State University of Cinematography (VGIK), where he presented his new novel “Collision with a Butterfly”. 

 

At 7 p.m. in “Alye parusa” park Giroldon Circus from Switzerland presented  “The Fool” performance.

At 7.30 p.m. in Academic Drama Theatre named after A. Koltsov the performance “Fro” by Mikhail Chekhov Riga Russian theatre was shown. Director – Ruslan Kudashov. “Fro” is a rare performance in today’s theatre - a melting pot of Platonov’s wonderful wording, meticulous adaptation and direction, convincing performance, plasticity, superb setting, lighting and musical arrangement. Ekaterina Frolova, an actress who played the part of Frosya Evstafieva explains her character’s despondence, “An engine driver’s daughter, she totally falls out of life when out of love – she goes out like a light bulb disconnected from electricity. Nothing and no one can comfort Fro, lift her spirits, apart from awakening anticipation of motherhood. Yet, that is not love either”. 

At 8 p.m. in Voronezh Concert Hall the performance “Cabaret Brecht” by Lensoviet Academic Theatre was shown. Director – Yuriy Butusov. This is the first time that Yuriy Butusov looks at the difficult biography of the playwright and poet, whose works were burnt by fascists, who was the director and creator of an epic theater, a man torn between two women (his wife – actress Helene Weigel and his close friend and lover Margarete Steffin). Brecht gives the producer an opportunity to talk about the present day and say: "I am against lies. I am against wars".

The authors present the difficult story using the form of cabaret which allows grotesque and burlesque when speaking about essentials and routine. This play is a number of musical performances connected not logically but emotionally. The orchestra plays the music by Curt Weill, Brecht’s friend, while the performers perform zongs in German, English, French and Russian. As Liza Minnelli’s character sang in the famous film by Bob Fosse: "Life is cabaret. Welcome to the cabaret!"

At 9 p.m. the second performance of “Home. Eros. Faith” by art-group Med a prach (Slovakia) was shown. It is a production that consists of three short novellas about three most important, according to the authors, things in life. This meditative work, a cross between theatre and ritual, is not a performance in the usual sense of the word. It is more of a fusion of stage and music techniques: the directors develop the eternal theme of relation between a man and a woman with the help of plasticity, puppets, gestures, masks and minimal number of lines.

 

"Home. Eros. Faith"

This is what Andrej Kalinka and Ivan Martinka, the directors, say about their work, “…Home. Eros. Faith. Three significant words. We seldom use them in the same context and they do not seem conceptually related from artistic perspective either. In fact, they are often perceived as the opposites. But none can be removed. They stand for the most valuable things we have in life. 

 

The message of this production is best summarized in the following infinite equation: Home>Eros<Faith?Home=Faith<Eros?Eros=Home<Faith”.