Inspiration at VDNH: international arts festival launches 22 July

9 july 2021

On 22 July, the international arts festival Inspiration will begin at VDNH. This is the sixth time that this major cultural event will run at Russia's main exhibition. More than 60 events are scheduled over the course of 11 days, which will include theatrical premieres and running productions, some of which are online. The programme traditionally comes to a close on 1 August, the birthday of VDNH.

Ingeborga Dapkūnaitė is the creative director of the VI International Arts Festival, and Roman Dolzhansky is the art director. Spectators will enjoy The Night Writer, the first Russian play by Jan Fabre; Inspirati Motus/Inspired by Movement, a premiere of the Ballet Moscow Theatre and choreographed by Vladimir Varnava, Artem Ignatiev and Anastasia Kadruleva; 33 Sisters, an installation performance from the Nemkhat Company; April, a play based on Russian rock star Viktor Tsoi's songs and poems, by Tsekh Theatre; 1926, a multimedia production based on the letters of Marina Tsvetayeva and Boris Pasternak's, starring Yelizaveta Boyarskaya and Anatoly Bely; War and Peace, a symphonic show with Darya Moroz and Stanislav Druzhnikov, and much more.

The festival includes stage productions from the Inspiration traditional programme: Actor. Word. Music; international projects; a series of premieres and performances from young theatre companies; the Leonardo Needs You project, created by peoples with disabilities and professional actors; Theatre in a Cube, an installation from artist and film director Ksenia Petrukhina; international theatre masterpieces broadcast as part of the Theatre HD project; and the Street Theatre Laboratory.

Inspiration events will run at five VDNH locations: The House of Culture, The Green Theatre, The Worker and Kolkhoz Woman Pavilion, Ostankino Park and Chess Club. Some of the events will be held online.

The festival will open with The Jukebox. Moscow, staged by Echelle 1:1, a French company, and previously shown to audiences in Rome, Geneva, Saint Petersburg, Prato, Conakry, Cagliari and other cities. For each region of the country, the authors conduct research recording the speech of local residents. These recordings are then processed and serve as a basis for the production's future musical score. Jukebox is the theatrical equivalent of musical boxes from the 60s. Each new show is different from the last: spectators are free to choose their own tracks and the order in which an actor will play them, listening to the rhythms of their native language in all its diversity. The Moscow version of the show was adapted by Oleg Khristolyubsky with voice-over by Roman Mikhaschyuk, the winner of the special Breakthrough award. The show will run from 22 July to 1 August at the VDNH Chess Club. You can buy tickets on the website.

Also, on the opening day of the festival, at 8:00 p.m., the VDNH House of Culture will be given over to Jan Fabre's The Night Writer. This is the Belgian artist and director's first repertoire production in Russia, created specifically for the Plywood Theatre (an architectural installation at the Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theatre in Saint Petersburg). The work is based on the personal diaries, which are full of unexpected and lesser-known autobiographical details about the artist. Performed by Andrey Feskov. The production has received three 2021 Golden Mask award nominations.

One of the major festival events is the Inspirati Motus/Inspired by Movement, a premiere of the Ballet Moscow Theatre. The show consists of two parts: the first section was staged by the theatre's own choreographers Artem Ignatiev and Anastasiya Kadruleva, and the second by the two-time winner of the Golden Mask award and winner of the Young Choreographers Contest of the international festival Context. Diana Vishneva, Vladimir Varnava. The cast includes actors of both classical and contemporary dance troupes.

Throughout the festival, Ostankino park will feature installations by artist and director Kseniya Peretrukhina. There will be five plywood cubes placed all over the park. If you look inside these 'square heads', you will be able to read their minds. The cubes are always unhappy: one just hates everything, the other is indignant and the third one is always trying to lecture everyone.

Also, from 22 July to 1 August, on the VDNH website, you can stream Not to Scale by British directors Tim Etchells and Ant Hampton. This production is a kind of instructional show for two spectators who, guided by instructions in their headphones, will create a whole new world on a single piece of paper. Step by step, a chaotic letter will be transformed into conscious drawings telling a full-fledged story.

The schedule of all events can be found on the VDNH website.

The VI International Inspiration Arts Festival will be held in compliance with all sanitary and disease control measures established by Rospotrebnadzor (the Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare). The number of participants in each activity is limited. Visitors must observe social distancing requirements and wear masks and gloves.

VDNH has been hosting the Inspiration Festival since 2015. Over the years, its participants have included Denis Matsuyev, Danila Kozlovsky, Lyudmila Petrushevskaya, guitar virtuoso Steve Vai, the band Apocalyptica, the Italian theatre Studio Festi, European theatre companies like the Rimini Protocoll, Générik Vapeur and Les Plasticiens Volants, as well as the Moscow-based Stanislavski and Nemirovich-Danchenko Theatre companies. Visitors to Russia's main exhibition have witnessed light projection shows, multimedia installations, opera and ballet productions, concerts, immersive projects and exhibitions organised by the leading Russian and foreign companies.
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