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Celebrating theatre art: Chekhov Festival kicks of in Moscow


On May 25 the Mossovet State Theatre is opening the latest jubilee edition of the Chekhov International Theatre Festival.

The 10th annual theatre event, having become the undisputed highlight of the capital every spring, will open with an ambitious production of Shakespeare?s "The Tempest" from British director Declan Donnellan. This performance will feature Russian performers in the lead roles.

A total of 17 productions are included in the festival program this year. It traditionally features domestic and foreign programs, along with an experimental section offering some of the brightest and most extraordinary productions of the year.

The foreign program this time is dedicated to Spain and Italy, as 2011 is the year of both Spanish-Russian and Spanish-Italian cross-cultural exchange. The Spanish school of theatre will be represented by several masters, including a living legend of modern dance Nacho Duato, who is currently heading Mikhailovsky Thetare`s ballet troupe in St. Petersburg, as well as Maria Pages, who is acknowledged at home and abroad as one of the leading innovators in Spain?s national dance - flamenco.

Italy is also offering some of its specialties. Productions by Emma Dante and Romeo Castellucci will grace the capital. A production of the latter titled "J" Project. On the concept of the Face, regarding the Son of God" promises to make a lot of noise. This philosophical work may seem controversial to some, though it will definitely be appealing and familiar to others.

Milan`s Piccolo Theatre will take on a small tour across Russia with its "Harlequin, servant of two masters" by one of the great directors of the modern theatre, Giorgio Strehler. The production has already been put on in Russia several times and will stop by both Moscow and five other Russian cities during the festival period.

Apart from Italian and Spanish productions, the festival`s foreign program will also feature performances from the Beijing People`s Art Theatre, the top-rate national Chinese theatre company, new works by the French ballet dancer and choreographer Sylvie Guillem, Canadian director and playwright Robert Lepage, Britain`s revolutionary ballet dancer and choreographer Matthew Bourne, and many others.

The famous Briton, often referred to as one of the most popular and success contemporary choreographers in the UK, will bring his unique version of Cinderella to the Russian capital. His ballet, which takes place in London during the Second World War, is set to music by Sergey Prokofiev. The most expensive production of this year`s Chekhov Festival will be performed in Moscow 16 times.

The Festival will run in Moscow through the end of July with the performances being held at the Mossovet Theatre, the Pushkin Drama Theatre, the Meyerhold Center and the Teatrium on Sepukhovka.

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