M.Art Festival in Israel: February 20 – March 3, 2020

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Our Class – Vakhtangov Theatre

The M.Art Festival will present a showcase of contemporary Russian culture with two weeks of theatre, music, and dance from February 20 – March 3, 2020. Performances will take place at the Israeli Opera House, Suzanne Dellal Center, Habima Theatre, the Conservatory and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

Opening the festival on Thursday, February 20th will be the Bolshoi Drama Theatre’s production of The Drunks, a play by Ivan Vyrypaev, directed by Andrey Moguchiy. A comedy about the search for truth, the play is inspired by a quote from Omar Khayyam’s poem: “All that you see is only one appearance, only the form – and the essence is not visible to anyone. Do not try to understand the meaning of these pictures, sit quietly on the side and drink wine.” Performances will take place at Habima Theatre.

Program highlights include:

The Vakhtangov Theatre presents the play Our Class by Polish playwright Tadeusz Słobodzianek. A new production directed by Natalya Kovaleva. Set in 20th century Poland, and inspired by true events, Słobodzianek’s play looks at a group of 10 classmates, Catholics and Jews, living a small town in Poland, and follows their lives in 14 scenes, or “lessons,” from the years leading up to WWII, the war years, and the interwoven path of history, chance, and individual choices in the years that follow. The play’s director, Natalya Kovaleva, stated: “We all make choices in our everyday life. How to make a right decision which allows not to carry a heavy burden of mistakes and guilt? Is it possible all? Was it possible to make a correct choice back there in 1940s? Some characters find the excuse pretending that their actions couldn’t prevent the catastrophe anyway. That’s not true: every person matters.”(from the Vakhtangov Theatre website) The play will be accompanied by surtitles in Hebrew. Performances: Wednesday, March 4th & Thursday, March 5th at the Habima Theatre. Tickets may be ordered online via this link. Link to the facebook event.

Kirill Richter/Photo: Alexei Dunaev

Chronos, a concert by pianist and composer Kirill Richter, will take place at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art on Sunday, February 23, 2020. The young composer is considered Russia’s most prominent figure on the neoclassical music scene. Football fans will recognize Kirill’s composition for the 2018 FIFA World Cup –  Where Angels Fear to Tread. (https://youtu.be/cMNIU1Pgdfk).  The album Chronos, released in April 2019, is a studio version of Richter’s works for piano, violin and cello. On his website, Richter says of the album: “‘This album describes my relationship with time… I think time appears in our lives in various states of matter just like water that can be ice or steam. It may be a memory of those who are no longer with us, or an abstract representation of history as a whirlpool of events, or reflections on lost opportunities and the multivariance of human fate, or even the mythological perception of time as a living creature that is open to dialogue.” Joining Richter in concert will be the Revolution Orchestra, led by Zohar Sharon and conductor Roy Oppenheim. Tickets for the concert may be ordered online via this link.

The Provincial Dances Theatre/Photo: Svadebka

The Provincial Dances Theatre will present two works in Israel: Sepia and Les Noces. Founded in 1990, it is one of the first contemporary dance theatres in Russia. Sepia, staged and choreographed by Tatiana Baganova, is inspired by the novel Woman in the Dunes, by Kōbō Abe. Les Noces by Igor Stravinsky, performed by the Bach Choir, is the music for the work by the same name choreographed by Tatiana Baganova. Inspired by the tradition of Russian peasant weddings, the ballet weaves folk motifs in modern dance through the rituals of the wedding – from the proposal to the ceremony and celebrations. Performances will take place at the Suzanne Dellal Center on Monday, February 24th and Tuesday, February 25th, 2020. Tickets may be ordered online from the Suzanne Dellal Center.

Autumn of My Springtime – Rezo Gabriadze Theatre

The Rezo Gabriadze Theatre, led by Georgian playwright, film and theatre director Gabriadze, will present two works of puppet theatre (intended for adults): The Autumn of My Springtime and Ramona. Inspired by memories of his grandmother and the postwar years, The Autumn of My Springtime, written by Gabriadze, is about the adventures of Boria Gadai, a “small bird with a big heart” who is the only one left to take care of grandmother Domna. The show features puppetry, Georgian folk songs and dances. Ramona is inspired by Gabriadze’s childhood memories of the traveling circus, and the locomotive. Set in postwar USSR, it is a love story: Ermon the locomotive, is sent to work in Siberia, while his wife Ramona waits for him at a small station in Rioni. The performances will be accompanied by surtitles in Hebrew.  Performances: Ramona will be performed on Friday, February 28th and Saturday, February 29th at the Suzanne Dellal Center. The Autumn of My Springtime will be performed on Sunday, March 1st and Monday, March 2nd at the Suzanne Dellal Center. Tickets may be ordered from the Suzanne Dellal Center website.

The full program may be found on the M.Art Festival website.

Link to the M.Art facebook page.