Post Soviet Theatre

How did the economic and political disarray that beset Russia in the days and years following Glasnost affect Russian cultural institutions? In Russia, theatre practitioners have long enjoyed a social position comparable to Hollywood actors or professional sports stars in America. By the mid-nineteenth century, amateur, provincial, and serf theaters had sprung up in even […]

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New Mariinsky Theater Addition Draws Controversy

Even before its official opening on May 2, the new Mariinsky Theater building was at the center of controversy. The $630 million, 850,000 square feet structure runs the length of an entire block in St. Petersburg’s beloved theater square, nestled behind the original 19th century structure and connected to it by a footbridge.  While the […]

AES+F Collective

Moscow-based AES+F Collective’s body of work is reflective of the nuanced backgrounds of collective members Tatiana Arzamasova, Lev Evzovich, Evgeny Svyatsky and Vladimir Fridkes — the first letters of their last names creating the group’s moniker. Husband and wife Evzovich (b. 1958) and Arzamasova (b. 1955) trained as “conceptual architects” at the Moscow Architectural Institute. […]

The Blue Noses

The Blue Noses, an artistic duo consisting of Alexander (Sasha) Shaburov and Vyacheslav (Slava) Mizin, was founded in 1999.  The group is known for their satirical and oft-times provocative works, which encompass photographs, videos, and performances that parody and critique Russian society, art, politics, and religion. Using decidedly low-tech methods in their artistic endeavors, their […]

The Art of “War:” Voina and Protest Art in Russia

The radical and absurdist art collective Voina (which means “War,” in Russian) was founded in 2005 by husband and wife Oleg Vorotnikov (who goes by “Vor” or “thief” in Russian) and Natalia Sokol (who often goes by the nicknames “Kozlenok,” or “Koza,” both of which refer to goats). Described by supporters as a “street collective […]

Sergei Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes

Sergei Diaghilev, Russian art patron, collector, impresario and director of the famed and controversial Ballets Russes, was born in 1872 to a wealthy and aristocratic family.  During his childhood, he was no stranger to chamber music, soirees and serious conversations about literature and poetry, and as befitted his social status, he was sent to study […]

Socialist Realism

Socialist Realism was the official artistic movement of the U.S.S.R. It was attached not only to the revolution but to the forward momentum of the communist ideology and Soviet apparatus. As an artistic movement it is still a controversial topic. It is also a difficult one, because so much is encompassed in the concept. At […]

Moscow’s Modern Dance Movements

In Moscow, a close community of performers and dancers exists that examines and explore body movement. Some choreographers define their work as “modern dance,” while others call their art “nonverbal dramatic theater.” Some choreographers and dancers attempt to avoid definition all together, explaining their art more loosely with terms like “total body movement,” “improvisation,” “free […]

Susanna Weygandt: GITIS Attendee

Susanna Weygandt is an acting student at Bryn Mawr College who is studying currently at GITIS. SRAS: Introduce yourself to us, what is your background and what are your future plans? Susanna: I started taking Russian at Bryn Mawr College in fall of 2002. I studied one summer in Vladimir with another program after my […]

The Children of Russian Censorship: Censorship at the Bolshoi Theatre

A member of the State Duma has decried the Bolshoi Theatre’s latest opera, The Children of Rosenthal, as “pornography.” Now, for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union, the government is openly considering censoring the Russian stage. Furthermore, this is part of a larger movement by Russian conservatives to bring censorship back to […]

Amanda Rae Jones: MXAT American Studio Graduate

Amanda Rae Jones is a graduate of the “American Studio” acting program offered through the Moscow Art Theatre (MXAT). The program remains prestigious even after almost a century of existence. The theatre itself was home to Konstantin Stanislavski, whose theories of acting, the first in their time to fully integrate psychology and social sciences into […]