Art Director of the Platonov Arts Festival Mikhail Bychkov announced the theatre programme of the seventh forum during the press conference on Tuesday, January 31. The programme includes 12 plays from nine countries of the world to be performed on Voronezh festival sites for 23 times. Traditionally, the theatre programme will consist of three sections: the Main Programme, the Platonov Programme and the Contemporary Art Programme.

Platonov Programme

Birthplace of Electricity

Photo – Mikhail Kiryanov (from the archive)

Opera by Gleb Sedelnikov based on the novel by Andrey Platonov

The Voronezh State Opera and Ballet Theatre, Voronezh. Directed by Mikhail Bychkov

June 2 – on the festival opening day, The Opera and Ballet Theatre

The festival will open with the world premiere of Gleb Sedelnikov’s opera “Birthplace of Electricity” based on a story by Andrey Platonov which will be staged by Mikhail Bychkov at the Voronezh Opera and Ballet Theatre specifically for the festival. Written in 1981, “Birthplace of Electricity” remains the only opera based on Ploatonov’s works. Due to complexity of the music material, it has never even been fully performed before. The libretto will tell about the construction of a power station in Rogachyovka village. The age limit is 16+.


Photo – courtesy of the Platonov Festival Directorate

Andrey Platonov, short novels

The Lensovet Academic Theatre, St. Petersburg. Directed by Vera Kamyshnikova

June 4 and 5, The Voronezh Koltsov Academic Drama Theatre

The play is based on such stories by Andrey Platonov as "The Machinist's Wife", "Happiness Nearby a Man", "Sandy teacher", "In the Starry Desert", "Poem of Thought", "Notes", "The Old Man and the Old Woman", "Jushka" and " Impossible". The texts are connected together in the play by the railway theme, and their characters appear to the audience as wanderers in search of happiness. At the Lensovet Academic Theatre, the play was staged by director Vera Kamyshnikova, who has already turned to Platonov’s works before. In 2013, she directed graduation play of GITIS students “Impossible” which was staged in Voronezh at the third Platonov Festival. “Wanderers” is a fresh play - it was premiered on February 2 of 2016. Its duration is 1 hour 45 minutes without intermission. The age limit is 16+.

The Russian Contract

Photo – courtesy of the Platonov Festival Directorate

Based on the novel "The Epifan Locks" by Andrey Platonov

The Dramatic Theatre of Warsaw (the Gustaw Holoubek Stage), Poland. Directed by Krzysztof Rekowski

June 7 and b – The Chamber Theatre

The play is based on Andrey Platonov’s story “the Epiphan Locks”, which is. Perhaps, one of the most rarely staged works of the writer. As stated on the website of the Polish theatre, this direction is “an attempt to understand the mentality of the East which has terrified and fascinated Europe for centuries”. The main character of “The Russian Contract” is English engineer Bertran Perry entrusted by Peter the Great to build a canal to connect the Black Sea with the Caspian Sea. It implies an enormous pay and an ambitious task, but the price is several years away from his homeland and his fiancée. Perry goes to Russia not yet aware that the attitude to life there is very different from England. “The Russian Contract” was premiered in 2014. The play is performed in Polish language with Russian subtitles. Its duration is 1 hour 20 minutes without intermission. The age limit is 16+. The performance at the Platonov Festival in Voronezh will become play’s Russian premiere.


Photo – courtesy of the Platonov Festival Directorate

Based on the novel by Andrey Platonov. The story of Efrosinya Evstafyeva, a young woman, left by her husband, who went away to develop communism

The Brest Puppet Theatre, Belarus. Directed by Ruslan Kudashov

June 6 and 7 – The “Shut” Puppet Theatre

It is almost impossible to imagine the Platonov Festival without a play based on “Fro” – the story of a young woman waiting for her husband remains the most popular Platonov’s work staged by theatres in different parts of the world. This time, Voronezh residents will be introduced to the puppet version of “Fro” staged at the Brest Puppet Theatre by director Ruslan Kudashov. It is not the first time the director has worked with Platonov’s text – he had staged “Fro” at the Riga Russian Theatre, performed at the fifth Platonov Festival in 2015. However, the director noted that the Brest Puppet Theatre’s version is a completely different play unlike any other productions of “Fro”. Play’s duration is 1 hour 5 minutes without intermission. The age limit is 16+.

Contemporary Art Programme

Imitation of Life

Photo – courtesy of the Platonov Festival Directorate

The Proton Theatre, Hungary. Directed by Kornél Mundruczó

June 6 and 7 – The Voronezh Concert Hall

Kornél Mundruczó is a famous theatre and cinema reformer and provocateur, a prominent representative of contemporary European direction. His films and plays are constantly included in prestigious festivals. However, in “Imitation of Life”, the Hungarian director rejects the pompous, audience-shocking twists, this time preferring to make a poetic and intimate talk about a “little” man in a big world. The director is interested in the political agenda in Europe – the issue of refugees and tolerance to them, and beyond – the eternal topic of relation between man and Fate. The play was premiered on April 27 of 2016. It is performed in Hungarian language with Russian subtitles. The duration is 1 hour 30 minutes without intermission. The age limit is 16+. The performance at the Platonov Festival in Voronezh will become play’s premiere in Russia.

According to Mikhail Bychkov, “Imitation of Life” must become of the highlights of the seventh PlatonovFest for all interested in today’s theatre in its contemporary development.

Evening with NDT 2

Photo – the author

One-act ballets

Nederlands Dans Theater, the Netherlands. Choreographers: Sol León and Paul Lightfoot, Edward Clug, Hans van Manen, Johan Inger

June 8 and 9 – The Opera and Ballet Theatre

For the first time ever, the famous Nederlands Dans Theater, one of the leaders in world’s contemporary choreography, will perform at the Platonov Festival. The one-act ballet evening will involve theater’s young troupe – NDT 2. The programme, which consists of works by completely different choreographers in terms of “dance language”, demonstrates a full spectrum of dance abilities of NDT 2 artists. The evening will feature four one-act ballets.

Sleight of Hand is a mystical ballet for 8 dancers to the music of famous composer Philip Glass. This work starts a new line in the art of Sol León and Paul Lightfoot – their choreography becomes more “theatrical”. Drama fills not only dancers' interaction on stage but also play of light and shadow that creates an additional tension in the play. Mysterious characters – phantoms from another world or visions from the depths of subconsciousness are brought to life to Philip Glass’s Symphony №2, while time and space are being used in choreography in an untypical way. The ballet will be performed at the seventh Platonov Festival for the first time in Russia.

mutual comfort is a ballet by choreographer Edward Clug to the music by Milko Lazar. Ballet’s world premiere took place in 2015; its performance at the seventh Platonov Festival will become its premiere in Russia. In a free stage space, nothing distracts the viewer’s attention from the delicate and detailed choreography. This ballet, with its rushing moves and fractional routines, deciphers and reproduces an elastic musical rhythm in the dance language, like dance-wise Morse code. Dancers’ moves – springing, possessing a powerful energy impulse – start a dialogue with space: at one moment they wing the air like a blade and easily slide through it, at another moment it is as if they stumble upon some resistance that turns the artists into puppets.

Solo is a ballet by choreographer Hans van Manen to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Partita no. 1 for violin in D minor Corrente and Double (presto). Bach’s music requires an enormous movement speed and extraordinary timing, which is why a ballet to this music can only be performed if they replace each other on stage instead of coming out simultaneously; thus the name – Solo. This work by Hans van Manen is an ode to the beauty and strength of human body.

I New Then is a ballet of choreographer Johan Inger to the music of Van Morisson. The ballet involves nine dancers. But it is not a troupe dancing as one, but human individualities rioting against any kind of unification. First they challenge the outside world, then they merge with it. Inger’s ballet is full of humor, it is easy and optimistic, alternating the sublime and comedy.

The total duration of the Evening with NDT 2 is 1 hour 50 minutes with two intermissions. The age limit is 16+.

From the Deep

Photo – courtesy of the Platonov Festival Directorate

(Artist Vincent van Gohg), once-act “live paintings”

The Kazan State Theatre for Young Spectators, Kazan. Directed by Tufan Imamutdinov

June 8 and 9 – The Voronezh Theatre for Young Spectators

The performance was released to the birthday of Vincent Van Gogh (March 30). The basis of the production was formed the letters and the pictures of the great artist in the period from 1882 to 1885. Van Gogh lived in the Netherlands that time, in the province of Drenthe, among the rural population and the workers who are the main characters of his paintings. The brightest period of his work - "Potato Eaters". But the audience will not see “visual quotes” of van Gohg’s paintings on stage. Creators of the play demonstrate an unexpected, sometimes even paradoxical take on artist’s works. Van Gohg’s letters are put to music, and his paintings – to the language of plastique and the meditative Butoh dance. Butoh is form of contemporary Japanesedance in which the dancer seeks to merge with nature and appeals to the feelings of the audience instead of reason. The emphasis is on the body, on demonstrating its flexibility and plasticity Спектакль выпустили ко дню рождения Винсента Ван Гога, 30 марта 2016 года. В основу постановки легли письма и картины великого художника за период с 1882 по 1885 год. This style implies deep studying of oneself through one’s own body. Learning about the “dark” side of one’s soul is Vincent van Gohg’s frequent theme.

The play of the Kazan State Theatre for Young Spectators has 4 nominations for the 2017 theatre award “Golden Mask”: “Best Contemporary Dance”, “Best Balletmaster/Choreographer”, “Musical Theatre/Best Composer”, “Musical Theatre/Best Costume Designer”. The duration of the play is 1 hour without intermission. The age limit is 16+.

Main Programme

Oedipus Rex

Photo – the author

The Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre of Russia, Moscow, in collaboration with the National Theatre of Greece. Directed by Rimas Tuminas

June 3 and 4 – The Voronezh Concert Hall

This is a new play by Rimas Tuminas, a master of subtle director’s renditions who combines deep psychologism and staginess inhis works, the author of many plays all over Europe including Moscow theatre bestsellers “Eugene Onegin” and “Uncle Vanya” both of which had been staged in Voronezh. In “Oedipus Rex”, Tuminas has recreated and brought to life the ancient era, making Sophocles’s tragedy not only apprehensible to today’s audience but also familiar to us, filled with emotions and passions. According to Aristoteles, Sophocles pictured people the way they should be. This is the key to understanding the conflict brewing in Oedipus’s soul. After committing a murder in anger, out of ignorance, he finds strength to judge himself. It is not a punishment from the outside but a sentence given to oneself – a strict and merciless one. His main motive is dignity that cannot be lost because the rest of his life is redeeming the crime through suffering. To Oedipus, dignity is his main pillar in life, even if it is the life of an outcast and a cripple.

“Oedipus Rex” is a joint project of the Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre of and the National Theatre of Greece created as part of cultural events of a cross-ethnic year of Russia and Greece. The play involves artists of the National Theatre of Greece (the choir). Oedipus is played by Victor Dobronravov, his wife Jocasta – by Lyudmila Maksakova, Tiresias – by Yevgeny Knyazev. The world premiere was held on July 29 of 2016 in Greece – on the stage of the Epidaurus Ancient Theatre. In autumn of 2016, the play was premiered in Moscow timed to coincide with the 95th anniversary of the Vakhtangov Theatre. The premiere became one of the most significant theatre events of the season in Moscow. The duration is 1 hour 40 minutes. The age limit is 16+.


Photo – courtesy of the Platonov Festival Directorate

“Tango Metropolis Dance Company”, Argentina. The idea, choreography, dramaturgy by Pilar Alvarez, Claudio Hoffmann, Marijo Alvarez

June 4 and 5 – The Opera and Ballet Theatre

Together with International Chekhov Theatre Festival and The Regional Public Fund in Support of International Chekhov Theatre Festival, with the support of The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.

In 2017, Platonovfest’s programme traditionally includes two performances from The Chekhov Festival’s programme. One of them is “Tango Show”, combining two one-act ballets by Argentine “Tango Metropolis Dance Company,” one of Argentine’s most famous dance companies.

In “Lorca Tango” production, created on the basis of the tragedy by Spanish poet Federico García Lorca “Blood Wedding,” the choreographers tried to rethink the “souls” of two different classical dance genres –flamenco and tango, to build a bridge between the dance heritage of Spain and Argentina, and contemporary art of dance. “Suite Troilo” ballet is dedicated to famous Argentine musician Anibal Troilo, a conductor, a composer, an artist, a man, who became an idol during his lifetime, who was proclaimed the best bandoneonist of all time due to the special emotion and sensuality of his performance. Legendary Astor Piazzolla, on whose music the ballet was staged, started his career in the orchestra under the control of Troilo. The age limit is 12+.

The Winter’s Tale

Photo – courtesy of the Platonov Festival Directorate

“Cheek by Jowl” theatre, UK. Directed by Declan Donnellan

June 9 and 10 – The Voronezh Concert Hall

Together with International Chekhov Theatre Festival and The Regional Public Fund in Support of International Chekhov Theatre Festival, with the support of The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the British Council.

Another performance from the Chekhov Festival programme is British staging of Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale.” Written by the great playwright at the same period with famous “The Tempest,” “The Winter’s Tale” breaks all the canons on which “The Tempest” is built. The unity of place, time and action is thrown aside, and we follow the characters of the play all over Europe, from the royal palace to the village, and the journey takes 16 years. “The Winter’s Tale” tells the story of a jealous king, who destroys his family with a paranoid insistence. However, there is a ray of hope in this tragicomedy. The darkness, which hung over the characters at the beginning of the story, is being scattered while time leads them to the unexpected ending. Voronezh audience is already familiar with the works by director Declan Donnellan. His “Tempest” was shown at the First Platonovfest in 2011.

The performance is in English with Russian subtitles. The duration is 2 hours 40 minutes with one intermission. The age limit is 16+.

The King David Report

Photo – the author

Roi Hen’s piece on the novel by Stefan Heym

“Gesher” Theatre, Israel. Directed by Yevgeny Aryeh

June 12 and 13 – The Voronezh Concert Hall

“The King David Report” is a chance to touch the ancient history and focus on the sensitive issues of our time, such as freedom of speech, a person and power, war and peace, the reality and myths. This is one of the treatments, a kind of a reconstruction of the biblical stories. Who David was: a shepherd or a gang leader, a criminal or a musician, a tyrant or a progressive monarch? What the historical truth is? Whether it is a fact not to be questioned, or its subjective interpretation? The problem, as it turns out, has been acute since the biblical times. The “Gesher” theater’s staging is a vivid example of how a nation rethinks its history. The premiere took place on March 1, 2016. The performance is in Hebrew with Russian subtitles. The duration is 2 hours 10 minutes with one intermission. The age limit is 16+. The show in Voronezh at The Platonov Festival will premiere in Russia.

“Gesher” theatre (in Hebrew – “Bridge”) has been working in Israel since 1991. It was founded by Russian artists who emigrated to Israel with the beginning of the mass immigration after the Soviet collapse.


Photo – courtesy of the Platonov Festival Directorate

Baroque arias and a dance in the air

No Gravity Dance Company together with Roman Baroque Ensemble and Emiliano Pellisari Studio, Italy. Choreographer – Marianna Porcheddu

June 13 and 14 – the closing of the festival. The Opera and Ballet Theatre

The company’s name “No Gravity” is not a lure for the viewers, but an accurately and brilliantly kept promise. The dancers give a dare to the laws of gravity and dance in the air. This is possible thanks to special effects and light design that turn the great choreography, acrobatics and mime into a miracle. “Aria” consists of 13 dance scenes. Roman Baroque Ensemble Orchestra musicians play the authentic instruments of Baroque time or their good copies. The vocal parts are performed by two young singers - soprano Susan Bungard and countertenor Angelo Bonazzoli. The creators of the show embody the beauty, sublimity, and the quirkiness of the Baroque period on stage. The duration is 2 hours with one intermission. The age limit is 16+. The show at The Platonov Festival will premiere in Russia.

The Seventh International Platonov Arts Festival will be held in Voronezh from the 2nd to the 14th of June. The tickets for the festival events will be available starting from late February.