By Mikhalina Cherkashina
The festival is being held for the fifth time, but is less extensive this year, as the Yanka Kupala Theatre building (which usually hosts the event) is undergoing reconstruction. Theatrical troupes from Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary and Belarus are giving performances at various theatrical and concert sites around the city for the week-long forum, giving nine shows in all. So far, three have been staged at the Central House of Officers and at the Belarusian State Academic Musical Theatre.
The festival opened with Chekhov’s Seagull, staged by St. Petersburg’s Baltic House Theatre-Festival. The joint Lithuanian-Russian project aroused huge interest, featuring prominent actors Juozas Budraitis, Vladas Bagdonas and Regimantas Adomaitis (well known to Belarusians for performing in Russian and Lithuanian films).
The Anzelika Cholina Dance Theatre surprised everyone with its unusual interpretation of Tolstoi’s Anna Karenina, combining ballet, drama and mime. Its shows always gather full houses in the Baltic States, Europe and Russia. Anna Karenina was being staged in Belarus for the first time. The Yanka Kupala Theatre’s Not Mine, by Adamovich, which won the first National Theatre Award’s ‘Best Belarusian Performance’ prize, received a warm reception.
The next shows are also set to delight audiences: the Meno Fortas Theatre’s Idiot, by Dostoevsky, staged by Eimuntas Nekrosius; the Moscow Vakhtangov Theatre’s Dedication to Eve, featuring Vasily Lanovoy and Yevgeny Knyazev; the Hungarian Csokonai Theatre’s Hairdresser; Polish Rampa’s Pinsk Gentry, staged by Panorama’s director and Artistic Leader Nikolay Pinigin; and the Belarusian State Puppet Theatre’s Drei Schwestern, staged by talented Alexey Lelyavsky and based on Chekhov’s story.
The event is to conclude with Nikolay Pinigin’s Abduction of Europe, or Ursula Radziwill’s Theatre, performed by the Yanka Kupala Theatre.