Modern Theater On Show At Festival

Maria LevinaLiquid Theater uses a mix of actors, dancers and circus performers. The troupe is famous for performing in unusual spaces such as disused factories.
The Territory festival turns Moscow into a bustling theater workshop each October, offering aficionados a chance to see the latest in contemporary theater.

Backed by some of the country's biggest theater stars, such as director Kirill Serebryannikov and actors Chulpan Khamatova and Yevgeny Mironov, and with state financial blessing, Territory, which runs through Oct 11th, has a blue chip status among theater events in the city.

Kick-started by a grant from the presidential administration in 2005, the festival's organizers have made Territory accessible to young performers as well as putting on the works of established Russian and European theater directors, actors, dancers and musicians.

The festival's motto is "Art Today," and it deliberately avoids the stuffy halls of traditional theaters in search of experimental work. To complement practice with theory, the second part of the festival offers a series of master classes, lectures and screenings to students of theater schools across Russia, as well as to participants and guests.

This year's program is full of delights: Guests include famous French choreographer and director Josef Nadj with his new choreographed play "Intermission," Korean theater group "Laboratory of Movement Sadari," which performs "Woyzeck," based on a play by Georg BЯchner on Oct 8, and Dmitry Krymov's new piece "Opus No. 7," which details the genealogy of the Jewish people and the life of Dmitry Shostakovich.

Among the festival's most unusual performers was the Moscow-based Liquid Theater, a coalition of actors, dancers and circus performers that explore theater in unusual spaces and territories. Describing themselves as "fluid theater," the troupe's performances can fill any space, from dilapidated paper factories to museum stairwells to street corners, making everything in the city a giant playground for art.

Liquid Theater presented their latest piece, "Subito Forte" (Latin for "suddenly loud"), which tells the story of an Odysseus who can't find his way home.

"We all want to return home, but cannot because real home exists only in our childhood," said director and actor Alexei Zherebtsov.

This week's must-sees include Krymov's "Opus 7: 1. Genealogy 2. Shostakovich," a two-part chronicle that plays Oct. 7th and 9th and tells the story of 20th-century art in the Soviet Union, a whole generation of artists turned prisoners and the Jewish people, and which sets the context for the life of Shostakovich, one of the world's most innovative composers.

The festival will finish with the world premier of two works specially written for the festival -- "Deae ex machina," a stage cantata by Greek composer Andreas Mustukis, and the opera "Station" by Russian composer Alexei Syumak, which will be performed four times over the last two days of the festival on Oct. 10 and Oct. 11. The performances will see the audience follow the artists from room to room and into the labyrinth and arches of the wine cellars in the Winzavod contemporary art center.

Serebyannikov will direct, with Greek conductor Teodor Currentzis taking up the baton.

Territory runs through October 11th at various theatre locations throughout

Moscow. Ticket prices: 200-500 rubles. For program information and tickets

call 741-92-58 or visit