Cultural Happenings Summer 2011

Courtesy of Chekhov International Theater Festival“Botanica” by Momix Dance Company

The Chekhov International Theater Festival runs through July 31 this year with a focus on dance. The National Dance Theater of Spain performs several short ballets. "Gnawa," "Arcangelo" and "Flockwork" run July 13 to July 17 and "Noodles" and "White Darkness" from July 19 to July 23.

One of the most anticipated performance comes from choreographer Moses Pendleton's Momix Dance Company, a troupe of so-called "dance-illusionists" known for their  inventiveness. "Botanica," which runs from July 10 to July 14, features dancing with a dinosaur and puppets and a soundtrack of birdsong, Vivaldi and more.

Another performance to look out for is "Town History," a piece based on the stories of Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin and Irving Washington. It is performed by Studio Six, a New York-based company comprising actors who studied in Moscow. "Town History" runs from July 15 to July 17 at the Meyerhold Center.
Tel. 223-9650, 223-9651

Transformers, Herzog Light Up Film Fest

For MT

Michael Bay's "Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon"

Many cinophiles might think opening a film festival with a movie by Michael "Pearl Harbor" Bay isn't the best sign of a fulfilling experience, but the Moscow Film Festival, which runs June 22 to July 2, will have the usual broad range of films, with enough choice to satisfy even the fussiest of film lovers.  Hundreds of films will play at the Oktyabr cinema on Novy Arbat for the festival's 33rd incarnation, including a retrospective of US director Sam Peckinpah ("The Wild Bunch," "Straw Dogs"), whose films have had a direct influence on the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Werner Herzog. Herzog, once called "the finest film director alive" by Francois Truffaut, gets his own dedication at the festival, with showings of all his films featuring the brilliant Klaus Kinski, including "Fitzcarraldo" and "Nosferatu the Vampyre." Bay's film  "Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon," will get its world premiere in Moscow on June 22, one week before it opens anywhere else. U.S. rock group Linkin Park, featured on the film's soundtrack, will play a concert at Vasilevsky Spusk on June 23.

Summer Exhibits

From the Arte Povera exhibit

Art lovers are in for a treat this summer. The Tretyakov Gallery is currently showing "Holy Russia," devoted to the history of Christian Russia, from the 9th to the 18th centuries. The exhibit brings together icons, crosses and other church-related items from 25 different Russian museums. "Holy Russia" debuted at the Louvre last year, where it was a huge success attracting 260,000 visitors. 

"Salvador Dali: Retrospective," a huge exhibit devoted to the Spanish surrealist artist, will open at the Pushkin Museum on August 16. The exhibit will feature works from the Dalí Theatre Museum in Spain,which was opened by the artist in 1974.

The Multimedia Art Museum hosts an exhibit devoted to Arte Povera, a movement that swept Italy in the 1960s and early 1970s and believed that anything and everything could be used to make art. Part of the Year of Italy in Russia, the show is on till July 10.

Tretyakov Gallery. 10/12 Lavrushinsky Pereulok. Metro Tretyakovskaya. Tel. 230-7788,
Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. 12 Volkhonka. Metro Kropotkinskaya. Tel. 697-7998/9578,
Multimedia Art Museum. 18 Ul. Ostozhenka. Metro Kropotkinskaya. Tel. 637-1100,

Ahmad + Afisha = Music

Courtesy of Afisha Picnic

Rainbow Arabia play Afisha Picnic

Summer in Europe means one thing for music lovers: festival season. Though Moscow has yet to build its own Glastonbury, all is not lost. The Ahmad Tea Music Festival on July 2 and Afisha Picnic on July 23 will bring some exciting groups to Moscow.

The Ahmad brings indie darlings Klaxons, winner of Britain's Mercury Prize in 2007, and Maximo Park to Moscow this summer. They will be buoyed by folk group Erland and the Carnival, which won critical praise for their eponymous debut album, made up of contemporary arrangements of folk songs once collected by composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Afisha offers an even more eclectic mix, bringing Hole, the outfit headed by Courtney Love, to Russia for the first time. The picnic will also feature The Kaiser Chiefs and rising new wave star Marina and the Diamonds, who is almost certainly the first Greek-Welsh singer-songwriter to play in Kolomenskoe Park. Don't miss Rainbow Arabia, a California-based electronica duo. And be sure to stay for Zemfira, who will close the festival.

Another impressive import, lo-fi kings Ariel Pink's Haunted, will play Strelka on July 20. Their song "Round and Round" was voted best of 2010 by indie site Pitchfork

If all of that is a bit too fey and indie, then head for Nashestvie from July 8-10 for the country's biggest outdoor festival. The line-up features some of the biggest, if ageing, names in Russian rock, such as Garaik Sukachyov, Chaif, Bravo and Bi-2, plus the odd rap star like opposition favorite Noize MC. Tickets start at 3,000 rubles and go up to 100,000 rubles for super VIP treatment, which includes free beer and a room in a nearby hotel.

Ahmad Tea Music Festival. Hermitage Gardens. Karetny Ryad. Metro Tverskaya. Tel. 221-2239,
Afisha Picnic. Kolomenskoye Park. 39 Prospekt Andropova. Metro Kolomenskoye.
Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design 14 Bersenevskaya Nab., bldg 5a. Metro Kropotkinskaya. Tel. 771-7437, See the site for detailed instuctions on how to get to the festival.

Moscow Guide Summer 2011
Moscow Guide Summer 2011
The Moscow Summer Guide is dedicated to the wedding theme, because traditionally summer in Moscow is a time of weddings. The journal tells about the best hotels that cater to newly-weds, and about the locations that young couples traditionally visit on their wedding days. The publication gives advice on choosing a wedding dress and offers an overview of spas that young couples must certainly visit on the eve of the big ceremony. The publication informs the reader about the best cultural events in Moscow this summer.
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