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Gogol Centre

Author: Anothertravelguide.com0 COMMENTS

Gogol Centre

Early February 2013 saw the opening of Moscow's new Gogol Centre at 8 Kazakova Street with a two-day art action '00:00' which, overseen by the director Kirill Serebrennikov, took place against the backdrop of renovation work in progress. The Russian capital's new art territory was inaugurated with a four-part performance based on the concept of four stages of the day: night, morning, day and evening; over sixty artists and four brand-new plays were featured in the marathon production.
The birthplace of the new cultural centre is the building that for decades housed what was known as the Moscow Gogol Drama Theatre, an insipid and insignificant cultural institution. While the venue, geographically speaking, could hardly be more centrally located by megalopolitan standards, it used to fit the description of the outskirts of Moscow cultural space.
The first thing the director Kirill Serebrennikov did in his new post as the artistic director of the Gogol Theatre was to apply himself to the task of activating the artistic energies of the place, holding rehearsals wherever possible during the renovation of the theatre building. Choosing the actors of the Studio Seven of the Moscow Art Theatre (MHAT) as his allies and engaging young directors, as well as stand-out talents from Russian provincial companies, Serebrennikov expanded the core ensemble of the former Gogol Theatre, adding fresh 'manpower' and defining new rules of the game, centred on diversity of artistic thought.
The concept behind Kirill Serebrennikov's brain-child, the new Gogol Centre, is an art platform open to theatre, film and music alike, as well as to interdisciplinary projects that break down borders between the arts. At that, his idea of art is wise enough not to root itself in the energy of youth exclusively. The doors of the Gogol Centre promise to be open for adepts of high art as well. So, February's playbill alongside the rapper-intellectual Vasya Oblomov features Alla Demidova, an actress of unique talent, who, following her departure from the legendary Taganka Theatre, has dedicated herself to literature and her activities as a champion of the cultural values of the past, which see her appear on various stages, including the most humble of provincial community centres, with poetry recitals featuring verses by some of the greatest Russian authors, and present poetry programmes on the Russian radio. (On 17 February, the Gogol Centre will host a reading of Ivan Bunin's 'Dark Alleys' by Alla Demidova.)
Also in February, the Gogol Centre presents a number of performances of revived productions, including Serebrennikov's 'Otmorozki' ('Scumbags', based on Zakhar Prilepin's 'Sanyka' novel) and a trilogy of Gogol's plays under the title of 'Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka', staged by Vladimir Pankov. The Lesser Auditorium of the Gogol centre will be inaugurated with a performance of the Latvian director Vladislav Nastavshev's stage version of Bunin's 'Mitya's Love', a new take on his debut as a stage director at the Dirty Deal Teatro in Riga's Spīķeri Quarter.
The spring season at the Gogol Centre will belong to movie scripts by Lars von Trier, Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Luchino Viconti which, following a practice popular in European theatre, will be transformed into stage productions. Lars von Trier's 'Idiots' will be recreated by Kirill Serebrennikov; the Latvian director Vladislav Nastavshev will tackle Fassbinder's 'Fear Eats the Soul' and Alexei Mizgirev will create a stage version of Visconti's 'Rocco and his Brothers'.
The new Gogol Centre is located near the Kursky Station, joined with Kozakova Street by an endless and incredibly scary underground pedestrian passageway beneath directly beneath the railway. Muscovites refer to the underpass as one of the most horrific places in the Russian capital. You would be well advised to visit the freshly-opened Gogol centre with a friend or two - or perhaps in a group of four or, better still, six people.

8 Kazakova Street



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