Brusfest: Moscow to host Dmitry Brusnikin Festival and Workshop

September 28, 2019

Brusfest, the first international Dmitry Brusnikin Festival and Workshop organised by Praktika Theatre and Brusnikin Workshop, is to open in Moscow on 8 November. The program includes more than 20 documentary productions created over the past few years in Russia and other countries.

'This festival is an attempt to explore documentary theatre in all its diversity,' said Marina Brusnikina, Praktika's Art Director.

Brusfest will open with 'Death at Work' directed by Semyon Aleksandrovsky, the founder of the Pop-up Theatre (St. Petersburg). The production was created together with the Baltic Circle festival (Finland). Na Strastnom Theatre Centre will present stories told by a gravedigger, a priest, a funeral house manager, people for whom death has become an ordinary matter.

'Death at Work'. Director Semyon Aleksandrovsky

Vaba Lava Theatre (Estonia) and Brusnikin Workshop will present 'Border State' directed by Yuri Kvyatkovsky, a teacher at the Moscow Art Theatre School. The production is based on conversations with residents of Russian Ivangorod and Estonian Narva. Before the collapse of the USSR, the two cities shared one water supply and transport systems and more. But then everything changed. The play will be staged at Praktika Theatre. After the festival, the play will enter the theatre’s repertoire.

At the Winzavod Centre for Contemporary Art, BERLIN (Belgium) will show the production 'Perhaps All the Dragons...' featuring 30 completely different video recorded stories. They will be presented to 30 spectators sitting at one round table. Each guest can choose five stories to watch.

'Perhaps All the Dragons...' by BERLIN

Director and choreographer Alla Sigalova will present 'I Am not Afraid to Speak Up' performance featuring dance sketches based on real stories about different forms of violence at the Training Theatre of the Moscow Art Theatre School. The starting point and the base for the production were hashtagged posts shared by the victims of toxic relationships in social media.

Stary Dom Theatre (Novosibirsk) will bring the play 'Dust' about megacity residents and their problems to stage it at the Sovremennik Theatre. It is based on personal stories of the actors.

'Dust' by Stary Dom Theatre

Theatre groups from Kazan and Khabarovsk will show their works at the Central Scientific Library of the Union of Theatre Workers, Andrei Voznesensky Culture Centre, the Boyar Chambers of the Union of Theatre Workers and the Moscow Museum of Modern Art.

Dmitry Brusnikin, who died in 2018, considered documentary theatre one of the most relevant art movements. Brusnikin Workshop, which originated with Dmitry's training course at the Moscow Art Theatre School, started with documentary performances, with 'It's Me, Too' production being one of the first (2015). It included stories the actors collected at train stations, streets, clubs and at home.

After Dmitry Brusnikin's death, Praktika Theatre decided to create a project associated with his name. It was a documentary theatre.

is a direction that needs to be developed, besides, festivals in Moscow are never too much. For example, Meyerhold Centre is engaged in this kind of festivals. Golden Mask also brings a lot of documentary projects,' said Director Yuri Kvyatkovsky.

Also, the festival offers an insightful program, which includes a post-documentary theatre laboratory directed by Mikhail Patlasov and a round table. All directors presenting their performances are to conduct master classes. Besides, a Documentary Theatre Day at the New Tretyakov Gallery on Krymsky Val and an exhibition dedicated to Dmitry Brusnikin at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art are expected to take place.

The festival will end on 17 November, Dmitry Brusnikin's birthday.

Dmitry Brusnikin

New season premieres, music and touring

Marina Brusnikina told about new performances of Praktika Theatre to take place this season.

The first premier (29 September) will be 'Skid' by Yuri Kvyatkovsky, starring Andrei Fomin, Nikolai Fomenko and Maxim Vitorgan. Created together with the Brusnikin Workshop's actors and based on the same-name play by Vladimir Sorokin written in 2009, it is about people who made it to enter high society securing well-being and immunity.

On 29 November, Director Ivan Komarov, who staged the much-hyped 'Abuse' at Meyerhold Centre in 2017, is going to stage the play 'We Are OK' by Dorota Maslovskaya (Poland). This is a story about three women of different generations who cannot come to an understanding, as the grandma can't stop talking about the war years, the mother reads magazines from supermarkets, and the daughter is a heavy metal fan. Komarov's production involved actors of Iyulansambl, and Viktor Ryzhakov's workshop at Meyerhold Centre.

On 25 December, you are welcome to view 'Jack Frost' chamber opera directed by Marina Brusnikina. Nikolai Nekrasov's classical text is intertwined with contemporary academic music by Alexei Syumak.

Long-term plans include 'Southern Comfort' by Andrei Goncharov based on the works by American psychotherapist Irvin Yalom and 'Celebration' directed by Andrei Stadnikov.

This season, the theatre will further develop musical direction conceived by Dmitry Brusnikin. There is Praktika band guided by composer Alexei Syumak and singer and conductor Olga Vlasova, with concerts and performances arranged. The musicians are to be involved in the premiere productions.

This season, Praktika will visit the CHAOS festival in Novosibirsk to present their 'Chapayev and Emptiness' performance. Dresden will see it, too. 'Peter and Fevronia of Murom' will be presented in Izhevsk.


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