Georgian International Festival
of Arts in Honor of Michail Tumanishvili
PRESS
The Georgian International Festival of Art – Looking Back

The 18th Georgian International Festival of Art (GIFT) in honor of Mikheil Tumanishvili was closed with one of the most extravagant performances of ‘Carmen’ in modern interpretation by South African dancer and choreographer Dada Masilo. The closing ceremony was held on November 17 and, for your reading pleasure, Georgia Today has collected the best moments of the Festival.

During the Festival around ten theater productions were shown from around the world, some of which were based on original works, and some which were quite unique; invented and written by the directors. However, there is one thing that united all of them: modern interpretation and inclination to experiment.

Carmen is one of the most well-known characters in literature, the image somehow already formed for each person, but Dada Masilo decided to show the public a totally new Carmen, adding choreography items of African folk along with classical and modern dance.

“Carmen is a very free woman, and I made her incredibly attractive and sexy yet this image of her is acceptable to the public,” said Masilo. “I changed the ending as well. With her death would have died everything for which people loved her. So I left her alive, but I killed all her personality traits,” she said.

In the framework of GIFT it was the second modern dance theatre after Sasha Waltz’s ‘Travelogue 1- Twenty to Eight’, which, in contrast with Masilo, showed the modern life of modern people, but the storyline of these heroes intersected with ‘Carmen’ – it is all about love, potion and relationships.

Director Dmitry Krimov also showed his vision of modern life, of modern Russian life in his original play ‘Russian Blues. In Search of Mushrooms’ during the Festival. According to the director, searching for mushrooms is not just a campaign to find them, but something magic that unites Russian people. ‘Russian Blues’ is a theatrical metaphor – twelve completely different scenes from ordinary people’s lives, where mushrooms are a unifying symbol.

In addition, throughout the action of the play the audience uses earphones. “I found it interesting, for the viewer will see one thing and hear something completely different. The narrator in the earphones tells the story in his own way, focusing on the other elements, thus confusing the viewer,” explained Krimov.

It is worth noting that Dmitri Krymov displayed the world premiere of his performance in the framework of GIFT not for the first time. The Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre of Russia also became a loyal friend of the Festival, for the second year bringing its best performance: Eugene Onegin – one of the most significant works of Russian literature.

Eugene Onegin was one of the most anticipated performances at the GIFT festival and earned critical acclaim. In fact, each of the three days of the performance, the theatre boasted a full house and no standing room. This is thanks to the fact that Lithuanian director Rimas Tuminas did a nearly impossible thing- making Eugene Onegin, which is more intended for theatrical readings or opera, into a true theatrical, very moving and insightful play.

The Georgian International Festival of Art as a whole can claim to have been very filling, interesting and varied – in addition to theatrical performances, there were several exhibitions and festival talks. Nevertheless, the organizers promise even more theatrical ‘gifts’ for Georgian audiences next year.

 

 

Eka Karsaulidze

19 November,2015 22:17
 
Georgia Today
 
 
 
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In the framework of the Georgian International Festival of Arts (GIFT), the Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre of Russia presented Eugene Onegin’s play, directed by Rimas Tuminas. Winner of several theater awards, the play, which was highly praised by critics at a recent theatrical festival in London, showed a new, ironic, emotional and rigid vision of the well-known poem by Russian writer Alexander Pushkin.

It is always a challenge to perform Eugene Onegin on stage. The poetic work is more intended for theatrical readings than for full-fledged productions. Moreover, Alexander Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin is one of the most significant works of Russian literature, and at the same time is quite complex. According to Aleksei Kuznetsov, who plays Dmitri Larin in the play, Lithuanian director Rimas Tuminas had one important advantage that made his creation so special.

“He assesses the play from a completely different point of view, not like Russian people do. We learn Eugene Onegin at school and for us he is normal. But Tuminas showed his Lithuania opinion, and I think he did it very accurately,” said Kuznetsov.

The play was very easy and clear; long poetic monologues and dialogues gradually replaced by plastic theater to the accompaniment of Faustas Latenas music. The performances of the actors were very moving and insightful, leaving some audience members in tears or speechless.

However, sometimes those tears were replaced by laughter. Alexander Pushkin is considered a “hooligan” of Russian literature; he was an experimenter and tried to introduce a new look to literature. Rimas Tuminas tried to follow in his footsteps and endowed his heroes with emotional colors, and by dividing the characters, giving the audience an opportunity to see on the stage young and adult Onegin at the same time- two actors creating a complete image of the main protagonist.

The Vakhtangov theatre brought the entire troupe of Eugene Onegin to Tbilisi and from November 3 to November 5, showing the local audience three similar- but at the same time different- versions of the play.

“In fact, it is one play, but emotions and the interactions between the actors are very different,” said Aleksei Guskov, who plays the adult Onegin. “Our duet with Victor Dobronravov (young Onegin) is fundamentally different from the way he plays with Sergei Makovetsky (second performer of adult Onegin). We communicate with each other, constantly perform closely, and have a strong relationship. Even during our performances we decided to change a little bit the end of the play – we have not just a dialogue between adult Onegin and Tatiana, but young Onegin also communicates with us,” he explained.

Eugene Onegin was one of the most anticipated performances at the 2015 GIFT festival and earned much praise. Tickets were sold out even prior to the premier in Georgia. Each of the three days, the audience greeted the performance with a standing ovation and this witness acan boldly say, without exaggeration, that the Griboedov Russian State Drama Theatre, which hosted the play, has never seen such ovations.

Eka Karsaulidze

05 November,2015 23:05
11/03/2015
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CONTACT
  • GIFT/ Georgian International Festival of Arts in Tbilisi in honor of Michail Tumanishvili
  • 164, Agmashenebeli Avenue, 0112 Tbilisi, Georgia
  • General enquiries : + 995 32 235 0203
  • Press Office: + 995 551176818
  • tbilisigiftfestival@gmail.com




CONTACT
  • GIFT/ Georgian International Festival of Arts in Tbilisi in honor of Michail Tumanishvili
  • 164, Agmashenebeli Avenue, 0112 Tbilisi, Georgia
  • General enquiries : + 995 32 235 0203
  • Press Office: + 995 551176818
  • tbilisigiftfestival@gmail.com