How the aggravation of international relations will affect the work of museums and theaters in Russia

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Museums do not rule out difficulties

February 24, the day of the start of the military operation in Donbass, on press conferences in TASS, the director of the Hermitage Mikhail Piotrovsky did not rule out difficulties in preparing exhibitions from Western collections. Among such projects in the Hermitage, Piotrowski named the Perugino exhibition, which the museum is preparing together with Italian partners. The museum also plans an exhibition by British sculptor Mark Quinn and an exhibition of Schukin’s joint collection, shown in Moscow and Paris with the support of the French Louis Vuitton Foundation. The director of the Hermitage did not rule out the possibility of cooperating with European meetings online, using the experience gained in the pandemic. But he expressed hope that the function of museums as “bridges that explode only last, will continue.”

Another exhibition with the support of the Louis Vuitton Foundation is to open in the summer – a meeting of the Morozov brothers at the Moscow State Museum. Pushkin. Neither the Hermitage nor Pushkinsky responded to a request from Forbes Life as to whether the fund would agree to support exhibition projects in St. Petersburg and Moscow. According to Forbes Life sources in museums, they are still waiting for the reaction of foreign partners. HPP-2 also said that they were monitoring the situation with foreign partners, but it was not clear yet.

The Moscow Garage Museum of Contemporary Art is also preparing for the difficulties, where the exhibition of German contemporary artist Anna Imhoff “Youth” is to open on April 5. The director of the museum Anton Belov said the situation: “We realize that in the future we will face a number of difficulties, starting with the relationship of Russian museums with foreign institutions, collectors, landowners. At the same time, I would like to say that the directors and staff of the museums we are in touch with are convinced that the most important thing we can do together with our colleagues is to continue to interact and look for ways to cooperate. Throughout our work, there has not been such a need to maintain such cultural cooperation as there is now. Culture and art are what preserve humanity in us. “

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The opening of the posthumous retrospective exhibition of the French artist Christian Boltanski is scheduled for March 23 in the St. Petersburg Manege Exhibition Hall. According to the press service of the Manege, most of the works have already been delivered, the work is in full swing, the project partners continue to provide support. “The last car with exhibits should arrive on Monday. As far as we know, everything is fine at the customs, ”the Manege said.

The Biennale of Contemporary Art opens in Venice on April 23. The project in the Russian pavilion is supported by businessman Leonid Michelson. The curator of the pavilion Anastasia Karneeva told Forbes Life: “We, like everyone else, need time to understand how to further organize our work, we need to make decisions that can protect culture. The efforts of the pavilion team, artists and curator are aimed at this. ”

Postponements of premieres and cancellations of concerts

The Bolshoi Theater has postponed indefinitely the premiere of the ballet The Art of Fugue to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, which is staged by choreographer Alexei Ratmansky with the support of the head of VTB Bank Andrei Kostin. The premiere was announced on March 30, 2022. However, on the morning of February 24, the choreographer-director of the play Alexei Ratmansky canceled the rehearsals and flew away from Moscow, sources in the theater told Forbes Life.

Choreographer, artistic director of the ballet troupe of the State Academic Bolshoi Theater Alexei Ratmansky during the rehearsal of the ballet “Lost Illusions” (Photo by Yuri Martyanov·“Kommersant”)

On March 25, the Bolshoi’s press service reported that the theater had decided to postpone the premiere of the ballet. “When the time comes, I hope to return to Moscow to complete the production,” the press service quoted Alexei Ratmansky as saying. Ratmansky himself did not respond to Forbes’ request.

Alexei Ratmansky is a world-renowned choreographer and director of the American ballet troupe ABT. A graduate of the Moscow Choreographic School, from 2004 to 2009 Ratmansky headed the Bolshoi Ballet, where he initiated the reconstruction of the historical ballets “Light Creek”, “Corsair”, “Flame of Paris”, “Daughter of the Pharaoh”. He is the author of new editions of Bolshoi’s ballets – “Romeo and Juliet” to the music of Sergei Prokofiev and “Giselle” by Adolf Adan. Alexei Ratmansky has special relations with Kiev and Ukraine: from 1986 to 1992 and from 1995 to 1997 he was the soloist of the ballet troupe of the Taras Shevchenko Kyiv Opera and Ballet Theater (National Opera of Ukraine). Alexei Ratmansky’s wife Tatiana is from Kyiv, a graduate of the Kyiv Choreographic School.

Carnegie Hall in New York and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra announcedthat conductor Valery Gergiev and pianist Denis Matsuev will not perform at concerts announced this week. On February 25, 26 and 27, Gergiev will be replaced by Canadian conductor Yannick Neze-Segen, who will replace Matsuev is yet to be announced.

Earlier, the Italian La Scala Theater and Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala demanded that Gergiev condemn the special operation in Ukraine, calling it a condition for continued cooperation with the Russian conductor. March. Mariinka refused to comment on the situation with the cancellation of Valery Gergiev’s performance at Carnegie Hall, but said that the theater itself is working normally.

Khudruk Ballet of the Moscow Musical Theater. Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Laurent Iler continues to work in the theater, the press service of MAMM reported. The Autodance Ballet is scheduled to tour Tel Aviv on April 13-14 as part of the MART cultural festival, hosted by billionaire Roman Abramovich’s fund of the same name. The press service of the MART Foundation reported that as long as the festival program has not changed, all agreements remain in force.

Also at the festival in Tel Aviv, the Vakhtangov Theater’s play “War and Peace” staged by Rimas Tuminas, the theater’s artistic director, was announced. To this day, Tuminas has also held the position of Khudruk at the Vilnius Maly Theater, which he founded in 1990 with ten of his students. On February 24, Lithuanian Minister of Culture Simonas Kairis posted on Facebook post demanding the dismissal of Tuminas from the Vilnius theater. Later they appeared in the Russian media messages that the director is also leaving the Vakhtangov Theater, but they turned out to be wrong. Director of the Vakhtangov Theater Kirill Krok commented situation, Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported that Tuminas retains a post in the Moscow theater, but leaves Vilnius. Krok noted that “the Lithuanian Minister of Culture demanded that the director of the Vilnius Theater dismiss Rimas Tuminas only because he works in Russia.”

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