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Taganka TheatreChekhov International Theatre Festival

Director – Narine Grigoryan (Armenia)

Designer – Victoria Riedo-Oganesyan (Armenia)

Choreographer – Yuri Kostanyan (Armenia)

Composer – Artyom Kim(Uzbekistan)

“I am thinking of a nation full of passion and love. And its best days still lie ahead. Sooner or later Russians will learn to love themselves, believe in themselves, they will master love, they will master the future…”, – these are Ray Bradbury’s words pronounced in some interview. This is also the approach taken in this version of Mumu, Ivan Turgenev’s classic short story.

The elaborate mechanism of daily life in a Russian country estate, in full accordance with the landlady’s will, works as well as a Swiss clock. But no one is free within this proven system, and even the landlady is firmly confined in chains of her own “good intentions”. The radical spiritual force of the peasant Gerasim, like a gulp of fresh air, could have liberated this “small world”. But the repressive machine follows its own laws, and Gerasim has to back down. He pays the highest price by sacrificing his personal affections for his real nature, the love of land and the love of freedom.

This production by Narine Grigorian, in co-operation with the composer Artiom Kim and designer Victoria Riedo, reveals to us the very world “whose best days still lie ahead”. This is the world of mute Gerasim’s primeval emotions, toward which he is drawn by speechless Tatiana and the doggie Mumu, which cannot speak. This world of the mute ones may lack words, but it is replete with sounds and feelings, with rhythm and movement, with light and love.

©Maria Yampolskaya  

May 25, 26, 27
Taganka Theatre