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Territoria Fest Sees Man, Machine, Hip-Hop Show

A dancer on a digger in Gorky Park last week at the Territoria festival. Maximilian Gill

The Territoria festival of modern art comes to a close this weekend after 12 days of dance, theater and art.

Visitors still have the chance to see "Nya," which means "trusting in life" in Arabic, by choreographer Abou Lagraa, which mixes the music of bolero with the dancing of Algerian hip-hop artists. It plays Friday and Saturday at the Theater of Nations.

"Lagraa's contemporary choreography lifts the gesture of hip-hop to an unaccustomed intensity. Another language emerges, in which pirouettes and whirls possess the whole body," wrote The Guardian in a review of a Paris performance.

After moving to Kazan last year, the festival made a spectacular return this year as it attempted to claim an area in Moscow for a theater district. The Moscow city government says it will renovate the area close to the Theater of Nations to help achieve this aim.

Other works seen during the festival included Olga Rayeva's opera based on controversial writer Vladimir Sorokin's "Dreams of the Minotaur" and a performance in a platzkart train car as well as master classes by director Kirill Serebyannikov and actor Chulpan Khamatova.

One of the most striking performances saw man and machine dance together in a performance called "Transports Exceptionnels," by French company Beau Geste in Gorky Park.

Meanwhile, an exhibit at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art that runs till Nov. 4 looks at art in the decade after the fall of the Soviet Union. "1990s: Victory and Defeat" includes works by artists such as Oleg Kulik, famous for his performance art in which he pretended to be a dog.

See for more about the festival.

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