Just how much times have changed since the birth of legendary Russian poet Alexander Pushkin became apparent as Moscow prepared to celebrate his 215 birthday with a poetry-reciting robot.
British-made robot RoboThespian is set to be the star attraction at Friday's final of the Live Classics, or Zhivaya Klassika, international reading competition at the Et Cetera theater in Moscow.
The robot, which can both sing and dance, is in Moscow as part of the international science event Robots Ball, which runs at the Artplay gallery until June 15. In total, more than 20 robots are on display at the exhibition, including a robotic model of Pushkin's head that recites poetry to visitors.
Among the other cultural events taking place Friday — also celebrated as the Day of Russian Language — are performances of the famed poet's work at Pushkin Square in downtown Moscow from 2 p.m. onwards.
The State Pushkin Museum and all of its branches will open their doors free of charge on Friday, and plan to put on their own cultural program for visitors.
For those willing to travel a bit further out of the city, Sergei Bezrukov, the people's artist of Russia, will perform Friday and Saturday at the Arkhangelsk State Museum alongside members of the Moscow regional orchestra.
Pushkin, who died in a duel at age 37, is one of Russia's most famous poets and is widely considered to be the founding father of the country's modern literature.
His most famous works include Eugene Onegin, Ruslan and Lyudmila and The Captains Daughter.
Robot Ball runs until June 15 at the Artplay Design Center, 10 Nizhnyaya Syromyatnicheskaya Ulitsa, Bldg. 7. Metro Kurskaya. 8-926-619-2889. www.artplay.ru ]