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TERRITORY of Contemporary Dance

This year the TERRITORY Festival celebrated its 10th anniversary. In a city famous for its vibrant performing arts, it is not easy to stay relevant. But TERRITORY has managed to do just that, mostly by embracing the most innovative and cutting-edge trends from the world's stage.

The festival has several artistic directors, including Kirill Serebrennikov (artistic director of Gogol Center), Yevgeny Mironov (artistic director of Theatre of Nations), and Vasily Tsereteli (executive director of Moscow Museum of Modern Art). Each year the festival has a different focus.

This year's theme was time and memory, which is why the line-up included so many contemporary dance performances.

The unofficial headliner of this year's festival was "Morphed," directed by the Finnish choreographer Tero Saarinen. Saarinen is considered one of the leading figures in contemporary dance, and "Morphed" is a very special performance. The male-only cast expresses their inner struggles through movement. If theater was compared with visual arts, "Morphed" would be an abstract painting.

Another highlight this year was French artist Laurent Pernot and his exhibition "Fragment of Eternity," a joint project with the Moscow Museum of Modern Art that included video installations and art objects.

One of the legacies of this year's TERRITORY is a new play at the Stanislavsky Electrotheater, a collaboration with German director Heiner Goebbels entitled "Max Black or 62 Different Ways of Supporting the Head With an Elbow and a Hand." The performance explores the crooked path to scientific discovery and is based on notebooks of several prominent scientists. The exceptional performance by Alexander Panteleyev is supported by pyrotechnical effects and various industrial sounds coming together like futuristic music. The play is now part of Electrotheater's regular repertoire.

To follow the TERRITORY festival, see territoryfest.com.

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