When you hear mention of a show at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the ill-fated performance by Pussy Riot in 2012 can’t help but come to mind. But it turns out there is an entirely different concert venue called the Church Council Hall located below the main cathedral’s building. Start your adventure into the world of the Russian arts from the embankment entrance.
Its offering this summer is an innovative folk art production with the unlikely name “Trinity. History Alive.” Don’t worry, you won’t be fed propaganda — either political or religious.
The multimedia show gives you a space to learn about or revisit Russia’s traditions of fine art, music and dancing — to the backdrop of animated masterpieces by Kustodiev, Repin, Kuindzhi, Polenov, Levitan and other Russian masters from the collections of the Tretyakov State Gallery.
Through song and dance you’re taken on a whirlwind tour of Russia’s cultural heritage, aided by over 300 tailor-made costumes in traditional Russian styles from ages past.
Some of Russia’s best ensembles have come along for the ride, with participating groups including the State Academic Orchestra of Soloists “Russkiye Uzory,” the State Music and Dance Ensemble “Sadko,” the Moscow State Dance Ensemble “Russkiye Sezony,” and the Sudakov Moscow State Choir.
On the program are works from some of Russia’s best know composers including Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Schnittke. The campanile of Kolokola Rossiye (Bells of Russia) ensemble appear on stage at one point to demonstrate their traditional flat bells, used as bass instruments in the performance.
If the show hasn’t satiated your thirst for Russian culture, head upstairs to the dining chambers to sample some traditional Russian food. It’s the perfect cultural pick if you have guests visiting for the weekend or are simply looking for something fun and fancy free this summer.
Church Council Hall. 15 Ulitsa Volkhonka. Metro Kropotkinskaya.Through Aug. 28
Tickets 1,000 rubles ($16)