A trio of treats for this lockdown holiday weekend and week.
Anna Karenina on Ice
Ilya Auerbakh, Olympic-medal-winning figure skater, choreographer and producer has just premiered his new ice ballet, “Anna Karenenia on Ice.” Running at the Luzhniki sport stadium for just 10 days from Nov. 4 to 14, the almost three-hour production has beautiful costumes — tight corsets and airy skirts — brilliant music, lights, and special effects, and of course, some of the world’s best figure skaters: Oksana Domnina as Anna and Maxim Shabalin as Karenin; Roman Kosomarov as Vronsky; and Yevgenia Medvedeva as Kitty. More information and ticket sales here.
Pushkin’s Fairy Tales for Adults
Now here’s something you don’t see every day: Mikhail Zygar, best known for his non-fiction books about contemporary Russian politics, has rewritten Alexander Pushkin’s fairy tales for an adult audience. In Zygar’s telling, five tales that all Russian children know take place in a very adult, very explicit Russian past, present and anti-utopian future. For example, the princess is an Instagram blogger and the golden cockerel is a neural network. Each tale has been turned into scripts by different writers and directed by different directors and different visual styles. The “Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish” takes place in the Russian provinces in the 2010s when a married pair of hustlers catch a movie star who can make their dreams come true, with Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Pavel Popov and Darya Zhovner. “Pushkin’s Fairy Tales for Adults” begins Nov. 10 and will run for five weeks on more.tv.
Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony
On Nov. 8 there is another premiere, this one on Russian television. Produced by the extraordinarily successful Alexander Rodnyansky — who produced “Leviathon,” “Loveless,” and most recently the Venice Film Festival award winner “Mama, I’m Home” — it tells the story of the radio performance of Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Seventh Symphony” during the siege of Leningrad in the spring of 1942. The director of the Leningrad Radio Symphony Orchestra, Karl Eliasberg, played here by Alexei Guskov, is ordered to perform the symphony to show that “Leningrad is alive.” Unfortunately, most of the musicians are not alive, or are barely alive, or are fighting at the front. Against all the odds, the performance takes place. The eight series will be viewable on the Russia One site here.