24.12 / su / 18:00—19:30

Dance Performance and Concert YOUKALI

Shpagin Plant, Litera A

Music: Teodor Currentzis, Vangelino Currentzis, Andreas Moustoukis, Alexey Retinsky, Alexey Sioumak, FM Einheit

Artistic Director of the production: Teodor Currentzis
Director: Anna Guseva
Choreographer: Anastasia Peshkova Production
Designer: Yulia Orlova
Lighting Designer: Anatoly Lyapin
Sound Artists: kraaa, Egor Ananko

Eleni-Lydia Stamellou, soprano
Ekaterina Dondukova, soprano
Andrey Nemzer, countertenor
Aisylu Mirhafizkhan, voice
MusicAeterna Choir and Orchestra Soloists

MusicAeterna Dance Troupe:
Evgeny Kalachev
Alevtina Gruntovskaya
Aigulya Buzaeva
Aleksandr Chelidze
Maksim Klochnev
Elena Lisnaya
Timur Ganeyev
Aisylu Mirhafizkhan
Sofia Valiullina

Kirill Nifontov, performer
Sergey Katsev, performer

Conductor: Teodor Currentzis

YOUKALI continues the series of special projects – musical and theatrical tributes to poets and musicians of the past, major figures who influenced world culture. Following the projects commemorating Paul Celan and Charles Baudelaire, the Diaghilev Festival presents a dance performance and concert YOUKALI.

As part of the experimental project, Teodor Currentzis, Vangelino Currentzis, Andreas Moustoukis, Alexey Retinsky, Alexey Sioumak, and FM Einheit have created their own versions of Kurt Weill's songs set to the texts by Bertold Brecht and other authors. Weill's songs from musicals of the 1920s-30s and The Threepenny Opera, the independent miniatures that turned into widespread jazz standards or remained the pearls of the cabaret repertoire of the 1930s, have been altered to a varying degree of recognizability. Either arrangements that are close to the original, or radically new author's readings of songs – all were composed for the performing and creative forces of musicAeterna (the soloists of the choir and orchestra, the choir), and many involve non-academic instruments varying from electronics to theremin, from prepared piano to banjo.

The collection of songs-homages form the basis of a dance performance with the participation of the Dom Radio resident troupe – musicAeterna Dance. Director Anna Guseva and choreographer Anastasia Peshkova have created a large-scale production with the participation of about 50 artists (musicians, performers, and extras) in the genre of surreal cabaret. There is no continuous plot to be found in the play, but there is a strong semantic thread connecting all the variety acts, and an open ending.

The title of the production YOUKALI repeats the name of the song by Kurt Weill which was first performed as an instrumental Tango Habanera in 1934 and became popular after Roger Fernay wrote dreamy and melancholic verses to this music in 1935: 'Youkali, it is the land of my desires, / Youkali, it is just happiness and pleasure, / But it is only a dream, an obsession, / There is no Youkali in the world!'. Lyrical and tragicomic, realistic and chimerical characters of the play are anxiously waiting for the train that will take them to the land of illusory happiness. The departure lounge – a liminal, transitional space – highlights not only the fears and anxieties of each passenger, but also the nature of the non-existent country of Youkali, as the land of true happiness is located inside each of us here and now. The train to Youkali will arrive at the station, eventually. But who will live to witness its departure and who has a valid ticket?