Nowruz Festival hits the streets and goes online

And the Yakuts hold the premiere of the socialist realist classics in Kazan

Nowruz Festival hits the streets and goes online
Photo: kamalteatr.ru

The XV International Theatre Festival Nowruz has opened in Kazan. Why the Tatars do not stage epics, whether the new law on educational activities will affect the organizers' plans, and why self-isolation is harmful — these were discussed at the first press conference. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

What about the Kamal theatre? To Youtube!

From June 7 to 13, more than 500 participants from 25 theatres in seven countries perform in Kazan. Nowruz, which is being held for the 15th time this year, has two formats. Every two years, it turns into an educational platform for directors, actors, set designers, and critics. The next year, theatres show performances to the audience. Sometimes these stories are intertwined — this was the case when the entire forum was dedicated to rituals, and the following year many performances were indeed dedicated to them.

Last year, the chief director of the Kamal Theatre, Farid Bikchantayev, noted that there was no such certainty in the topic. So online screenings have become the main feature of the festival:

“Many teams were announced — Iran, Italy, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan... The new theatre of the indigenous peoples of the North really wanted to come for us, we were very much waiting for them. The online format, in which the forum was held, will give the opportunity to see them on the big screen. I think the quality will be quite good.

Farid Bikchantayev: “Many teams were announced — Iran, Italy, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan... The online format will give the opportunity to see them on the big screen. I think the quality will be quite good”

Yes, some of the performances will be shown in video format — on the website of the Kamal Theatre. Some more will be broadcast in the same place — but it will already be a live game of actors in real time. Thanks to this, on the one hand, Nowruz can be viewed anywhere in the world (payment — 50 rubles per session), on the other — it will present the works of theatres that could not reach Kazan. Although no one, of course, says that the emotions will be the same. However, once the Kamal Theatre did not imagine how one could watch the theatre on the screen, after which they launched the project “Kamal Maktabe”, in the pandemic posted archives on Youtube, and also mastered the sale on the broadcast. Among the video performances, for example, the Nuuma announced by us, staged by Sergey Potapov.

“From the point of view of attracting people who knew nothing about the festival, this format may be appropriate," said Deputy Minister of Culture of the Republic of Tatarstan Damir Natfullin. “Perhaps, the passive Internet watchers will then come to Kazan and become participants of the festival.

“Now I understand what a huge country Russia is”

In general, the transfer history of the festival probably deserves a separate paragraph. As the chief director of the Yakut State Drama Theatre named after Oyunsky, Andrey Borisov, told, he flew to Kazan two days through five cities:

“Now I understand what a huge country Russia is. We decided that I should put up a small monument. We managed to do this thanks to the Days of Yakutia in Tatarstan (they are held in parallel and include, in particular, film screenings, an exhibition and a round table discusiion “On the ways of developing the literatures of the Turkic-speaking peoples of Russia” — author's note). Perhaps, without them, nothing would have happened. The wisdom of the management is to put it all together “two in one”.

“Now I understand what a huge country Russia is. We decided that I should put up a small monument. We managed to do this thanks to the days of Yakutia in Tatarstan. Perhaps, without them, nothing would have happened”

By the way, part of the press conference, speakers, and journalists had to listen to how the road surface on Mardzhani Street once again was being repaired. In general, the festival, unlike last year's online format, looks very public.

According to Andrey Borisov, an abridged version of the tragedy “Kudangsa the Great” from the Olonkho Theatre was prepared especially for Nowruz to be shown in the open area — it will be shown on the site near the theatre, admission is free. Recently, the play was shown in Greece — in the amphitheatre.

Besides, he will hold at the festival a general run of the play “Alitet goes to the mountains” based on the novel by Tikhon Semushkin: “In Yakut, he 'runs away'. I was struck by that the negative character became the main character of the novel. And I took up the texts. The first general run will be here. Don't blame me. Although the theatre at the festival gave me two days for work.”

Bikchantayev also highlighted the Bashkir play “Gulbustan”, which takes place at a closed industrial plant:

“This performance was banned for a while, it was curtailed.”

Niyaz Iglamov: “Nomadic peoples have developed epic creativity, while sedentary peoples have developed literature. It is not good or bad, it is the uniqueness, it is the richness of the cultures of the Turkic world that enter into creative interactions”

“We also have a better quality of drama”

The correspondent of Realnoe Vremya asked the question: why do almost all theatres in the programme have epics, but the Tatars do not?

“Nomadic peoples have developed epic creativity, while sedentary peoples have developed literature," said Niyaz Iglamov, artistic director of the festival. “It is not good or bad, it is the uniqueness, it is the richness of the cultures of the Turkic world that enter into creative interactions. We also have a better quality of drama. For example, Kazakhstan has now launched a programme to support the national drama, thanks to the Moscow Kazakh, Olzhas Zhanaydarov, who does a lot to ensure that young authors write on current topics. Earlier it was more convenient for them to turn to the epic.

“We dream of making a festival of Turkic epics," Bikchantayev said. “What will the Tatars be able to offer on it? There are 'Idegey', 'Kyissai Yosyf' , there are dastans that can be studied.”

“Now the epic centre is being built in Yakutia," Borisov said, “Northern, Scandinavian and other people will come there.”

“Kazan has an idea to make a project for the circus — to unite the Tatar and Buryat cultures," said Natfullin.

Damir Natfullin: “In Kazan, there is an idea to make a project for a circus — to combine Tatar and Buryat cultures”

In general, the topic of what is possible and what is not, turned out to be relevant. Iglamov answered in detail, for example, the question about the law on educational activities, which probably also applies to the forum Nowruz:

“If the forms of civil activity manifest themselves, then there will be measures, through this law. I reread his draft several times and did not understand who certifies, how certifies, who are the judges who will judge.

Nowruz shows the real situation with national languages and culture on the ground, said Iglamov:

“Those republics that self-isolated, but preserved the Russian repertory theatre — there is a complete mess. They were trying to preserve what was not originally theirs. The situation with the language is different. In Khakassia, for example, actors sometimes learn their roles without knowing the language.”

A huge important festival is still not noticed in Moscow, Bikchantayev complained:

“At the same time, it has now become a common trend to make festivals of national theatres. And let's have another one, let's have another one! In this regard, Nowruz is a very honest festival.

By Radif Kashapov. Photo: Rinat Nazmetdinov
Tatarstan