Not in the eyebrow, but in "Reality" - Newspaper Kommersant No. 219 (7420) of 11/25/2022

The final evening of the 10th Context festival took place at the Winzavod Center for Contemporary Art in Moscow: Anna Shchekleina, who defeated dozens of competitors in the competition for this full-length production, presented the 50-minute performance "Yav". Tells Tatyana Kuznetsova.

The jubilee Context, which turned into a purely Russian festival due to a special operation, overcame the changes in the program with energy and resourcefulness. In particular, he acquired his own troupe of artists and held a competition for ballet master applications Context Symphony in the spring. More than 70 authors showed up (it's amazing how many Russians consider themselves choreographers), Anna Shchekleina, who turned out to be the headliner of the season, won. In addition to the victorious production of "Reveal", she performed at the opening of "Context" with a miniature "Attention" (see "Kommersant" dated September 26), was twice nominated for the "Golden Mask" as a choreographer and most recently presented a ballet on the stage of the Bolshoi Theater "Nerv" in the "Labyrinth" project (see Kommersant of November 17).

Actually, the active Yekaterinburg woman has been known in the circles of "contemporaries" for twelve years already, regularly celebrating with prizes and grants. She participated in international dance projects, completed an internship in the USA and Paris, back in 2010, together with Alexander Frolov, founded the Zonk`a company, for which she composed more than 20 performances, staged for various troupes, including Provincial Dances ”, and in 2020 received the Golden Mask for “the best contemporary dance performance”. So the current demand for the choreographer Shchekleina is explained not only by dance import substitution. Rather, its popularity is due to its commendable ability to mimic - to be different in different proposed circumstances. When circumstances coincide with the natural inclinations and skills of a temperamental choreographer, the artistic product turns out to be successful (as, for example, the social pamphlet "Freedom to the Statue!"), When the director is "jammed by the environment" (like the "classic" artists in the ballet "Nerv") - a semi-finished product is obtained.

In “Yavi”, Anna Shchekleina seemed to feel quite free, despite the fact that Diana Vishneva’s Context loves high matters and inclines choreographers towards a philosophical understanding of themselves and the world. But Shchekleina, having paid tribute to the reflections that "Reality" is not reality, but something ambiguous, seeming, besides "a set of myths, archetypes and plots", nevertheless turned to a "celebration of corporality" understandable to herself and the audience, addressed to "instincts, to the womb." Her performance is physiological, but devoid of gender problems and even differences: both same-sex and opposite-sex couples participated in synchronous duets with supports - the point here is in rivalry, in survival, and not in procreation. Gender equality was emphasized by the long hair of the dancers, and the same costumes for all: flesh-colored underpants, semi-ghostly tops and one spacious knitted dress for everyone. Not clothes, but a reason for transformations: a dress stretched over the head and body turned a person into an inanimate object - a fragment of a statue, a natural stone, a pedestal. The light black curtain of the proscenium also served the same purpose: pulled off the rings at the very beginning of the performance and at the disposal of the artists, it took on a variety of guises with their help. It seemed like a metaphysical black hole in which everything that existed disappeared, now as a disembodied shadow, now an obelisk, now a mountain range - whatever the viewer’s imagination desires (artist Tatyana Ludanik).

Anna Shchekleina's vocabulary this time felt a distinct Israeli accent: the influence of Sharon Eyal's choreography with its animal energy, collective pulsation of bodies, contrasts of ostrich passages on high half-toes with shamanistic pliés on a wide second position was too obvious. However, this mixture of "French and Nizhny Novgorod" turned out to be quite organic, since Shchekleina's own language - brutal, forceful, mundane, replete with all kinds of stretch marks with twisted limbs - did not at all contradict the borrowed one. But what you should learn from an Israeli is the skills of composition: the ability to unfold the exposition, turn the leitmotifs of movements with different facets, build up tension in the growing complexity of solo fragments, explode with climaxes and put an end to the finale. With Anna Shchekleina, visual successes were interspersed with passing or duplicating episodes, solo entres turned out to be stronger than the development of parts, and there were at least three finals.

The sound design of "Yavi" was created by the dancer Andrei Petrushenkov participating in the performance under the supervision of music editor Valery Vasyukov, and the electronic uterine rumble, ominous rumble, excited rhythm and culminating mysterious rustle turned out to be no worse than the pros. Such "numbered" music, devoid of leittems and a clear structure, is convenient both for choreographers who are not bound by melodism, and for dancers who are free from the need to get in time. Perhaps partly due to the sound of the performer-dancer, "Yav" was distinguished by a special self-forgetfulness - plastic and emotional. Perhaps, in none of the productions of "Context"-22 the festival troupe looked so liberated and did not dance with such pleasure. Whether “Context” will retain its own company next year, whether it will find gifted Russian choreographers for artists and finances to continue their own lives, it is difficult to predict. But what it will find is the audience: the full halls of the "Context" proved that the audience's craving for modernity is stronger than ever.

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