#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. In 2011, the Parallels international art festival was held for the first time in the Norilsk Polar Drama Theater. It included not only an extensive theatrical program, but also concerts, photo exhibitions, master classes by participants from cities crossing the Arctic Circle.
The Norilsk people were the first to get acquainted with the Westurport theater from Iceland. In the Metamorphoses play based on Kafka’s novel, the audience was most struck by the two-tiered scenery and the plastic drawing of the Gregor Sams role, which kept the audience’s attention throughout the entire performance.
The real discovery of the Parallels 2011 was the Norwegian play All Together with actress Sarah Margarethe Oskal. Sitting on a chair, against the backdrop of a subtitled screen, she told stories in the Sami language, funny depicting one character, then another, behind which stood the story of the entire nation.
The festival program included a large percentage of children’s performances. The musical opera Black Chicken was brought by the State Musical Theater from Petrozavodsk. It was the world premiere of the production. At the performance, everyone suddenly felt that Norilsk lacked both children’s and musical theaters.
For the first time on Parallels the popular word ‘storytelling’ was heard. The theater brought it from Denmark with the Beowulf performance.
The festival closed with a performance from the Finnish city of Tampere called Pity. Like Metamorphoses, it was a typical European theater, striking with its visual solution. For the Norilsk people, much in this performance was new, for example, a video that reflected the hidden of the heroine of the Witto Pirrko actress’s character’s desires.
Another festival took place in 2013, and that was where its story ended. And the performance, which opened the first Parallels, is still staged in the Norilsk Polar Theater. This is a production of The Rain Seller by Alexander Zykov.
Text: Varvara Sosnovskaya, Photo: Nikolay Shchipko