Irina Korchevnikova: "Puppet theaters of Russia and Azerbaijan may celebrate their 90th anniversaries together"

Irina Korchevnikova: "Puppet theaters of Russia and Azerbaijan may celebrate their 90th anniversaries together"

From October 5 to October 14, 2018, Moscow will host the 9th International Festival of Puppet Theaters named after Sergey Obraztsov - "Obraztsovfest" - dedicated to the Year of Culture in the Commonwealth of Independent States. Program of the festival includes performances of puppet theaters of the CIS countries, prepared for different age categories. Director of the State Academic Central Puppet Theater named after Obraztsov, Irina Korchevnikova, discussed this festival and theater in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza.

- This festival became a huge brand over the years. What festival's program includes this time?

- This festival is held since 2001. It was initialylly proposed by the world puppet community, because Sergey Vladimirovich Obraztsov is a man who belongs not only to Russia, but to the entire world. A lot of people came from different countries of the world, there was a very interesting discussion, we saw many great performances. But at that time no one imagined that it would be an annual event. After first few years we say that "Obraztsovfest" became a brand and we can hold a festival of a slightly different level under this brand.

This year's festival is dedicated to the puppet theaters of the CIS countries. At first we didn't even know that this year was declared the Year of Cultures of the CIS countries, it was a lucky guess. A lot of talented directors, interesting masters work in our former republics. We brought performances from Azerbaijan, from Kyrgyzstan, from Kazakhstan, from Belarus, from Armenia, from Uzbekistan.

We invited Etcétera theater from Granada with their "Petya and the Wolf" play. Its director Enrique Lanz is a unique puppeteer who performs with real symphony orchestras. His dolls range from three to five meters tall. Spanish Embassy and the Instituto Cervantes supported this cooperation.

The Russian Puppet Theater from Tallinn will show the "Golden Words" play, directed by Rein Agur.

The Donetsk Republican Academic Puppet Theater will show the "Aladdin's Magic Lamp" play, produced by Anatoly Polyak.

The Lugansk Academic Puppet Theater will show the "Ox and Dunkey" play.

The Azerbaijan State Puppet Theater named after Abdullah Shaig will show the "White and Black" play. I have to tell you a little more about this theater. They are very close us, since both theaters were created in 1931. The "White and Black" is a very touching story with beautiful dolls. A boy who was born blind always remembered his mother's parting words: "The world is cruel and ugly, in order to survive, you must find light in your soul, see this world in your imagination." This play tells us that you need to be able to see the light even in the dark, and that in order to see the good, it's not necessary to have eyes. We hope that our audience will love this story.

- Should guests of the festival bring young children to see this play?

- It woulb be better if they were a little older. Because it's a sad story. I think that 6-7 years old kids should see it. But we must bear in mind that each child sees different things in puppet shows, depending on his age.

- Do you need to buy tickets ahead of time or will they be available on the day of the performance?

- Experience of our past shows suggests that festival rarely sells out.

- Does the Obraztsov Theater perform in the CIS countries?

- Over the past two years we have received invitations from the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan. We will visit this country with great pleasure. There's the "Big Tour" project, within the framework of which Russian-language theaters visit the CIS countries. Azerbaijan has Russian-language theater, although it's not a puppet theater, but it doesn't matter. But so far we weren't able to find financial support.

We were in Moldova, now we will visit Uzbekistan, which has Russian-language theater, which is also not a puppet theater. We rarely work in puppet theaters - we hold huge performances, large formats. We work in drama theaters, in philharmonics.