2017 has started for Pro Helvetia Moscow with a momentous event. In February, we celebrated the official opening of the office that has joined the extended family of international liaison offices of the Swiss Arts Council in Cairo, Shanghai, New Delhi and Johannesburg.
During the two-day programme of the Swiss performances in Electrotheatre Stanislavskiy, our guests, colleagues and friends had an opportunity to see some of the most interesting artists. Among them were musician Simon Berz, performer Yann Marussich, dance companies of Ioannis Mandafounis and Delgado Fuchs, and DJ Jimi Jules.
Throughout the year, we continued fostering Swiss-Russian cooperation in contemporary art, theater, dance, literature and music. These efforts brought to life 70 projects that took place all over Russia and involved at least 80 artists, musicians, writers, dancers, and performers from Switzerland.
Pro Helvetia Moscow supported many projects in visual arts, design and photography that are already familiar to the contemporary art lovers, for example, “Typomania” or “Boomfest”. There were new initiatives too, such as the festival of independent publishers “GROUND Zine Fest”, or the festival of photography books “Photobookfest” that took place in Moscow for the first time and already featured several Swiss artists. The art highlight of 2017 was the 4th Ural Industrial Biennale of Contemporary Art which presented the work of three Swiss authors. Composer Carlo Ciceri wrote a piece for the opera “Lights of the Urals” which premiered within the biennale. The artists Florian Graf and Rudy Deceliere presented their works created at the Ural factories. In the end of the year, an archive of Collection Cahiers d’Artistes was for the first time shown in Moscow. The series presents the first publications of the Swiss artists and Pro Helvetia supports the project since its inception in 1980-s.
We put our special attention to the theatre, dance and performance. Rimini Protokoll, the masters of the documentary theatre, showed two projects in Russia in 2017: “Remote Perm” in Perm and “Cargo Х” and Moscow. In November, the New European Theatre festival NET-2017, known for its experimental stance, started this year’s edition with the work of the Swiss director Thom Luz “Unusual Weather Phenomena.” Next, Boris Nikitin’s “Martin Luther Propagandapiece” strengthened the success of the Swiss theatre. His other work “How to Win Friends and Influence People” appeared at the “Access Point” festival in St. Petersburg last summer.
The Swiss dancer Foofwa D’Imobilite conquered the hearts of the fans of contemporary dance. During the Open Look 2017 festival, he presented his ingenious work “Condanced Histories” on-stage while guiding his “Dancewalk” off-stage along the streets of St. Petersburg and Moscow involving dance enthusiasts and passing strangers into the performance. Another significant dance triumph of the year was the presentation of the recently premiered staging of the «Nutcracker and the Mouse King» by Christian Spuck and Zurich Ballet on the stage of the Bolshoi theater at the DanceInversion festival. This was the first Swiss participation in the festival’s 10-year history.
Contemporary Swiss music kept paving its path across Russia. The audience’s favorites were the festivals of avant-garde and electronic music “Synthposium” and “PS-2017” in Moscow, “Sound Around” in Kaliningrad, and “Unsound Dislocation” in Kazan.
Pro Helvetia continues to support publications of the Swiss literature in Russian. In 2017, Russian publishers released seven books including the new novel of Charles Lewinskiy “Andersen” in “Alethea”, the second volume of the “Swiss Drama Anthology” in NLO, and Catherine Lovey’s “Monsieur et Madame Rivaz” in “Arkadia”
Each month of 2017 was interesting and rewarding. We do have great moments to remember and we would like to share them with you in our photo gallery.
We hope to spend 2018 with you and make it even more exciting and intense!
Happy New Year!