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Events in Saint Petersburg - April 2017

Exhibition “The Russian Revolution 1917-1922”

1 Apr - 30 Apr

The exposition is dedicated to the February Revolution and the Great October Revolution in Petrograd, 1917 and the Civil War, 1918-1922.

Also, the attention is paid to the events which took place in the specified period of time in the national regions of Russia. The October coup induced the process of declarations of the national state entities, the most of which counteracted the central power of the Soviets. The Baltics, Ukraine, Transcaucasia, and Central Asia saw complicated political processes associated with armed struggle, in which, in addition to national forces, both the Bolsheviks and representatives of the “revolutionary democracy” and White movement supporters took their part.

The special role in the exposition belongs to the set of the exhibits depicting the Kronstadt insurrection in March of 1921. This revolt forced V.I.Lenin to come to terms with the peasant majority of the country and to announce the New economic policy. 

The Civil war final in 1922, as well as a final part of our exposition, culminates with the appearance of the new state - the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) - on the world map and forced emigration of more than two million of Russia’s residents from their homeland.

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Exhibition "The Arctic, an inhabited land"

1 Apr - 30 Apr

Сultural items of the native peoples of the Arctic, from the museum collection, which represent the particularities of daily life and national traditions of the small populations of the North, Siberia and the Far East, will be shown at the exhibition 
The exhibition invites visitor to travel across the spaces of the Russian Arctic and to make a glimpse at history and culture of its inhabitants. The choice for exhibition of such ethnographic topics as economic and hunting activities, trade, home, clothes, rites and beliefs, navigation and missionary work is determined by the main objective of exhibition - to show how and by whatmeans people made the Arctic, the territory with extreme environmental conditions for man, their home. 
The name “Arctic” (ἄρκτος – she-bear) is not directly related to its largest inhabitant – white bear, but is derived from the Ancient Greek names of constellations of the Ursa Major and the Ursa Minor with unmovable Polaris and territory situated under it in the Northern hemisphere. 
Not being a mainland the Arctic embraces vast territory (27 millions square km) of the northern periphery of Eurasia and North America neighboring the North Pole and the entire area of the Arctic Ocean with its islands. The Arctic territory with its richest mineral deposits and resources has been always the center of allure for traders, merchants, travelers and explorers. 
Russia always longed the Arctic that had especially attractive power for our country throughout its history from Novgorod merchants and the Pomors to poets and conquerors of the North Pole. The result of this multi-century endeavor was exploration of vast polar territories by Russian travelers, men of service, traders, missionaries, scientists and navigators. Observing, and recording the life of indigenous ethnic groups, living side by side with them they not only introduced new elements in their culture and religion, but also enriched their own with practices of local peoples related to economic activity and life-maintenance system, without which it’s impossible to imagine the present existence of the Russian Arctic’s population. 
Ethnographic objects and archeological findings representing the circumpolar cultures alongside photographs and drawings from the Russian Museum of Ethnography collections and multimedia programs will help visitor to know general and unique features of different ethnic and local cultures’ traditions the complex of which shapes the image of the “Arctic house” common to everybody. 

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Exhibition “The Russian Revolution 1917-1922”

1 Apr - 30 Apr

The exhibition “Georgy Plekhanov: the apostle of Russian Marxism” at the State Museum of Political History of Russia is dedicated to the 160th anniversary of Plekhanov’s birth and represents his life and evolution of his political views


On Sunday June, 9, 1918 the streets of Petrograd were filled with crowds. No less than ten thousand people took part in the funeral ceremony on that day. Students, clerks, teachers, journalists, lawyers, workers from some of the faсtories and plants, which did not obey the Bolshevik instructions, followed the coffin. The mourning procession brought together people of different political positions: Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries, cadets and ardent autocracy supporters. Not only their will to pay the last tribute to the deceased united them, but also the disregard towards Bolshevism and the Soviets. On that day the citizens of Petrograd followed one of the greatest men of his time to his grave… Only the Bolshevik officials of Petrograd, led by Grigory Zinoviev demonstratively refused to participate in the funeral ceremony. Calling for the workers to follow the officials, Zinoviev wrote in “Petrograd Pravda”: “We will not attend the funeral of our former teacher, who in his later life took the side of our worst enemies”. 
The most influential Russian labour movement theorist, thinker and revolutionary activist, the founder of Social-Democracy in Russia, Georgy Plekhanov was born on December, 11 (November, 29) 1856 in the village of Gudalovka, Tambov province, to the family of the retired staff captain Valentin Plekhanov. 
In 1873 Plekhanov graduated from Voronezh military gymnasium and entered into the Konstantinov Junker school in St. Petersburg. However, he only stayed within the school for a few months and then gave up his military career forever, as he realised that the principles of autocracy were incompatible to those of service to the Motherland’s good. In the same year, Georgy Plekhanov got enrolled into St. Petersburg Mineral Resources institute, although, he soon left it too and got involved into the revolutionary activities. In 1876 he became one of the founders of the “Land and Liberty” clandestine revolutionary group. He organised demonstrations and strikes, he wrote proclamations. During the first Russian political demonstration at the Kazan cathedral on December 6, 1876, Georgy Plekhanov spoke openly against the tsarist autocracy for the first time. When the “Land and Liberty” group split up in 1879, Plekhanov refused to follow the terrorist path and became the head of the “Black Repartition” splinter group. Fleeing from the police persecution, Plekhanov left Russia and spent in total 37 years living in exile in Switzerland, Italy, France and other European countries.

In 1883 in Geneva Plekhanov set up the first Russian Marxist “Emancipation of Labour” group, which main idea was to propagate Marxism and to publish works by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. He translated the “Manifesto of the Communist Party” into Russian. Soon Plekhanov became a prominent Marxism theorist.    
In the exile Georgy Plekhanov, as a respected leader of the international socialist movement, took part in the congresses of the Second International. He wrote multiple theoretical, journalistic, philosophical and literary works dedicated to aesthetics. 
In 1900 Plekhanov along with Lenin started “The Spark” clandestine newspaper. He also took part in the foundation of the Russian Social-Democratic labour party (RSDLP). In 1903 on its II congress the RSDLP party split up into the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks; Plekhanov and Lenin took different paths. During the Russian revolution in 1905-1907, Plekhanov first called for an armed uprising against the autocracy, but after the December revolt in Moscow in 1905 was suppressed, he stated that “taking up arms was not necessary”. He spoke in favour of the socialist-democrats’ participation in the elections to the State Duma and also for the cooperation with the liberals.  
During the Russian-Japanese war in 1904-1905, Plekhanov campaigned for the fall of tsarism; to prove that on the Sixth congress of the Second International in Amsterdam he demonstratively shook hands with the Japanese socialist S. Katayama. However, after the outbreak of the World War I he changed his position completely and stood for the Russian triumph over Germany in opposition to the Bolshevik strategy of promoting the defeat of their own country. On March 31, 1917, after the abdication of the monarchy, Plekhanov returned to Russia after almost 4 decades of living in exile. Despite the red carpet reception at the Finlandsky railway station, his defencist position did not allow him to gain public’s support. As the head of the “Unity” social-democratic group, which he had established back in 1914, Plekhanov expressed support to the Provisional Government and its “war till the last dog dies” policy. With his “class harmony” philosophy, Plekhanov turned out to be too right-wing even for the social-revolutionary Menshevik leaders of the Petrograd Soviet. In spite of a sudden healt breakdown, caused by the relapse of tuberculosis, he kept on his journalistic activities and published more than 120 articles and essays in less than a year. 
Back in his Motherland, Plekhanov went through a deep crisis of a man, who could not stop his country from falling into the deeps of civil war. He spoke against Lenin’s “April Theses”, calling them “nonsense”. Plekhanov also described Lenin’s appeal for the continuation of the revolution as an “insane and extremely bad attempt to spread the anarchistic chaos around Russian land”. His reaction on the October revolution was very negative, he stated that taking the power “by one class, or what’s even worse, by one party” could lead to deplorable consequences. 
Grigory Plekhanov died on May 30, 1918 in the Pitkajarvi Sanatorium in Finland after a long illness. On June, 9 he was buried in Petrograd in the Volkovo Cemetery in Petrograd. 

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XVII International Ballet Festival Mariinsky

1 Apr - 9 Apr

An annual festival, featuring the stars of the Mariinsky Theater and the leading dancers of the largest ballet companies of the world will take place from March 30 to April 9


In line with tradition, the festival will open with a premiere. Continuing to restore to the repertoire titles that are significant for St Petersburg ballet, the Mariinsky Theatre will be presenting a new version of Paquita. This is not a revival of the 19th century ballet created in Paris by the ballet-master Joseph Mazilier which was performed in St Petersburg with choreography by Marius Petipa. Choreographer Yuri Smekalov is working on a new ballet using his own libretto. The famous Grand pas from Act III of Paquita, which adorns the playbill of the Mariinsky Theatre, will be included in the production in an unusual format – Yuri Burlaka is reviving Marius Petipa's choreography on the basis of surviving early 20th century notations.
Once again, the festival's guest company will be the ballet company of the Perm Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet Theatre, which will be presenting its premiere from last season – Swan Lake staged by Alexei Miroshnichenko. This year, the Creative Workshop of Young Choreographers acquires the status of an international project – its participants, in addition to the Russians Vladimir Varnava, Maxim Petrov, Ilya Zhivoi and Olga Vasilieva, will include the Brazilian Guilherme Maciel and the American Garrett Smith. Repertoire performances and the final gala concert will see Mariinsky Theatre dancers appear on-stage with Olga Smirnova, Lucia Lacarra, Marlon Dino, Semyon Chudin,  Daniel Camargo and Cesar Corrales.

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Exposition “Man and Power in Russia in the 19th – 21st Centuries”

1 Apr - 30 Apr

Exposition deals with relations of a man and a government at crucial points of the domestic history 
The sections of the exposition, and reflect the key events of our history: change of political systems and wars, revolutions and reforms, periods of power liberalization and dictatorship strengthening. The exhibits and artistic objects, eyewitness testimonies and “voices of history” show, how actions of those responsible for decision making and ordinary people influenced upon the course of history. 
The exposition area, unusual in terms of its design, allows each visitor to create his/her own picture of the Russian political history, which events are evaluated from different viewpoints. 
The exposition “Man and Power in Russia in the 19th – 21st Centuries” is situated in the central part of the museum on the ground and first floors. The ground floor allows a visitor to see the events and heroes of the domestic history of the 19th – early 20th centuries, whereas the first floor shows the events and heroes of the Soviet and post Soviet era. Final section of the exposition will be located on the second floor, and will show modern political realities.

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Exhibition “Soviet Epoch: Between Utopia And Reality” 

1 Apr - 30 Apr 

The exposition is dedicated to the most actual and disputable time of the Russian history – the Soviet period. 
Over 1,000 exhibits from the collection of our Museum and state and private archives are displayed in six halls. The Museum interpretation of the subject represents the main stages of the Soviet state system formation (from 1917 till 1985) and the most important elements of social and private life of Soviet people. 
The first part of the exposition reveals the mechanism of Stalin’s power in taking full control over all spheres of life in the country. The second part emphasizes the gradual overcoming of Stalin’s heritage by the Soviet society. 
Official doctrines and goals of Stalin’s “building of socialism in one country”, Khrushchev’s “full-scale building of communism” and Brezhnev’s idea of “developed socialism” are compared to real life of people in a huge country for a period of 70 years. Characters of the exposition are the Communist Party leaders and common people, the so-called “udarniki” (that was the name for all foremost communist-way workers) and outstanding scientists, people from NKVD (People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs) and KGB (the Committee for State Security) and GULAG prisoners, dissidents and councilors of the USSR leaders, workers of official culture and representatives of Soviet underground. 

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Exhibition “Matilda Kshesinskaya: Fouettes of Fate”  

1 Apr - 30 Apr 

An exhibition "Matilda Kshesinskaya: Fouettes of Fate" is designed to provide a full overview of the personal and creative biography of the famous ballerina of the Silver Age who left a significant footprint in Russian art. 
Matilda F. Kshesinskaya is not only a synonym of Russian ballet at the turn of the 20th century, but also was a significant personality in the life of high society and culture of St.Petersburg in the last decades of the Russian Empire. 
Today, she is of interest to us as a one-of-a-kind phenomenon encompassing many significant events in the cultural and political history of Russia. Her affair with the future Emperor Nicholas II, and love and business relationships with the Grand Dukes Sergei Mikhailovich and Andrei Vladimirovich caused a lot of innuendo, spawning the most fantastic rumors and gossip. There are still controversial opinions not only about the personality of Matilda Kshesinskaya, but also about the sources of her huge wealth — before 1917, Kshesinskaya was one of the richest women in Russia. 
This is not the first time that the Museum of Political History of Russia pays attention to Matilda Kshesinskaya. What is distinguishing about the new exhibition is that it aims to show her personal and creative life as much as possible freed from myths and secrets, and uses a large number of new archive sources, including those being exhibited for the first time. The exhibition reveals different dimensions of the multi-faceted personality of Matilda Kshesinskaya, showing her as an outstanding ballerina, socialite, mother, wife, lady and businesswoman.

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Exhibition «What wonderful shoes!»

1 Apr - 2 Apr 

Collection of figure skates at the Gatchina Palace, at the exhibition hall of the Central building, 1st floor 
The royal family spent time in Gatchina residence not only in summer, but also in winter, especially often it was during the reign of Emperor Alexander III, who chose Gatchina as a place of permanent residence. Ice skating was one of the favorite amusements of the royal family: a vast expanse of water at the Gatchina park with the coming of cold weather turned into excellent skating rinks! At the exhibition visitors will get acquainted with the history of ice skates origin, will learn about their existence at various times in different countries. The visitors also will learn how popular was this kind of winter fun in the Russian Empire and in the royal family. At the exhibition hall on the first floor of the central building will be presented 15 pairs of skates of the early XX century from the collection of Gatchina Palace. 
Exposition will be supplemented by the information stands with the stories about the earliest skates, found during the archaeological excavations, about materials and methods of skate manufacturing, along with the history of this winter fun in Russia.

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Mathilde: The Movie Costumes

1 Apr - 17 Apr

The Catherine Palace of the Tsarskoye Selo hosts a stunning exhibition showcasing about seventy clothing items specially made for “Mathilde” 
“Mathilde” is a historical blockbuster about the Russian imperial court and the ballerina Mathilde Kschessinska. Shot at Tsarskoye Selo and other palaces and estates of St Petersburg, the movie is directed by Aleksey Uchitel and will be released in March 2017. 
The highlights of our exhibition “Mathilde: The Movie Costumes” are the magnificent items made for the coronation scene of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna, which has never been filmed before. 
The famous staterooms of the palace demonstrate the following costumes from the movie: 
– coronation attire of the emperor and coronation dresses of the empresses 
– vestments of orthodox higher clergy 
– ceremonial uniforms of chamberlains and chief chamberlains, equerries and jägermeisters 
– coronation court clothes 
– maid-of-honour dresses 
– ball and visiting dresses 
– military uniforms 
– clothes of imperial court clerks and waiters 
– women’s clothing accessories

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Exhibition “Best of West” 

1 Apr - 30 Apr

The beautiful solo show by one the most promising world's photographer Dean West

Dean West’s complex and multilevel works have already won love of numerous prestigious competitions juries and millions of photography lovers all around the world. The exhibition will include several series, such as Church, In Pieces, Fabricate, Olympia and various advertising projects. Dean West collaborates with global brands such as SONY, Fox Sports, Disney, MTV and others. And constantly wins awards in photography exhibited around the world.

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Exposition "Victor Borisov-Musatov and the “Blue Rose” Society"

1 Apr - 30 Apr

In the Russian Museum are presented works of symbolist artists: V.Borisov-Musatov, P.Kuznetsov, S.Sudeikin, N.Sapunov, M. Saryan

The art of Victor Borisov-Musatov (1870-1905), one of the leading masters of Russian symbolism, will be presented in St.Michael’s Castle in context of his activity in the artistic society “Blue Rose”, the first exhibition of which dates back to 1907, 110 years ago. The variety of symbolist articulation in the oevre of Borisov-Musatov and artists of this unique group will be presented such fully for the first time. The exhibition will comprise the works by Borisov-Musatov himself and the ones by Pavel Kuznetsov, Nikolai Krymov, Sergei Sudeikin, Nikolai Sapunov, Martiros Saryan, Pyotr Bromirsky, Pyotr Utkin, Milioti brothers and other participants of  the “Blue Rose”. Along with these prominent masters who became classics of art of the previous century, the artists less known by the wide public but of no smaller gift will be on display (I. Knabe, N.Feofilaktov, N. Ryabushinsky). The exhibition will include around 80 paintings and graphic works from the Russian museum, State Tretyakov gallery and private collections of St.Petersburg.

Iolanta, the opera

2 Apr 

One of the most lyrical and poetic works by P.I. Tchaikovsky


The libretto created by Modest Tchaikovsky was based on the play by the Danish poet and playwright H. Hertz King René’s Daughter. 
Iolanta, blind from birth daughter of the King of Provence, is not aware of her misfortune, but the young knight, whom she falls in love with, reveals the awful truth to her. Iolanta’s desire to see the world is intensified by the threat of the king to execute the knight, if the physician’s attempt to restore her eyesight fails. The character of Iolanta stands out for its lyrical beauty even among the other female characters created by the composer, reminding us of Tatiana in Eugene Onegin.

The Mikhailovsky Theatre is one of the few theaters that offer the wonder opera to its audience.

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St.Petersburg Fashion Week

6 Apr - 9 Apr

Opening the calendar of St. Petersburg fashion events in 2017, the official St. Petersburg Fashion Week – season Fall/Winter 2017-2018 - will be launched on April 6-9, and from October 5 to 8 at the New Stage of the Alexandrinsky Theater will be presented the season  Spring/Summer 2018 under the patronage of Fashion Syndicate St.Petersburg, supported by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation and the Government of Saint Petersburg.

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The Snow Queen

13 Apr

Ballet-journey in 2 acts. Libretto by Viatcheslav Samodurov, based on the fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen. Choreography by Viacheslav Samodurov. Perfomed by the Ekaterinburg Ballet

The quest fairy tale with fantastic characters and magical transformations will entertain any child, while an adult audience will think about how one can lose contact with the loved creatures even when staying close to them. And, maybe, they will pay a bit more attention to their little Kai and Gerda.

In a new Snow Queen there are many features of a classical ballet, but this is a modern ballet that looks with envy on musicals, feels passion for the new opera directing and regularly visits Avant-guard museums.

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Festival “Lenin Was Here”

22 Apr  - 30 Apr

The festival "Lenin Was Here" combines in one route all the house-museums in St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region where the founder of the world's first socialist state visited or lived

The festival is aimed to promote and provide acquaintance with the small museums, the history of the city, and the personality of Lenin to mass audience. Each of ten participating museums will demonstrate a unique item associated with the Lenin's presence specially for the festival. The visitors will be able to trace the route of Vladimir Lenin from one safe house to another, to find out how families lived in the beginning of the 20th century, to visit both rural homes and mansions, to get acquainted with authentic memorial items.

The audience will be witnessing the interaction between the museum space and objects of modern art. The artists will offer their interpretation of the atmosphere in the house-museum and the image of the revolution leader. The festival will participate: A. Lublinsky, D. Fedin, A. Belova, N. Skobeyeva, F. Alekseyev, V. Kozin, etc.

For the first time the State Historical Preserve "Gorki Leninskiye" participates in the festival.

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Ballet «La Fille mal gardée»

23 Apr

Ballet in three acts music by Louis Joseph Ferdinand Hérold

This extraordinary ballet centres around the captivating character of Lise and her dreams of reuniting with her one true love, in spite of her mother’s best efforts to marry her off to theirrich, albeit dim-witted neighbour.La fille mal gardée is a buoyant and scintillating ballet with has long captivated audiences with its charm. The Mikhailovsky Theatre’s production features Frederick Ashton’s choreography, regarded as a classic example of British ballet.

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Die Zauberflöte opera

25 Apr

Opera in two acts/music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Mozart’s opera Die Zauberflöte is performed on the Mikhailovsky’s stage in a version first seen at the Opéra de Lausanne in 2010. The well-known German stage designer and director Pet Halmen decided to shift the opera’s setting to the Duchess Anna-Amalia Library in Weimar, home to a priceless collection of rare books and librettos. And although the idea for this arose following a terrible fire that broke out at the library in 2004, destroying most of the rare volumes stored there, many critics in Europe deemed the production to be one of the most vivacious and harmonious interpretations of Die Zauberflöte in the modern era.

Recommended for family viewing

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La Sylphide

29 Apr - 30 Apr

August Bournonville’s La Sylphide is returning to the Mikhailovsky Theatre repertoire. The Danish choreographer adapted the original 1832 French version, created for the great ballerina Marie Taglioni, who danced en pointe for the first time in this production. La Sylphide marked the beginning of the romantic era in ballet. The Danish Royal Ballet’s version is the one performed today. In this romantic masterpiece, the everyday life of a small Scottish village clashes with the fantastic world of the spirits of nature. James is enchanted by a beautiful maiden of the air, but he cannot even touch her. The young man’s attempt to embrace the sylph proves to be fatal to this spectral beauty.

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