Dance Open Festival Nonprofit Partnership


In besieged Leningrad, art was oxygen and fuel, medicine and miraculous prayer. It was equally necessary for both the human spirit and the body to live. To survive.

This is the same performance by Ruslan Kudashov, who managed to appear on stage in 2020 even before the lockdown was announced, to the participants of which the audience in the theatre hall applauded standing.
Their voices resurrect images of besieged counterparts connected by a common pain and fate: Ballerina Natalia Sakhnovskaya and tenor Ivan Nechaev both served at the Kirov Theatre, operetta artist Anatoly Korolkevich, Volkhov Front fighter Yuri Nikulin (favourite clown – but only later, after the war), brilliant prima of the pre–revolutionary Alexandrinka, People's Artist of the RSFSR Vera Michurina-Samoylova, director of the Blockade Theatrу Akim Barsky, legendary choreographer of the Pioneer Ensemble, commander of the propaganda platoon, Arkady Obrant, pop singer Claudia Shulzhenko, writer Vera Inber, composer Valerian Bogdanov-Berezovsky. The heroes of this performance did not fight for their homeland with weapons in their hands. But Leningrad would not have coped without them. This is a production about life and hope, a poignant light story about freedom and the power of art, about contempt for death, about a premonition of happiness, about courage, perseverance and love. Yes, in the besieged city, people not only survived, but also lived! There were performances and concerts every day, and despite the shelling and bombing, the audience filled the halls. There were no ovations: people had no strength to applaud, but people really needed both Onegin and Silva, Rachmaninov and, of course, Shostakovich, as windows into another life, as the most weighty argument of hope: there will be future. The audience and the project team really wanted this performance to live. Therefore, a video version of the "Muses of Resistance" was created, and a huge number of people across Russia were able to see the production completely free of charge.
The project aim is to tell about the contribution our besieged Leningrad muses made to the victory over despair, maddening hunger, impotence and fear. Theatre, poetry, music… They made our hearts beat and remember that "Man! That has a proud sound!" For many of us, it is obvious: the city survived because the Leningraders preserved its soul. We are not supporters of profiting from sub-truths, especially when it comes to such a topic that is still painful for society. Our goal is to convey to today's viewer the deep, emotionally coloured memories of the blockade survivors, who tried to comprehend what was happening broadly, not limiting themselves to painfully unsatisfied "vital needs", going into the plane of the human spirit, confirming the long-standing truth that men do not live by bread alone. At the same time, we see an important task to present the material in a new format and bring it to the audience through modern expressive theatrical technologies and original directorial solutions. After all, only in this case the project topic will be perceived by the audience as relevant and topical, and not as a historical excursion "for general development".