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Quirky Chekhov exhibition celebrates playwright’s 153rd birthday

25 January 2013
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Project Che, Tatyana Nekliudova

An unusual exhibition in honour of the playwright Anton Chekhov’s 153rd birthday will open in his hometown today. The not-for-profit Fluxus Gallery Belka & Strelka in Taganrog will showcase works by artists from all over Russia, including 20 pieces by local students, which explore Chekhov’s work and legacy in unexpected ways. In addition to traditional oil paintings, quirkier artworks include the retelling of The Steppe, one of the playwright’s iconic short stories, in the form of a woven rug. During the opening, an astroturf mat will be “shaved” to create a portrait of Chekhov. The free exhibition runs until 8 February. 

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Young designers give former factories new lease of life

25 January 2013
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Exhibition at Winzavod

The results of a competition to find creative ways of reusing abandoned industrial spaces in Russia will go on show at the Winzavod Centre for Contemporary Art in Moscow this Friday. The competition, Design Territory: Old Space - New Quality, was open to young architects and designers, and received more than 100 submissions.

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Vladimir Sorokin makes Man Booker prize shortlist

24 January 2013
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Photograph: RIA Novosti

Russian novelist Vladimir Sorokin has made it to the shortlist of 10 authors competing for the £60,000 Man Booker International Prize, one of the world's most prestigious literary awards. Sorokin, 57, is a postmodern Russian writer best known for Days of the Oprichnik. The novel is set in Moscow in 2028 at a time when the city is walled off from the rest of Europe and ruled by an Ivan the Terrible type figure, who is protected by an army of secret police. Sorokin, whose books were banned during the Soviet period, has had his work translated into roughly 20 languages.

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Music Film Festival kicks off with Oscar-nominated Les Miserables

24 January 2013
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Photograph: Cool Connections

A new festival exploring the relationship between film and music opens in Moscow today, kicking off with Tom Hooper's Oscar-nominated Les Miserables. The Music Film Festival will run in Moscow for a week before moving to St Petersburg and finally Novosibirsk. The programme features a mix of Hollywood musicals, European art-house classics and a raft of music biopics. The variety is intended to reflect the important role that music has played since the birth of cinema.

Berlinale adds five Russian films to competition line-up

23 January 2013
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A still from Winter Has Come (2012)

The Berlin film festival has announced a string of Russian films as part of its final line-up for the main competition, putting paid to doubts that none would feature this year. Director Boris Khlebnikov's much-awaited A Long and Happy LIfe will premiere in the main competition, the third in a trilogy of films that examines pastoral life and the people living on the periphery of  Russian society. The first two films, Free Floating and Help Gone Mad, both received widespread acclaim, establishing Khlebnikov as one of Russia's new wave of young directors to watch.  

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Aeroflot’s design-a-plane competition takes off

23 January 2013
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Aeroflot Russian Airlines is giving members of the public the opportunity to design the exterior of their newest jet in celebration of the firm's 90th birthday. Entrants should submit a design for the Sukhoi Superjet 100's external paint scheme by 28 February. Entries for the competition have been flying in since its launch on Monday, with more than 500 submitted so far

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Designer Ulyana Sergeenko enchants Paris fashion week with fairytale collection

22 January 2013
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Ulyana Sergeenko, Russian fashion designer and style icon, unveiled her Spring 2013 Couture collection to an audience including burlesque star Dita Von Teese Paris and Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova today. From The Wizard of Oz to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, inspiration from classic children's novels was evident throughout. Surpassing them all as head muse was Scarlett O'Hara, played by Vivien Leigh in the Hollywood adaptation of Gone With the Wind. The response from Twitter and other social networks was instantly enthusiastic. 

Valery Gergiev to lead Munich Philharmonic Orchestra

22 January 2013
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Photograph: Grigory Murmikov under a CC licence

Russian musical maestro Valery Gergiev is set to become the chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra in 2015. The Bavarian Ministry of Culture will confirm the appointment on Wednesday. Gergiev, who is both the artistic director of St Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre and the principal conductor at the London Symphony Orchestra was nominated for a Grammy award in 2012 for his performance of Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances. He is credited with masterminding the £400m construction of the new Mariinsky Theatre, which is due to open in May and is said to be Europe's largest performing arts space.

Images by legendary Soviet sports photographer Lev Borodoulin go on show

22 January 2013
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Trainer Vikenty Dmitriev, Vitebsk, 1964

A retrospective of sports photographer Lev Borodulin's work opened at the Moscow Multimedia Art Museum on Friday. Borodulin turned to sports photography after the Second World War, which was the only creative profession exempted from state's ideological rules at the time. He is credited with single-handedly defining post-war Russian photography through his own distinct style that looked to resurrect formalist principles. He was influenced by key figures in Soviet Modernism including Alexander Rodchenko, Boris Ignatovich and Arkady Shaikhet. Borodulin's photograph The Parade was chosen by former US President Bill Clinton for display in The White House. A gallery of some of the works in the exhibition, which runs until 10 November 2013, can be viewed here

Crime drama The Delivery Guy to premiere at Rotterdam Film Festival

22 January 2013
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Screen shot from the trailer.

A criminal drama by filmmaker Andrei Stempkovsky has been selected for the Bright Future programme at the Rotterdam International Film Festival. The Delivery Guy (Raznoschik), follows a young pizza delivery boy as he struggles to find money to pay for medical treatment for his ailing father. The Bright Future programme is a selection of the best feature-length films by first- or second-time directors. Stempkovsky’s debut film Reverse Motion was released in 2010. The festival runs from 23 January to 3 February.
 

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