Kirill Serebrennikov created the Platform project for contacts between contemporary artists and performers, existing in parallel contexts in Russia. The most successful performance of the project is a modern dance set to modern music and verbatim. The producers were inspired by L'HISTOIRE DU SOLDAT by Stravinsky, though the only things they have in common are the title and the antiwar message: a true "soldier's tale" is played at the Platform. An original score was composed by Alexey Sysoev, and it is performed by four percussionists on instrumental facilities including soldier's beds. Dutch choreographers Guy Weizmann and Roni Haver produced a dance for five Moscow dancers. And a beautiful, feminine actress at one moment joining the dance, at another moment stopping it, tells the audience about hostilities, captivity and peaceful life that is harder than war in the name of a soldier. From time to time, to confirm her words the actress addresses a guy sitting on an iron bed– he is the soldier and it is his story, so terrible that it arouses horror even in this highly esthetical form.
L’HISTOIRE DU SOLDAT is the format of the Platform in its pure form, as it combines theatre, dance and modern music - all of it in a very harmonious proportion, thanks to the talent and taste of the participants".
Kirill Serebrennikov for Afisha.ru
The playwright Ekaterina Bondarenko, after interviewing real "combatants", turned their memories into a tough, bitter documentary monologue with "unprintable language" on the basis of real military episodes - abhorrent, cynical and scary, but diluted by lyrical digressions about the childhood of a generalized character performed in the style of Grishkovets. The new text called for new music: the composer Alexey Sysoyev created a score for four percussion installations, supplemented by electronics, sounds of joiner's tools and different devices like soft thick hose making disgusting drumming sounds, similar to bullet whistling...
All the characters in the acting, reading and dancing performance are placed in open space: the musicians with their equipment — along the walls, between the two-tier plank beds (one of the urchins whose memories have become the literary basis for L’HISTOIRE DU SOLDAT sits motionlessly there and looks at what is going on with amazed respect). Three poles set hack to the left on a round platform stick out there – that is the devil's torture territory: the dancers having mastered the poles no worse than acrobats will squirm at them, as if impaled. The actress reading the text in the first person is omnipresent and has many faces. She changes khaki jodhpurs for fluffy black skirt frills of a princess, edges her way into dance episodes, lulls the tired soldiers to sleep in her arms and pronounces the final monologue, sitting on the back of real soldier.
The joint production of the Platform project (the brainchild of Kirill Serebrennikov), Tsekh Contemporary Dance Centre and a Dutch company - Club Guy and Roni (choreographers Guy Weitzman and Roni Haver) represent a number of monologues, interlaid by dance fragments. The monologues are pronounced by an actress dressed in an expressly feminine manner (high heels, luxurious black evening dress), but she speaks on behalf of a man, that very soldier who voluntarily went to the military enlistment office (because "every man must serve"). He killed people in the war (including a girl who refused to surrender), was taken prisoner and set free by an assault squad, while his fellow prisoner, in the same pit, was torn into pieces by a grenade thrown by friendly troops. It is stated that these texts, written by Ekaterina Bondarenko, are based on real stories, well, it's easy to believe it: each of us can hear similar stories, almost everyone in Russia now has such acquaintances or relatives.
The Moscow News