Mera Project
Choreographe and performer Alexander Andriyashkin

Supported by International Center for Dance and Performance

President Medvedev renamed Russian “militiamen” as “policemen”. But the attitude of the ordinary citizen to them, as well as the insulting nickname "ment" (cop) hasn’t changed. Time and again in the new Russian cinema and social theatre, we come across negative images of "cops" who humiliate and attack, instead of protecting,. Performance director Alexander Andriyashkin, previously engaged in the field of contemporary dance, has made a documentary performance not about how all cops are bad, but why they are bad and who they are.

A man in a Russian police uniform, whose very appearance brings to mind a set of traits and habits, stands in an empty square on the stage. In his hands is a large checked bag, used for transporting belongings. Andriyashkin gradually exposes his hero, both literally and figuratively. By removing the badly ironed, poor quality blue uniform, he makes us also part with our traditional ideas about "cops." Understanding is not necessarily “forgiving", it's finding out how these people live, why they become so brutalized at work and why we never, ever want to go to a police department for any reason whatsoever.

THE LAST, a performance which has taken its organic sense of free movement from the dance background of its creator, does not reconcile us to the presence of "cops" in everyday life, but instead makes us leave behind our sarcasm and aggression towards them. And together with Andriyashkin, we feel confused and with no idea of how to treat our local police.

Kristina Matvienko

16:00 on April, 7 2013 at ZIL Culture Centre (4/1 Ulitsa Vostochnaya, Avtozavodskaya metro station)