Ukraine platform: Anton Ovchinnikov – BEAUTY OF THE BEAST
Duration: 35 min
Russian classical ballet today is one of the main products of Russian cultural export and one of the symbols of Russian art and culture outside of Russia. The performance “Beauty of the Beast” suggests looking at classical Russian ballet as an aestheticized form of violence against a person and over the body.
Today, when the Russian army destroys cities and the population of Ukraine, inhumanity and destruction become new symbols of Russia. How can this metamorphosis change the view of Russian classical ballet? Can it still be a cover for the lawlessness, anti-humanism and imperial habits of the Russian elite? How the war could change the perception of ballet as an art form that is deeply rooted in European culture but which has become a mainstay and glossy cover of Russian art for export?
The performance offers a new utopian vision of what a traditional classical ballet class might look like in a country where the entire cultural industry works to support the military-industrial complex and is subject to state ideology and propaganda.
The performance is based on the poem “New Russian Ballet” by Anton Ovchinnikov, which was written at the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, namely on March 31, 2022
Anton Ovchinnikov – multidisciplinary artist. He works as choreographer, performer, composer, lecturer, and organizer of the annual international dance festival Zelyonka Space UP in Kyiv.
Ovchinnikov was born in Kyiv in 1971. Graduated from Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts, MA.
Since 2008 he is the artistic director of the Black O!Range dance productions company. The company was recognized as one of the most distinctive and original dance projects in Ukraine.
In 2015 Ovchinnikov co-founded the All-Ukrainian Association “Contemporary Dance Platform”. Since then he is the President of the institution. Main objectives of the Association are to support young Ukrainian choreographers, integrate contemporary dance into the modern cultural life of Ukraine and establish the national center of contemporary dance.
In 2016-2021 Anton Ovchinnikov presented a few solo performances and created four multidisciplinary projects. In 2017 he was the fellow of CEC Artslink Residency in the USA.
Since 2018 Anton Ovchinnikov is the member of the expert panel of Ukrainian Cultural Foundation.