First created in 1990 with the students of the Maly Theatre Institute, Lev Dodin's mythic performance returns to the stage in a new version performed by the young actors of the theatre's ensemble.
Based on Sergej Kaledin's short story Construction battalion, Gaudeamus tells the story of a group of young draftees who begin their two-year service in the basic, lowest level unit of the army of the Soviet Republic.
“We wanted to speak not only of the lowest level, the depths to which men can sink, but also of the possibilities inherent, the potential, the positive essence of man. It’s not enough to display the filth, one must allow the audience to feel horror at the sight, to feel compassion for those who live in this state. From this the language of the work was born, moving from dance to music to song to fulfill that objective.”
Ever since its creation in 1990, the performance has been performed in 20 countries around the world, and has received many awards, among which the Prize of the French Critics (1992), the Regional Theatre Prize (1992), the Italian “UBU” Prize (1993) and the State Prize of Russia (1993).
Adapted from Construction battalion by Sergey Kaledin
Adapted for the stage and directed by Lev Dodin
Set designer | Alexei Porai-Koshits
Director’s assistant | Oleg Dmitriev
Artistic collaboration | Valery Galendeev, Evgeni Davydov, Valery Galendeev, Yuri Khamoutianski
Cast | Danna Abyzova, Alexander Bykovski, Fon Riben Arina, Pavel Gryaznov, Ekaterina Kleopina, Artur Kozin, Glafira Kozulina, Leonid Lutchenko, Phillip Mogilnitski, Aleksei Morozov, Danil Mukhin, Maria Nikiforova, Stanislav Nikolski, Polina Prohodko, Oleg Ryazantsev, Eugeni Serzin, Stanislav Tkachenko, Beka Tculukidze, Evgeni Sannikov
Premiere of the first version: 11 July 1990 in Leningrad, Russia
Russian premiere of the new version: 16, 18 and 19 September 2014
At the Maly Drama Theatre, Saint-Petersburg
And on stage of the UTE member theatre:
Piccolo Teatro di Milano – Teatro d'Europa, Italy
from 27 to 31 January 2016
More info here