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Gazeta ru: Bizarre Chechen War Musical Hits Moscow Stage

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  • mariuslab2002
    Bizarre Chechen War Musical Hits Moscow Stage 18.06.2004 Semyon Kvasha Gazeta.Ru A musical entitled Warriors of Spirit, commemorating the exploits of the 6th
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 18, 2004
      Bizarre Chechen War Musical Hits Moscow Stage


      Semyon Kvasha


      A musical entitled Warriors of Spirit, commemorating the exploits of
      the 6th company of the Pskov paratrooper division, opened in Moscow
      on 16 June. The hero fights Superhero, a henchman of the evil

      A feeling of awkwardness and confusion has long become inherent in
      the atmosphere of everyday life in Russia. But just when you think
      there can't be anything more surreal than the latest list of State
      Prize winners, life proves you wrong.

      On 16 June the musical Warriors of Spirit opened in Moscow. On the
      same day a prize bearing the same title was awarded to the relatives
      of the paratroopers killed in Chechnya in 2000. The musical is
      dedicated to the 6th company of the Pskov Division of the Airborne
      Troops that was ambushed in the Argun Gorge in early March 2000 and
      almost wiped out by Chechen rebels.

      Eighty-four troops were killed, most of whom had not reached the age
      of twenty. The inter-regional public foundation "Paratroopers —
      Combat Fellowship" in cooperation with the Defense Ministry and a
      group of individuals decided to award the six survivors and families
      of the slain paratroopers with the Warriors of Spirit Prize — a
      figurine made of silver, platinum and rock crystal. The figurine will
      be stored at the museum of the company, while the relatives of the
      paratroopers will be presented with special commemorative medals.

      The official Web-site of the musical greets its visitors with slogans
      stating that the performance offers fantastic special effects and
      state-of-the-art animation. According to the site, Warriors of Spirit
      is the first-ever Russian story of eternal love and real
      achievements, and of the global war between two worlds — the real one
      and the virtual one.

      The plot involves an 18-year-old lad who has all the roads in the
      world open to him. He is being tempted by Provider, a devil from the
      Web, aided by a virtual monster Superhero. The demons are trying to
      tempt the young conscript by a bright but fictitious life, but Kombat
      (short for 'commander of battalion') appears. Kombat is based on
      Yevtyukhin, the battalion commander of the 6th company of the Pskov

      This is not a joke. The musical, starring Teona Dolnikova who played
      the leading role in the musical Notre-Dam, and Dmitry Dyuzhev and
      Pavel Maikov from the television series Brigada, opened on 16 June in
      the Luzhniki Centre in Moscow, where everyone is welcome to see how
      Kombat overcomes the evil Provider

      Superman is played by Sergei Ruban, an arm-wrestling champion of
      Russia and Europe, who appears as such in the Guinness Book of
      Records. The main hero is faced with a dilemma — he is to choose
      between the lure of the Web and virtual love on the one hand and true
      friendship, military camaraderie, death, and eternal glory on the

      For the sake of all that, the young sex symbols took six months of
      singing lessons. For the sake of all that, the Luzhniki stage has
      been rented. For the sake of all that, a grandiose set comprising a
      real APC, Caucasian mountain ranges, and the Kura River has been
      built. The stage, equipped with LCD screens, plasma panels, and God
      knows what else, will be awash with light and sparks, and shine so
      brightly that it seems the person who designed the set has destroyed
      his brains after lengthy substance abuse.

      The bewitching spectacle, of course, has nothing to do with the real
      tragedy that occurred in March 2000 in the Chechen highlands. 84
      young paratroopers were savagely killed in an ambush, and now, four
      years later, the authors of the musical are seeking to immortalize
      their heroic deeds in a kitsch performance. Apparently, the authors
      are sincere in their endeavor and the musical will almost surely
      bring tears to the eyes of the mothers and widows when they watch
      that nonsense and accept the posthumous awards from military

      And the audience who buys tickets for the performance in Luzhniki
      will buy all that nonsense and will be filled with patriotism and
      pride for their country that sent 84 young men to die, lied about the
      reasons for the tragedy after their death, and then awarded their
      relatives with a crystal bird and a daft musical.

      The authors of the musical even plan to take it on tour across
      Russia. Who knows, maybe the audience in Pskov will throw tomatoes at
      the script writers, directors, designers, and stars and banish them
      forever from the city.
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