(Dmitriy Romendik’s article appeared in Russia Beyond the Headlines, 10/17.)
St. Petersburg’s Alexandrinsky Theater opened its New Stage season at the end of September with a stage version of Vladimir Sorokin’s novel Telluria. The dystopian work is made up of a series of stories in which Russia is broken down into small princedoms in a kind of future version of the Middle Ages. The princedoms are populated not by people, but by fantasy characters and exaggerations of stereotypes. Among the characters are cynocephali (dog-headed men), centaurs, dwarfs and giants, Orthodox believers, crusaders are all looking for happiness in the form of a magical metal whose deposits are found in the new state called Telluria. St. Petersburg’s Alexandrinsky Theater opens New Stage with production of Telluria.
This was not the first time a version of Sorokin’s work has come to the stage, but it may have been the first time one was performed without significant controversy. Scandals seem to follow Vladimir Sorokin, one of Russia’s most vivid postmodernist writers. His dystopias with gloomy pictures of an apocalyptic Russia won him plenty of fans, but also alienated members of Russia’s conservative literary establishment – as well as some of the public at large.
Source: Russia Beyond the Headlines – http://rbth.com/arts/2014/10/17/vladimir_sorokin_takes_the_stage_40705.html)