Four shows. Seventeen actors from three countries. More than 1000 viewers …
Here are just some of the quantitative results of our international sociocultural project, which includes the preparation and presentations of the new version of the play «In Touch /Touchables», a round table on the exchange of experience at the Royal Institute of the Deaf Kentalis, master classes and open rehearsals.
This story began in the spring, when the «Inclusion» Center together with the public organizations of the Netherlands, Belgium and the Royal Institute of the Deaf «Kentalis» (the Netherlands) had an idea of a socio-cultural project «Russia-Belgium-the Netherlands: Theater Without Borders» aimed at drawing attention to a deafblind theme. The fact is that regardless of the country of residence, nationality, religion a deaf-blind person faces the same issues related to learning, communication, orientation in space, self-realization. And it is very important that the majority of people who can see and hear does not pass by these problems.
«I wanted to shout to the healthy world! Gradually this became the main task – to explain to those who see and hear that I want to be with all of you; and I want to offer to the world and people to look for the ways to each other together. But at the same time, not to ignore deaf-blindness, but to take it into account.» – That’s how the purpose of the project can be expressed by the character of the project «Touchables», a well-known public figure, professor Alexander Suvorov.
The main meaningful component of the project was the play «Touchables», created by the Deafblind Support Fund «Con-nection» (So-edinenie) and the State Theater of Nations in the spring of 2015. The actors practically do not play in this documentary show, but tell stories from their lives that can happen to any deaf-blind person. The language of the theater is universal, so viewers from different countries easily understand the experiences and joy of the characters of the play. That was last year in London and Paris, and so this is now, during the tour of the play in the Netherlands and Belgium. This time the Paralympic champion, swimmer, public figure Michel Tilbeke and famous artists Dagmar Slagmolen (the Netherlands), Egor Beroev, Liza Arzamasova, Ivan Kokorin, Marietta Tsygal-Polishchuk joined the permanent troupe of the artists. Each of them left a particle of themselves into the performance and gave bright emotions to the audience of Moscow, Amsterdam, Brussels and Dan Bosch.
«We were lucky. Before the play «Touchables» in Brussels, we got to a master class for the deaf-blind with the participation of the actors of the play. Later we happily recognized the participants in costumes on stage. The idea of the play came from the artistic director of the Theater of Nations Yevgeny Mironov. Ruslan Malikov staged a performance in which sadness coexists with love, anger with humor … We came out shocked. They are touchables, they want to communicate, they have something to tell, something to share with us, how to make us laugh. Awesome actors – both deaf-blind and sighted and hearing.»
«Russian theater school is known all over the world. Russian ballet and music are amazing. But I didn’t know anything about modern Russian theater, which works so well with people with disabilities. And then I got to see IN TOUCH. It seems to be a surprisingly simple story but professionally and beautifully done. What struck me most is that Michel Tilbeke also easily fit into the Russian troupe and became a real actor»
The project was made possible by the help and support of so many people and organizations. The Deafblind Support Fund «Con-nection» (So-edinenie) and the Center for Creative Projects «Inclusion» express sincere words of gratitude:
- The Foundation for Presidential Grants and the curator of our project Nikita Silakov
- Philip Morris Sales and Marketing LLC and personally Irina Zhukova and Olga Luchina
- Charitable Foundation «Art, Science and Sport» and personally Maria Melnichenko and Ksenia Dmitrieva
- The Embassy of Russia in the Netherlands and personally the Ambassador Shulgin Alexander Vasilyevich, First Secretary of the Embassy Uraksin Yury and drivers Andrey Shvets and Vadim Vaigel
- The Embassy of Netherlands in the Russia
- The Embassy of Russia in Belgium and personally the Minister-Counselor Dmitry Andreyevich Borodin and First Secretary of the Embassy Ella Nesterenko
- The Russian Center for Science and Culture in Brussels and personally Vera Georgievna Bunina, Tatyana Fedorova, Kristina Dolotova, Vasily Rudenko
- State Historical Museum and personally Vlad Kolesnikov
- DB-connect Foundation
- DBCX Foundation and personally the Chairman of the Foundation Marjolein Pruis and Michel Tilbeke, the Board member of this Foundation, who became a participant of the play «In Touch»
- Kentalis Institute and all members of the Board
- Dutch Culture and personally Lenka Boswijk
- Guldenberghotel and personally the hotel director Jan Witmer and the manager Barbara Naga
- Anna Timmerman Foundation
- Fund 5D
- Foundation De Kade
- Helen Keller Club
- The sign language translators Aukje Boersma and Anneloes Veldwachter
- The Moscow State Institute of International Relations and personally to the rector Torkunov Anatoly Vasilyevich, the student of this institute our volunteer translator Yaroslav Trykin
- Guides Tatiana Maslova and Elena Tsihotskoy
- Photographers: Georgy Nigmatulin, Uliana Kochneva, Anna Dovgopola
And of course, many thanks to the organizer of the tour Natalia Beekmans-Kuzina.