Five Russian troupes that can compete with those of Pina Bausch and Martha Graham

The troupe from Kostroma is the only company out of all the heavyweights of Russian contemporary dance to be formed after the dance fever that raged during the Perestroika. It was established in 2002, when two young drama actors, Yevgeny Kulagin and Ivan Yestegneyev, decided to change their lives.
Kostroma became the company’s residence. This old town, which played an important role in the history of Russia, had no significance on the country’s theatrical map. For ten years Kulagin and Yestegneyev honed their skills with many master classes until 2011, when their troupe was noticed at Russia’s principal theater festival, the Golden Mask. Their debut with Belgian Karine Ponties’ Mirliflor immediately received a prize and in the following year Kulagin and Yestegneyev consolidated their success with their own production, Punto di Fuga.
Kulagin and Yestegneev’s productions combine the choreographer’s tenacity with the brutality of the executing style, freely finding their niche in the space where genres meet. The troupe from Kostroma has become a resident at the Gogol Center and participates in performances by the Theater of Nations in Moscow. The dancers also perform at a new art space in Kostroma called STANTSIA.
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