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Engineering Theatre AKHE

The group was founded by three members of Boris Ponizovski theatre "Yes - No" (Maksim Isaev, Pavel Semtchenko, Vadim Vasiliev) in 1989. Immediately the group announced itself as independent (in term of styles and forms) and started their activity in a performance, cinema, fineart's fields. From that time the group consists from two to seven members, but the permanent body are two persons - Maksim Isaev and Pavel Semtchenko.

From 1996 they count themselves more like theatre collective, created for the normal (in classical means) stage the performance "Cataloque of the Hero". Since that time the group is permanent participant of theatre festivals in Russia and abroad. The members of the group take part in different theatre projects with other groups and theatres: Derevo (Rus- Germ), Lantaaren (Nederl.), Toihaus (Austr.), Slava Polunin (Russ.). They work as artists, stage designers, film directors. But they still use their education, working as the painters and designers for artictic and public places.

By virtue of told, and also, taking in acount a certain expeirence of AKHE group in the field of fine art, it is appropriate to speake about the group, as about Optical Theatre or Russian Engineering Theatre. AKHE uses scenic (ideal) Space including again (ideal) Light and Sound and consider themselves only as Operators. In this case the Space is one of the main characters of the show.

The space mastered by the Operators is valuable and sufficient itself. Without ignorance of the real Theatre laws, but admiring its Signs, AKHE substitutes with desire: dramatic art ( drama ) by logic development of images and situations, rehearsals by zombeing themselves and psychological play by ependence on elementary physical laws.

The understanding of “Engineering” or “Optical” Theatre the AKHE Group realized in the projects:

- “Chekhov Dvenadtsat Chaika” – 1995-1997.
- “Katalog Geroya” – 1995-1998.
- “AXE Platform” – 1997.
- “White Cabin” – performance, since 1996.
- “De Profundis” – a series of performances, since 1998.
- “Pooh and Prah” – performance, since 1999.
- “Green Goose” – production of a performance for the “Toihous” theatre (Austria) 2000.
- “60 minutes” – Helsinki 2000 - culture capital.
- “SINE LOCO” – co-production with German actors for ARENA festival (Germany) 2001.
- “Wet Wedding” – a street or indoor performance with Alexei Merkushev (Derevo), since 2001.
- “Plug-and-Play” – a “club” performance with live painting and DJ sampled music, since 2002.
- “Mr. Carmen” – performance, since 2003.
-“Small Electric Cabaret” – 12 moralizing poems by A. S. Pushkin, since 2004.


Since 1995 and up to now, the Russian Engineering Theatre “AKHE” is a permanent participant of the theatre events and festivals:


-Days of Art- Center “Pushkinskaya 10” in Austria, 1995.
- Project with theatre Derevo, “Grey Zone” Dresden, 1996
- Performance “Katalog Geroya”, “Mask” festival in Sziget (Hungary), “Idilly and Catastrophe” in Erfurt, “Danceuik” in Dresden, Days of Russian culture in Warsaw, “Mimos” in Perigue (France) etc., 1995 - 1998
- “White Cabin” performance, festivals in Rotterdam, Potsdam, Krakow, Dresden, Bolognja etc., 1996-1999.
- “60 minutes” project at the modern art museum “Kijazma”, Helsinki 2000-culture capital.
- “Bellone-Bridgitines” festival, Brussels and “Arena” festival Erlangen, 2000
- A tour with “Pooh and Prah” in Germany and Poland. Performance at Grotovsky center in Vrozlava, 2000
- Participation at the show "Polyphony of the World", directed by Kama Ginkas for III Moscow Theatre Olympics, 2001
- A tour with “Pooh and Prah”, “White Cabin“ in Berlin (Sofienhall), Lillie (Roz de Vents theatre), performances at the greatest festivals in Edinbrough, Buenos- Aires, Krakow, Saltsburg, Tehran, Mexico, Belo-Horizonte (Brazil), Prague, Palermo etc., 2001-2002.
- Creating “SINE LOCO”, “Wet Wedding”, “Plug-and-Play” performances during 2001-2002 years, participating with them at the festivals in Warsaw, Dresden, Shetsin, Moscow and Saint-Petersburg.
- In 2003 AKHE Theatre performed at “NET” (New European Theatre) festival in Moscow, at the “Modern Stage” festival in Madrid, in Saint-Petersburg with “SINE LOCO” at the “Golden Mask” festival, at the “Fringe” festival in Edinburgh with “White Cabin”, at “La Batie” festival in Geneva with “Wet Wedding”
- In 2004 the theatre performed in London, Albuquerque (USA), Spain, France, Mexico, Pittsburgh, Bard College (New York) and Italy. “Wet Wedding” was shown at the “Golden Mask” anniversary program in Moscow. During the festival “Movements of Akhe in Saint-Petersburg 2” the theater presented “Pooh and Prah” and “White Cabin”, “Wet Wedding” was performed on the beach St. Paul’s Fortress.
- In 2005 Akhe performed in London and Cambridge (England), Quebec (Canada), Palermo and Bologna (Italy), Erlangen (Germany) and Saint-Petersburg. “Mr. Carmen” was nominated for the “Golden Mask” award in Moscow.
- In 2006-2007 the performance "White cabin" has been presented at various festivals in Israel, Italy, Japan, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, France, Australia. At the festival in Mexico it was the premiere of the performance "Faust. Signature". And performance "Faust cubed. 2360 words" has been nominated for the award "Gold mask".
- In 2008 theatre AKHE has shown the performances at festivals: "the Gold mask" - performance "Gobo. A digital glossary";"Homo Alibi" (Riga, Latvia) - performance "Faust cubed. 2360 words"; the SQUANDERER (Skopija, Macedonia) - performance "Mr. Carmen"; Mime Festival (London, England) - the club project "Plug-and-Play; UNIDRAM (Potsdam, Germany) — performance "Gobo. Digital Glossary "; BIPAF (Pussan, Korea) — performance "Mr. Carmen";"OKNO"(Szczecin, Poland) - performance" Gobo. Digital Glossary".
- In 2009 January - participation in festival "Mime Festival" (London, England) with the performance "Faust cubed. 2360 words"; February - performance "Gobo. Digital Glossary" at the festival in Italy; May - participation in the festival BIPAF (Pussan, Korea) with performance "White cabin "; festival" Fimfa Lx8 "(Lisbon, Portugal) performance "Gobo. Digital Glossary "; he festival SFIAF (San Francisco, the USA) with the performance" Gobo. Digital Glossary "; June - performance" Wet wedding "at the festival FETA (Gdansk, Poland); in August the premiere of performance" the Middle black " - the festival FIDENA/Bochum (Germany) has taken place, and in December, 2009 Engineering theatre AKHE celebrated 20 years.
- In 2010 theatre AKHE participated in various festivals in Toronto, Quebec, Vancouver (Canada); in Rakvere (Estonia) at the festival "Baltoscandal" with the performance «Faust cubed. 2360 words»; at the Slava Polunin's festival «720 moons»(France); in Porto (Portugal) at the festival «Festival Internacional de Marionetas do Porto» with the performance «Gobo. Digital Glossary»; the festival «Unknown Siberia» (Lyon, France) — the performance «White cabin» and «Plug and Play»; "Mr. Carmen" and «Plug and Play» participate at «Festival Łódzkie Spotkania Teatralne» (Lodz, Poland).
- In 2011 Akhe made an international projects with a group of independant actors in Germany «Gap Feeling», 3D video mapping project (installation/performance) «Depo of ingenious delusions» in St-Petersburg and Moscow, the dance show «Dancing Tower» in cultural capitals of Europe 2011 (Tallin, Turku) and «The abduction of Europe» project with students of The Institute of Theatre Arts in Turku.
- In 2012 Akhe produced 2 shows «Akhefonia», «Blind Owl» in St-PEersburg took part at different festival in Europe and Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2012.
- In 2013 Akhe released 3 new shows in St-Petersburg: «FABULAMAHIA» (co-production with the Theatre of puppets), «Archive of Makarius» (co-production with Lindenfels Westflugel Leipzig, FITZ, The Center of puppets theatre of Shtuttgart and The Puppets Theatre Wilde &Fogel Leipzig) and «THE CHOICE» (The best minute), co-production with Alexandrinsky Theatre.

AKHE performances were awarded by:


- Critics award for the best performance “White Cabin” at the “Unidram” festival (Germany), 1997.
- Jury award at the “Arena” festival (Germany) for the “White Cabin”, 2000.
- Jury and audience award for “SINE LOCO” at the “Arena” festival, 2001.
- A diploma for the best performance “White Cabin” at the festival in Belo-Horizonte, 2002.
- “Innovation” award for “SINE LOCO” at the “Golden Mask” festival in Saint-Petersburg, 2003.
- “Fringe First” and “Total Theatre Award” for “White Cabin” at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2003.
- Award for "White Cabin" and "Mr. Carmen" at the Perigueux Theatre Festival, France, 2004.