The main goal of the festival-school TERRITORY has always been the unification of professionals of theater, dance, fine and music art and creation of the show, which would acquaint visitors with the most relevant performing arts of different genres. TERRITORY has been discovering new names, presenting avant garde classics and experimenting with forms for more than ten years. Festival’s performances were shown on the train, including infant’s casting and setting up an opening party in the subway. During the ten years of festival’s existence, the audience saw plays, exhibitions, the best world theaters’ and teams’ performances: Rimini Protokoll, Dimitris Papaioannou, Josef Nadj, Chunky move, Schilling Árpád, Romeo Castellucci, Sidi Larbi Scherkaoui, Falk Richter and Akram Khan. Today these names have already become classics of world performing art, and many of them were opened for the Russian audience just by the festival.
Every year "Territory" opens new names on the Russian stage as well – young directors, choreographers, composers, stage designers – for many of them big career have started with participation in the festival. In 2013, a play "Full Moon" by Philip Grigorian received the "Golden Mask", the country's main theater award. The project was fully initiated and produced by the festival. As a result the "Territory" team anticipates what will become relevant in art and socially important each year. The "Territory" festival re-answers the question: "What is contemporary art?" already for ten years. Every year it educates a new spectator, listener, citizen.
The festival, initiated in 2005, is led by active experts of theater and art scene – an actor and artistic director of Theater of Nations Evgeniy Mironov, a director and artistic director of “Gogol Center” Kirill Serebrennikov, a theater critic Roman Dolzhansky, a conductor and artistic director of Perm Opera and ballet theatre Theodore Curentzis, a theater and film actress Chulpan Khamatova, a teacher of Moscow Art Theater School Andrey Uraev, and an executive director of Moscow Museum of Modern Art Vasily Tsereteli. For the first time, the art directorate of the festival chooses a program not only for the festival show, but for master classes, so the relevance of topics of each meeting and each workshop is so acute.
For the first time the festival declares itself not only as a review, but also as a school of contemporary art. There were no analogues of such a festival in Russia until the appearance of "Territory". Dozens of students from many Russian cities come to the "Territory" to take part in master classes of leading teachers, directors, actors, choreographers and artists from different countries. Throughout the history of the festival, students had the opportunity to meet with directors such as Declan Donnellan, Thomas Ostermeier, Josef Nadj, Dmitry Krymov, Lev Dodin, Alexei German-Jr.
It was the festival that introduced the "other" art to its’ students, to which they weren’t used to, and which they had never seen in their home cities. So, "Territory" has become a point of reference for several generations of professionals, – students remember themselves "before" and "after" the festival. "We are making a festival for people who are curious, not indifferent, for those who are ready for creative discoveries and unexpected impressions. This is the territory of dialogue and dialogue of different generations of artists, for whom art is not the space of museum calmness, but the process of searching for a new language, new forms, new topics and meanings, " – Evgeniy Mironov.
An opening of the very first "Territory" festival was hosted by metro station "Vorobyovy Gory" – this event marked symbolically a beginning of a project dedicated to genre of site-specific theater. A “Living Spaces” project was conceived in order to pull the theater out of the usual context of a theater-house, theater-building, theater-institution and set its purpose to open new urban spaces. Such a theater, which can be moved to any location in the city – a pit of Federation Tower, in House of Stage Veterans or a hypermarket Leroy Merlin during the nighttime. During the years of existence of the "Living Spaces" workshop, it proves that any place in the city can become a new territory of the theater.
Social component is the most important part of the "Territory" festival. A project, that started in 2013 with a documentary performance of Ruslan Malikov "To quit easily" about a fight against drug addiction, continued in 2014 with a play "Touched" with deafblind actors participating in it, and in 2015 with the "Forgetful" show about people who lost their memory. In 2016 the number of festival’s social projects grew with a result of Dmitri Brusnikin's workshop – a play "Before and After". It was a joint work of elderly actors – wards of charitable fund “Artist”. Only four years have passed since the beginning of work on social projects and close cooperation with charitable foundations, but the festival can’t be imagined without these performances and beyond this experience.