International project GENESIS – the art of management

International project GENESIS – the art of management

We start a series of exciting stories about the international project Genesis. This is a kind of information series, because we will follow the participants and events of the project in real time. The project is currently touring around the world, and in the fall of 2023 is preparing for its first international festival of contemporary ballet Genesis.

Our first participant is Eugeniy Atsapkin, manager of Baruch Berliner’s Genesis International Project, adviser to the Director General of the Kyrgyz National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet on international activities, guitarist and composer, one of the founders of the orchestra of the Kaliningrad Regional Musical Theatre in Russia, co-author of the GENESIS ROCK SHOW program, author of music and lyrics, director of the production of the symphonic rock show “GENESIS ROCK SHOW” in Kaliningrad and the ballet “Genesis” in the Kyrgyz National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet named after A. Maldybaev in Bishkek, one of the organizers and technical director of the tour of the Kyrgyz National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet named after A. Maldybaev troupe in the cities of Russia in 2023.

©photo by Anastasia Atsapkina

— How did your cooperation with the project Genesis start? Who contacted whom: Did you contact composer Baruch Berliner, producer Nachum Slutzker and director of the Kyrgyz National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet Almaz Istambaev or did any of them contact you?

Our cooperation began in 2020 with the production of a sympho-rock version of the Symphonic Poem “Genesis” at the Kaliningrad Regional Musical Theater, where I worked at the time. The talented conductor Mikhail Kirchhoff , who had already collaborated with composer Baruch Berliner and producer Nachum Slutzker, was there at the beginning of the creation of the Poem and worked with it in different countries, came to work with us in the theater.
Mikhail proposed a joint project to the theater management: the production to music of a sympho-rock version of the Symphonic Poem “Genesis”. The sympho-rock version was musically a classical symphonic version of the work but with a rock band as part of the orchestra and lasted only about 35 minutes. This was not enough for a theatrical production, and the producer suggested the idea of expanding the work in a rock style.
I wrote a couple of things and suggested them to the producer. As a result, they were included in the production. The production itself was shown several times and did not go further but I got excited about the project and began to write further. As a result, we created a symphonic rock show “GENESIS ROCK SHOW” in which fragments of the symphonic and sympho-rock versions of the Symphonic Poem and my songs were intertwined, for which, in addition to music, I also wrote lyrics.
In the course of work, I began to deal with other matters of the project – from the website to resolving issues with the production, musicians, and general organization.

In July 2022, we held a successful premiere of our rock show in Kaliningrad, and then I went to Bishkek, where a ballet performance was staged to the classical version of the Symphonic Poem “Genesis”. There I met the director of the Kyrgyz National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet named after A. Maldybaev Almazbek Istambaev.
As a result of our joint work, we staged a ballet, held several shows in Bishkek, and also organized tours of Russian cities with the theater troupe and our ballet “Genesis”. I became even more involved in the project and began to deal with it on an ongoing basis.

©photo by Anastasia Atsapkina

— What interested you personally in the project Genesis?

First of all, I was interested in music.
In my opinion, Berliner’s music is really great: it is not for nothing that more and more famous musicians, conductors and orchestras perform his works all over the world and want to cooperate with our team. His music has everything – from the best examples of classical symphonic music to elements of rock, moreover, all this sounds completely harmonious and natural.

Personally, I like different kinds of music and I like it when musicians do not limit themselves to any specific genre and create as they feel, combining elements of genres, but at the same time retaining their vector, recognizable style and sound. Berliner is a great melodist. For me personally, a strong and catchy melody is much more valuable than an abundance of technical and abstruse arrangements, since I believe that this is the heart of music and its essence. Although Berliner also succeeded in the depth and complexity of the arrangements, and hardly anyone can reproach him for the superficiality and simplicity.

©photo by Anastasia Atsapkina

Secondly, the project gave me the opportunity to realize myself in a new direction of music for me. I played rock and metal music for a long time, released albums with my bands in different styles, and I began to think about a concept album and rock opera at some point. Therefore, I could not miss such a chance and write a work for an orchestra and a rock band, and even more so together with a well-known and infinitely talented composer.

Thirdly, we became good friends with the producer of the project Nachum Slutzker, another insanely talented person, an inexhaustible generator of ideas, a person who knows how to give the right impetus to any initiative, support by word and deed, inspire every co-worker with his ideas. Working with such a person gives me pleasure, helps me grow professionally and bring my ideas to life at the highest level.

— The project Genesis has the status of an international project. It has many versions: from the Symphonic Poem to the rock show. Please, tell us about your role in project management: what are your areas of responsibility? What is your job?

I am engaged in many things: material and writing articles for the website and social networks, information support of events and organization of interviews with project participants, search for new partners and venues, organizational issues from communication with the technical staff of venues and theaters to the technical organization of concerts, preparation of material for printed products, generation and implementation of both my own technical or creative ideas and the ideas of our team led by producer Nachum Slutzker.

— What other ideas would you like to put into the project Genesis? What perspective do you see for it?

I sincerely believe that this project and music deserve the very best stages, halls and performers. And the history of the project only confirms this confidence.
The number of concerts increases – in the last six months alone we have performed more concerts around the world than in the whole of last year.

Baruch Berliner’s cello concerto “Jacob’s Dream” toured South America with the brilliant Grammy-nominated cellist and conductor Dmitry Yablonsky and his orchestra. In late July, Berliner’s music will be played at a major festival in South Korea, and then at a festival in France. Many concerts have already taken place in Russia, Croatia, Spain, Portugal and many other countries.
Performances are held at the best venues with excellent orchestras and conductors. We get great reviews from both the audience and the musicians. We have warm relations with many orchestras and venues, everyone wants to cooperate and work our project.

There are many ideas: a new production of a ballet, choral arrangements of our works and a staging of a rock opera and much, much more. Any ideas, even sometimes the most insane ones, eventually are embodied.

There are also plans to hold several festivals – ballet and symphonic music festivals, and, in addition, the publication of a couple of books.

©photo by Anastasia Atsapkina

— Tell us about the upcoming festival — the first international festival of modern ballet “Genesis Ballet Festival” 2023

The festival will be held from 16 to 22 October in Bishkek, at the Kyrgyz National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater named after A.Maldybaev. In this theater in December last year, the premiere of our ballet “Genesis” took place.

The idea of the festival is to introduce the Bishkek audience to the worthy examples of modern ballet, to establish relations and cultural exchange between theaters and troupes from different countries, and, of course, to introduce the audience to the work of the composer Baruch Berliner, so one of the conditions for participation is a performance to the music of the Symphonic Poem “Genesis”, which each participating theater will have to present at the festival.

— How did the idea to make an extended version of the ballet with the participation of new dancers from different theatres come about?

We are constantly in search of new ideas and interpretations as well as partners who are interested in our work.
Our project is a living history that is constantly changing and taking on new forms. Even the music of the Symphonic Poem “Genesis” is constantly being expanded and supplemented. Therefore, this is really interesting how other choreographers and dancers will be able to bring this music into dance. Perhaps we will like the new interpretation so much that we will make another version of the ballet or offer cooperation for other projects.

Everything is possible; we are open to any ideas and suggestions.

For example, the idea of a new joint project, which we are starting in the near future, arose already in the process of applying and communicating with the management of one theater.

— What is most important for a manager in the art of project management in the field of culture at the international level? What qualities, skills, knowledge are needed to implement projects of this scale?/strong>

The main thing is not to be afraid.
You constantly have to face completely new areas, challenges and do things that you have never done before. Knowledge comes along with experience. I have long been convinced that knowledge without experience isn’t worth much. Of course, ideally, it is better to have both but theory and practice do not always go together, and there are often cases when you are sure that some proven methods will work but in the end something completely different works.

Some very non-obvious ideas, about which many people said “why are you doing this at all?”, gave excellent results, acquaintances and long-term partnership.

To sum up, the main thing is not to be afraid of anything, not to put off anything, to learn from the mistakes and remember that only he who makes no mistakes makes nothing, continue your work and believe in it.