Vibrant characters, music by Alfred Schnitke, original choreography by Nadezhda Dobrianskaia, Russian and Ukrainian folk songs performed acapella by the Palme choir under the direction of Kateryna Kiselyeva - all of this creates a mystical and extraordinarily fantastic atmosphere of Gogol’s works, based on the epic, prosaic poem Dead Souls. In this stage production directed by Oleg Palme there is an attempt to complete the author’s task - the folk souls are symbolically torn out of greedy hands, so that they may obtain their long-awaited rest.
Chichikov (Egor Revenko) engages in dialogue, if not conflict, with Gogol (Eugene Grabovy). He is bargaining not with land owners, but with dangerous mystical creatures - the owners of dead souls. Korobochka (Yana Khoudak), hovers as a witch above the stage, reminiscing about how a seductive devil appeared in her dreams . Plyushkin (Alexander Kulyashov), also a demon, switches between hiding, then pulling out a giant sword to attack Chichikov, then cunningly trying to poison him. The dead souls are also not just an idea on paper. Just like common folk, they come out onto the stage as a choir of dancers - an element of ancient Greek theatre - but in imagery that fits the ethnic atmosphere. The souls dance. The people revel and sing. Nikolai Vasilievich is on screen, concerned about the folk souls.