City Day highlights: time machine, circus, chess tables

City Day highlights: time machine, circus, chess tables
On the city’s birthday, Muscovites will be able to immerse themselves in their favourite films and meet lookalikes of the main characters.

On City Day, on Tverskaya Street, visitors to 10 themed venues of the Moscow Cinema festival will be able to get their hair done and made up in the style of the characters from the film “Walking the Streets of Moscow”, dance the polonaise at Natasha Rostova’s first ball and work in a Moscow CID division from “The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed.”

Together with lookalikes of their favourite characters, visitors will be taught basic marching drills, do a circle dance around the Friendship of Peoples fountain and participate in a dance flash mob with coloured parasols to the accompaniment of music from the 1960s.

Take an Imperial Army recruit screening test and design a time machine

At a site near Maly Gnezdnikovsky Pereulok, city residents will be met by characters from the popular film “Ivan Vasilyevich Changes Profession”, aka “Ivan Vasilyevich: Back to the Future”. Visitors will be allowed to enter the royal chamber, where the tsar is receiving the Swedish ambassador. After the reception, everyone will be invited for a feast and folk dancing. Throughout the day, folk music will be played and a choir will sing in the chamber.

However, feasts and army service don’t mix. Every half hour, recruits [for the Imperial Russian Army] will undergo a screening process. Visitors will be trained in basic marching drills, the handling of nonlethal weapons and military drumbeats. In the apartment of Shurik, a character from the film, everyone will get a chance to fix and test a time machine, while Ivan the Terrible, who cannot wait to get back to his era, hurries them along.

Learn pottery and wood carving

Near Glinishchevsky Pereulok, the historical arch of the main entrance to VDNKh will be reconstructed. The Friendship of Peoples fountain will be set up, complete with the beautiful sight of girls dressed as republics welcoming the guests.

The Vologda Village and Caucasus Mountains installations will completely immerse visitors in the atmosphere of Ivan Pyryev’s film “They Met in Moscow”. Outside a Vologda village house with a hedge and vegetable garden, city residents will meet the pig-tender Glafira, the main character, and get acquainted with the rural way of life. They will learn to carve wood, mould clay and operate an ancient weaving machine. In the Caucasus Mountains, visitors will be met by the shepherd Musaib.

In addition, guests will have a theatrical quiz. Actors will perform the most memorable scenes from the film and then freeze at the most intriguing point so that the MC can ask viewers if they can remember what happens next. When the correct answer is given, the actors will finish the episode. In all, 10 scenes will be staged, the main one being the wedding of the principal characters.

Dance the polonaise with Natasha Rostova and find a kindred soul

Opposite Voznesensky Pereulok, a replica of the Gate of Triumph will be installed. As they pass through it, visitors will enter the set of the film “War and Peace”, where two military camps will be deployed: Russian and French. The soldiers of both armies will carry out attacks, practice marching drills and clean cannons, getting the crowd involved in the process. Those in a more romantic mood will be awaited at a social event. They will witness Natasha Rostova’s first ball and learn to dance the mazurka and polonaise to live orchestra music. Guests will also be able to find a kindred soul here. A special interactive platform will gauge the mood of the person who touches it, and display the image of a “War and Peace” character with a similar emotional state.

Get a CID job and take a selfie with the Ferdinand car

At the site dedicated to the film “The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed”, visitors will learn how to be real detectives. They will unravel a complicated case at a reconstructed Moscow CID division and learn to do facial composites and fingerprinting. Meanwhile, mobile squads, including visitors, will identify offenders and catch fare dodgers and hooligans. Professional instructors will teach everyone who is interested self-defence techniques and offer advice on how to avoid unpleasant situations. Real film fans and selfie enthusiasts will surely be drawn to the Ferdinand car.

Ride a unicycle and watch a flight to the moon

On Tverskaya Street, near Kozitsky Pereulok, a bright circus arch will be installed, leading straight to the set of the film “Circus”. This picture tops the list of the most watched films throughout Soviet cinema history. In 1941, it received a Stalin Prize, and in 1937 it was awarded a Grand Prix at the Paris World Exhibition. The script was written by Ilya Ilf, Yevgeny Petrov and Valentin Katayev, while the dialogues were edited by Isaac Babel himself.

From early morning until evening, city residents will be entertained by a dozen circus troupes. Acrobats, jugglers, unicyclists and equilibrists will perform at a special arena.

Visitors will be able to see the reconstruction of the circus number Flight to the Moon. In the film, the stunt was brought to Moscow by the German performer Franz von Kneischiz. He shoots his partner, Marion Dixon, out of a circus cannon. Before the cannon is fired, Marion offers a superb rendition of a song in Russian, I’ll Fly to the Sky from a Cannon.

Dance with a coloured parasol and see a fashion show

Near Bryusov Pereulok, visitors will be met by Kolya, Volodya, Sasha, Alena, Sveta and Katya – actors portraying characters from the film “Walking the Streets of Moscow”.

Every half hour, a dance flash mob will be held at the site with coloured parasols to music from the 1960s. In a beauty parlour, specialists will help visitors recreate a period image, selecting an appropriate hair style and makeup. There will also be a fashion show featuring collections from the 1950s and 1960s.

Experts will lecture on the history and architecture of the capital and tell about people’s life during the Soviet era. Bolshoi choreographer Eleanora Drozdova will conduct open workshops.

Roller skate and play chess

At the next venue, dedicated to the film “Pokrovsky Gate”, visitors will be able to roller skate free of charge. Free skating sessions, games, dancing and exercise classes will be organised for young Muscovites.

Chess and domino tables will be set up in a stylised Moscow courtyard. Visitors will be able to either play each other or try their luck in a game with invited grandmasters.

Fight space pirates and drive a space racing car

Not far from Kamergersky Pereulok, the set of the film “Guest from the Future” is located, with a teleporting bus, a time machine, robots and denizens of the future.

Together with bio-robot Werther, visitors will fight space pirates. This chief administrator and bureaucrat from the Moscow Institute of Time will also demonstrate a time machine, conduct a historical identification of visitors and try to put them at the Museum of Time as Moscow residents typical of the early 21st century. Alisa Seleznyova, equipped with a mielophone, will explore inhabitants of the past and read their thoughts out loud.

Sportwise visitors will be offered an opportunity to compete in space racing vehicles in the form of decorated scooters, play dodgeball, cops and robbers, and classics, and jump rope. Next door, a young pioneers’ detachment will be open for admission. Young pioneers will swear an oath of allegiance, sing songs and recite poetry.

Get on the side of light and hunt dark wizards

At the “Night Watch” site, one of the central scenes from the film be recreated: the battle between Anton Gorodetsky and the wizard Zavulon. Who wins the battle will be decided by people who will either take the side of dark or light.

Makeup artists will be on hand to help visitors transform into light magi. In addition, every hour, animators will gather teams for a city quest. The participants will have to perform several assignments under time pressure.

A photo op in a vintage car and a date with a hipster

At the last site, visitors will be greeted by characters from the film “Mod Squad”. The lookalikes of the movie stars Mels, Fred and Bob will ask girls out on dates, while actresses posing as Polza, Betsy and Ellie will flirt with men.

On Broadway – as hipsters call the main hangout for meetings and dating – a grand party will take place, with songs from the film and popular jazz and rock tracks. In the vintage car area, a party of haughty fashionistas with fancy hairdos will set up camp from early morning. In their headquarters – a luxury cabriolet – they will compete in a battle of wits, and urge everyone to take a ride or at least take a photo to remember the event.

By tradition, City Day in Moscow is celebrated on the first Saturday of the month. However, this year the holiday coincided with Day of Solidarity in the Fight against Terrorism (September 3). In an online Active Citizen poll, Muscovites decided that the Law on Moscow Holidays should be amended so that City Day can be moved to the second weekend of the month.

At the same time – on 10 and 11 September – the capital will host the Moscow Cinema festival (it will last from 9 to 18 September). A number of themed sites, located on Tverskaya Street during the City Day celebration, will then be moved to other festival sites.