Baryshnikov Arts Center Presents

SOS (The Song of Songs) (Digital World Premiere)

November 17-20, 2020

“One of the most extraordinary events involving Russian contemporary music and theater. A powerful statement about love and loss.” - NEWSru (Russia)

SOS (The Song of Songs) is the film adaption of a staged cantata for 14 singers, two readers, percussion, and a telegraph key. A collaboration between Russian visual and performance artist Vera Martynov and composer Alexey Sysoev, this hybrid performance work featuring soloists of the acclaimed Intrada Vocal Ensemble directed by Ekaterina Antonenko has been re-conceived as a media installation presented on video. New performance footage and audio tracks recorded in Moscow in September 2020 are interwoven with Martynov’s design of lush visual elements themed around memories of childhood, travel, and the confines of quarantine. SOS takes its name from the worldwide standard Morse code signal of distress, and draws from the poetic Old Testament text, Solomon’s Song of Songs.

Digital version of SOS is produced by Mart Foundation with support from documentary platform Nonfiction.film.

Major support for BAC’s production of SOS is provided by Trust for Mutual Understanding.

SOS is performed in English and Russian.


Vera Martynov
Artist Bio

Vera Martynov

Vera Martynov is a Russian visual artist and director. Since 2016, she has served as curator of the New Space of the Theater of Nations in addition to working as an independent artist, collaborating with various theatres, museums, and galleries. From 2012 to 2015, she was the lead stage designer at the Gogol Center and assisted its chief director, Kirill Serebrennikov, in the renovation of the theatre.

She is the co-founder of Dmitry Krymov Laboratory, where she worked as a scenographer, costume designer, and performative artist from 2004 to 2013. Martynov was also a resident at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center in 2012 and 2013. She has garnered numerous awards for her work, including the Innovation, State Award in the field of contemporary art (Project of the Year), the Golden Triga of the Prague Quadrennial, Edinburgh International Art Festival award (with the Dmitry Krymov Laboratory), and the Golden Mask Award for Best Set Designer. Martynov taught at Moscow Art Theatre School, the Russian Academy of Theater Arts (RATI/ GITIS), and the British Higher School of Design in Moscow and Higher School of Economics (HSE). She graduated from the Scenography Department of the Russian Academy of Theater Art (RATI/ GITIS) in 2008, as a student of Dmitry Krymov.

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Photos: Irina Polyarnaya