— The Culture Ministry provided Serebrennikov’s “Seventh Studio” company with around 214 million rubles in subsidies between 2011 to 2014 to realize the Platforma project, with more than 10 experimental theater performances, 12 annual experimental media art events and several musical and contemporary dance performances.
All performances were required to incorporate “cutting-edge technology” and feature famous playwrights, directors, stage designers, and actors.
Among the staged performances were Serebrennikov’s “Otmorozki,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Hunting for the Snark” and two operas by Alexander Manotskov.
The list also included Serebrennikov and French choreographer David Bobee’s “Metamorphoses,” three projects by the award-winning Dialog Dance Company and performances featuring prominent European choreographers and musicians.
Several performances staged by Platforma received prizes at the Golden Mask, Russia’s most prestigious theater award.
— On May 23, Serebrennikov’s apartment and the Gogol Center were searched by investigators in connection with a 200-million ruble ($3.34 million) fraud case into “Seventh Studio.” Serebrennikov was released and named a witness in the case.
— On May 24, Nina Maslyayeva, the company’s chief accountant and its general director Yury Itin were detained and charged with embezzling 1.2 million rubles ($20,000).
Then, former Gogol Center director Alexei Malobrodsky was arrested on June 21. Investigators claimed that the performance “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which received state funds, was never performed.
Malobrodsky’s defense lawyers submitted reviews of the specific performance published in the media, but the prosecution was not convinced. “In itself, a newspaper article cannot confirm that the performance took place,” prosecutors said.