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Open Air

I live in a city that no longer exists. I was born in it and grew up in it, but now it’s gone.

Moscow has ceased to be a city – there are no more yards with elders taking a stroll, no one going to promenades – they have all moved to the outskirts of the metropolis. It’s now a place of business where nobody knows each other. It’s like a person with amnesia; only in this case it’s the city that has amnesia, and all the people that live in it.

One of the islands that preserve the old city is an old open air dance floor in a park that I pass every day. In the Soviet times, it was full of life – there were discos every night and dances for pensioners organized on the weekends. The discos have since moved to clubs and the retro-dances are now attended by those who have nowhere else to go. This is a place with people that seem inexistent, just like the city that is no more.

They come to dance in the snow and in the rain, and in the stifling July heat. These awkwardly dressed old people with their strange moves. Passers-by laugh at them. Youngsters are filming them on their phones to share a ‘funny video’ online. But the pensioners pay no attention to this and continue to dance – they simply have no choice. This is their life, their passion, their arguments, their meetings and partings. It’s their world.
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