|This is RAT first summary (PR) complied in 1993 in St. Petersburg, Russia. I am not sure that phones and addresses are still accurate. AA
My Other "Sides"
Film directing class
GeoAlaska: Theatre, Film, Writing
ShowCases: 3 Sisters, Mikado, 12th Night, Hamlet, The Importance of Being Earnest, Dangerous Liaisons, Don Juan
prof. Anatoly Antohin Theatre UAF AK 99775 USA
According to some experts not far ago there were around three thousand small studio-theaters in St.Petersburg. In late spring of 1992 there were 68 small theaters actively operating. Now this number is much smaller. For 1994 Fall Avant Garde Festival at the Baltic House there will be less than ten! 1000% a year inflation in 1993 crashed Russia and many of the new theatre groups practically vanished. The survivals have no new shows, actors making money on the side and theaters getting into all possible business ventures from selling potatoes to doing "presentations" for banks.
There are four-five mini-festivals a year of non-traditional theaters in St.Petersburg. They have all characteristics of alternative culture, including Performance Art (Pushkinskaya 10 is a well known art colony).
"1. The rejection of traditional drama and the idea of text, and with that a rejection of language. 2. The search for new performance techniques and the search for a spiritual significance in performance. 3. The exploration of new actor-audience relationships, particularly the placing of the audience at the center, where it might be mernaced by the performers."1
1. "Guerilla" tactics - bringing the performance to people in non-theatrical places and without mediation or warning. 2. Use of "found" space, ignoring or rejecting traditional theatre architecture and the idea of an established theatre location. 3. "Environmental" theatre, whose performance space and audience space iterpenetrated. 4. Redefinition of the nature and function of dramatic text, as a "pretext", a "spring-board", or an irrelevance. 5. Redefinition of acting and the actor's way of life, including: a) Improvisation as performance, b) The theatre company as a community or commune, c) The actor as ascetic (saint) or disciple (of a guru or a prophet). 6. Redefinition of the audience, including: a) Changed ideas of what is common to an audience (so that, in guerilla theatre, what became common was the accident of being in a certain place at a certain time; or, in feminist theatre, what became common was their feminism). b) Changed ideas of audience size; usually, these ideas rejected the commercial dependence on size as a function of income and experimented with the extremes: audiences of one or none, or audiences of a hundred thousand (as at rock concerts). (p.529)With the fall of communism in Russia both the quantity and the energy of avant-garde theatre seemed to decline. Russian Theatre went through missed experimentation of new ideas in art. Very much like in the west new Russian theatre went into the blurring of the boundaries between the arts. "The idea of an art rather than several arts goes back to well before World War II and was embodied in the career of Jean Cocteau. In the 1950s, there were an increasing number or artistic events that had to be given new names, because the names derived from traditional criticism did not suffice. Many were called happenings, pieces, or events (in Russia they are called "actions" A.A.). They crossed supposedly established lines between, for example, sculpture and theatre... The Emphasis on Art as Process. Techniques like improvisation as "action" art forms. This process could be viewed as late lessons of the 60s, but the strong theatrical tradition in Russia (including experiments of revolutionary theatre in 1920s) gives it's unique charm to modern Russian avant-garde. ...Studio theaters are cropping up here and there, just as in Moscow, but it is too early to draw conclusions about the quality of their work... From St.Petersburg newspaper "Teatralnaya Afisha", Spring 1993 Here's a statement by the organization which meant to serve as a theatre guild, or an alternative professional union for studio-theaters. In the west such organization would have a non-for-profit status and since Russia still has no developed laws for cultural institutions this association by 1994 went down to one active member only, its president. There are no state or local administration funds available. The Association on Faith St. Petersburg Association of Independent Theater Studios was established in October 1989 by the theater studios themselves. The title of the association can be decoded simply: Theater and Studio Association, Studio and Theater Faith. This is a faith that we need theater and the rebirth of a variety of theater life in St. Petersburg is real and essential; for the "enquiring minds" who want to know "The Association on Faith" was a Russian official term that defined the form of establishing an associations for the workers of creative enterprise on the grounds of equality and most importantly absence of exploitation. The Association includes theaters without it mattering what aesthetic orientations they may have, whether they are traditional or extreme avant-guard, it only matters whether they have a seed of life theater. The theaters, groups, theater studios that are official members of the association are: "The Theater of Absurdity", "ASK", "Little Lost Dog", "Magic Veil", "Time", "YesNo", "Diklon", "Theater of Rain", "Drama Laboratory", "Complex - TAK", "KRIM", "Follage", "Raspberry", "Mimigrants", "Modern", "Bridge", "NEO", "Reflection", "Crossroad", "Alteration", "Under the Roof", "Five Corners", "Tap Show Club", "Traveler", "Tay", "Theater Research Laboratory headed by V. Maximov", The Association of Dramatic Actors "Clown". Festivals, fund-raisers, shows, and tours abroad are but the facade of the life of the association, ut it doesn't define the meaning of the existence. Several cultural projects are in progress, they are: "Suburbans", "Country Theaters", "House of Festivals", "The Center of Alternative Theater named after V. Meyerhold", "Theater Stockmarket". And we do hope that the city has a need for the diverse theaters listed above, and that there won't be lack of sponsors, and that theater is something one can not do without. Solomon Tressor, President of The Association of Independent studio-theaters "Comradery (based, rooted) in Feight" 194018 POB 117 ph. 550-2866 PERFORMANCE ARTS Most of Russian theaters are dramatic repertory companies by their origins. Actors are trained according to the Stanislavsky's system of psychological realism, directors understand every show as their own personal artistic statement and Performance Arts concept is relatively new for them. Only small studio-type theatre groups risk to experiment with such forms. Fortunately and ironically many new firms and companies like to have "business presentations" at bank or store opening and employ actors to perform "art pieces". The pay is great, ten times more then they could get in theatre. The following listing is composed out of such groups entering Performance Arts area. ST.PETERSBURG 1992-93 INTERIOR THEATRE2 191025 Nevsky 104, Artistic Director Nikolay Belyak 273-1454, 113-0717 (metro Moscow RailRoad Station) The artistic space in the Theatre in Architectural Environments is not a conventional stage but an architectural interior or locale as it is. The architectural environment is considered to be a kind of a text with its own topology and architecture determining the style and semantics of a performance. If the latter is produced in some open localities (streets, squares, parks and yards), they are treated and interpreted in the same way. A performance in the Theatre in Architectural Environments is inseparable from the space it is "set in " and cannot be played anywhere else. the only exception might be a performance staged in some artificially created interior or locale. The architectural interior serves as a common special artistic entity for both actors and spectators who are not separated by traditional footlights. The spontaneous, "physical" immersion of spectators into the artistic world transforms their position of viewers and consumers into that of active participants a theatre performance, and makes them copartners involved in a cultural event, organized by the theatre. The Theatre in Architectural Environments regards itself as an intermediary between the cultural forms of the past, imprinted in literary and architectural texts, and a modern man who needs active and positive communion with these forms. A performance in the Theatre of Architectural Environments based on significant and aesthetically structured interaction of a man with the urban architectural interiors and locales accomplishes and ecologically most vital task of teaching the rules of such a dialogue through game situations. The theatre considers its own structure as a minor model of the society reflecting its spiritual values as well as material production relations. As a unique model of this kind the theatre is both the subject and an object of various socio-cultural experiments. The cultural and aesthetic potential of Leningrad/St.Petersburg - the city integrated into the world cultural community and possessing incomparable architectural and stylistic diversity - has got unlimited possibilities for creating various performances in the Theatre in Architectural Environments. If carried out on a large scale, theatrical activity would turn the city into the living encyclopedia of plots, myths, documents and legends representing the cultural epic of the new European history. Nowadays the book of the city is closed and its language forgotten by many citizens. St.Petersburg is threatened to become a lifeless setting, and the task of our theatre is to restore the spiritual integrity of the city using the cultural energy, contained and materialized in its architecture. "Acupuncture" of the city presupposes the existence of some most significant "spots" in it. It is these spots which can be used as the "initiation" locales of the theaters, where a modern man could gain access to the world cultural process in its fullness. And when a visitor to the city has a chance not only to go sightseeing but also to travel through worlds recreated by the theatre, if the rime cimes when on the same day myths of Dante, Shakespeare, Goethe, Pushkin, Blok, Balzac, Schiller, Aeschylus, etc. are performed in Michailovsky Castle, Jusupov Palace, the Hermitage, in Moika, 12, Tuhachevsky flat and Summer Gardens - the city will acquire a new dimension - the dimension of cultural mysteries. then the Theatre in Architectural Environments will consider its mission to be fulfilled. The Theatre in Architectural Environments is planning to stage a cycle of performances based on "the Little Tragedies" and "The Bronze Horseman" by Pushkin, dramatic trilogy by A.K. Tolstoy, "Nemesis" by Block, "The 41st" by Lavrenev, "Cain" by Byron, "The Taming of the Shrew", "Romeo and Juliet", "The Lord of the Rings" by Tolkin. The Theatre has organized its own research center, which carries on investigation the following subjects: 1) "Cosmos - Man - Culture" 2) "Culture - City - Theatre". Theatre in Architectural Environments co-operates with the State Museum of History of St.Petersburg. The National Pushkin Museum, Memorial Anna Akhmatova Museum, Vorontsov Palace Museum in Alupka, the Memorial Estate Rerich Museum in Isvara, etc. The theatre has a ten-years history of experiments with various locales and interiors and occasional productions of chamber and open space performances. After acquiring official status and distribution rights in 1988, the theatre started its regular preparation for putting its ideas into practice. Now we are ready to implement such a large-scale project. However, without additional external support its realization will take not less than 15-20 years. Taking into account the fact, that St.Petersburg's uniqueness today is revealed as the tragic identity of both ecological and cultural crisis, which pushes a man into a hostile opposition against natural and urban environment, we think it necessary that the program showing a ways to overcome such a conflict should be carried out in the shortest time possible. With this in view we appeal to all those who care for the fate of this city and realization of its cultural potential to take part in accomplishing this project. Most recent shows: Little shop of Dr. Daneptutto MALEVANNAYA THEATRE 198178 Vasilevsky Island, Sredny (Middle) Prospect 55. Larisa Malevannaya, Artistic Director 238-6289 Small group of St.Petersburg's actors formed by well known actress Malevannaya staging mainly classics. Zazerkalye (Through the Looking-Glass) Bolshaya Zelenina St. 13 Info: 230-7881 This theatre offers children productions, popular in St.Petersburg. City Children Theatre, Artistic Director Boris Ganapolsky 235-2142, 235-0655 fax 230-7880 Priyut Komedianta (Refuge of Comedian) B. Morskaya St. 16 (Near St. Isaac Sq) Info: 312-5352 Talented actor-director Yury Tomashevsky successfully runs his small cabaret type theatre. There are 50 seats at best, with an East Village atmosphere, for artistic folks. ** _____ __________ ____ ___________ director, _______ ______ __________ _. 594-5418 Administrator (review on Kharm's production) ACADEMY OF FOOLS (former movie theatre "Rodina", one block from Nevsky) Artistic Director Slava Polunin 297-0179, Victor Cramer, director 272-6827 WELCOME TO THE "ACADEMY OF FOOLS" It may seem strange, but many well-known actors, writes and producers wanted to register themselves as "fools", when they gathered at the ceremonial opening of the "Academy of Fools" in Moscow. Perhaps because Viacheslav Polunin, a clown beloved by all and who had at one time founded the "Litsedei" Theatre, had undertaken to head this Academy. He wants to revive the so-called non-academic theatrical genres of clownery, plastic theatre and street theatre, pantomime and carnival. The head-quarters-room of the Academy is situated in St.Petersburg, and in Moscow it has been taken in by the well-known children's director and cinema actor Roland Bikov, manager of the International Fund for the Developing of Cinema and Television for Children and Young People. In the immediate plans of the "Academy of Fools" are the rebirth of the traditional St.Petersburg carnivals, the holding of an international festival of women clownesses under the name of "Babi-Duri", clowns traveling along the Volga on the "Ship of Fools", stopping at the Russian riverside towns with amusing presentations and even the publication of its own newspaper, "The Academy of Fools". ("Academy of Fools" functions as a club and a sight for mini-festivals of non-formal groups of St.Petersburg). TEATR DOZHDEY (THEATRE OF RAINS) Fontanka 130 812/233-79-69 Alexander Vasilevsky, Janna Pleschuk (it's okay to speak English, from 0 to 3 a.m. or from 9 to 11 a.m. Moscow time); 279-70-03 Irina Isaeva and 259-62-53 Zhenya Koznova (Russian please ). Our theatre is one which is both experienced and new. Our company was assembled some thirteen years ago, as a subdivision of one of the well-known St. Petersburg theaters, but when two different trends arose, one of which was presented by us, we decided to break away and form our own theatre company. So we began our independent life already familiar with each other, a company of old friends with theatre experience, and even some of the plays produced there still in our repertoire. and the memories of many performances together. Our young stage-director Natalya Nikitina turned out to be the ideal director for us, so even in our country's present straits, there are no vacant seats in our theaters. The main principles of our theatre are as follows: The acting must be organic. The so-called "fourth wall," the barrier between the actors and the audience, is a falsehood--the spectators must be involved in the acting process. In addition, we wish to make every performance picturesque, a poetical-musical joint action, paying great attention not only to the theatrical, but also to the emotional, spiritual side of the performance. This is the main difference between ours and other theaters, and it shows in everything we do--our shows are filled with music, dancing, and above all, a great love for the work we are doing. Our theatre, "The Experimental Theatre Company "TEATR DOSHDEY" ("Theatre of Rain"), was founded in October, 1989, and our first year we spent on other different organizational problems, including finding a theatre hall, equipment, and even our name. Since then, however, we've managed to renew some of our old performances, as well as new performances. Our company is composed of 30 people, ranging in age from 18 to 38. We are also interested in establishing contacts with theaters and audiences of other countries--the worldwide strengthening of human and spiritual contacts is not an abstract concept, but a real affair, and our affair as well. And now, our repertoire: Chekhov, "The Seagull". "The Seagull" is a classic of Russian culture. a play about which so much has already been written, one can hardly add more. In our performance we are at all times aware of the traditions of Russian intelligencia, Russian cultural wealth, and Chekhov's view and language... "Ten lonely people, spending every day together, crying at the top of their voices about their loneliness and not hearing each other. The selfishness of a dying man calling for help. "The Seagull" is an infinite creation of Chekhov's genius, simple and difficult as a life itself." ( V. Ermilov.) There are 15 actors in this performance, and it lasts 2 hours, plus a fifteen minute intermission. Gregory Gorin "The House Which Swift Built". The strange mystical figure of Jonathan Swift, satirist, philosopher, and religious figure has always riveted not only the attention of the scholar, but the whole reading world. "Mystifier"--it's a name given to him both by his contemporaries and his descendants. The performance has many layers of reality, and one can hardly know which of them he exists in at any given moment. The performance is visually fascinating, full of music and interesting plastic. It is impossible to fully explain the sense of this play in a few words--it's about everything which happened to the man during his life, but it is also about kindness and wisdom, and of course, these things are boundless. In the performance, we try to touch subconscious, parapsychological levels of perception. This is one of our larger shows, requiring 30 actors and lasting 2 hours, plus a fifteen minute intermission. Leonid Juhovitsky "The Last Woman of Seignior Huan". "The Last Woman" is a very funny and eccentric play, and our performance is very much about Love. The larger-than-life grotesque is balanced by very lyrical scenes, and because the play is about Spain, it is bright and picturesque. The plot can be easily understood without translation. It uses 15 actors, and runs 2 hours, with a fifteen minute intermission. "Balaganchick" ("The Show-booth")" by Alexander Block and "Feast at the Time of Plague" by Alexander Pushkin. We pay a great deal of attention to this work. It is a strange, mystical piece in which we join together two of the everlasting creations of Russian poetic geniuses. Our interest, however, is not only in this, but also in the connection of all things in performance, the dualistic struggle between bases, between two fundamental principles--life and death, black and white, form and essence, a struggle which neither side may win, because the struggle is an end unto itself. In all respects, this piece is an experimental one for us--although linked in meaning, the drama and dance parts exist as independent entities, the text is poetic, the characters are figurative, and the performance is a continuous musical-poetic picture. The main part of this work is dedicated to our beloved city, St. Petersburg, with it's past divine beauty and in it's present desolation and profanation. It involves 15 actors, and lasts one and a half hours. Our current repertoire: Anton Chekhov "Seagull", "Three Sisters", Leonid Juhovytsky "The Last woman of Seignior Huan", Richard Nash "The Rain Seller" Our plans: Gorin "The House Which Swift Built" (to renew), Goldoni "Tavern-keeper", Shakespeare "Romeo and Juliet", Gibson "Rag Dolly" Three Sisters, directed by Natalia Nikitina: Whenever doing a play such as "Three Sisters", the tradition behind it is always a problem. The artists are torn between two conflicting emotions, the first being respect for the brilliant productions before theirs, and the corresponding fear that those productions may have said everything there is to say with the play, and the second being the desire to say something new and different, to reinvent the play in keeping with different people and a different time. Moreover, the audience is usually split between those who have come to see the "classic" as they remember it, and who will react angrily if too many liberties are taken, and those who will react with derision if they detect echoes of previous productions. Theater of Rain does make a worthy attempt to balance these two---although they retain the full Chekhov text, and use the traditional themes for this play, the beautiful, abstract landscape of the set and some of the atmospheric dances are a welcome contrast to the naturalistic staging Chekhov is usually subjected to. However, the production generally fails to go far enough with these new elements, and so they cannot breathe new meaning and new life into the play. Instead, they simply stand as sad reminders of what might have been had the director and actors been willing to take a few more chances. The Seagull, by Anton Chekhov, directed by Natalia Nikitina: Definitely this theater's strongest production, this avoided the over-naturalism which tends to be barnacled around Chekhov, with a number of expressionistic lighting effects and stage devices, as well as powerful dumb-scenes at the beginning of each act. Like most Theater of Rain shows, however, few liberties were taken with Chekhov's actual text or intentions. This wasn't an attempt to use Chekhov's text to make a statement, but simply an attempt to stage and express what is in the text, and as such, succeeds. THEATRE DEREVO (TREE)3 Artistic Director Anton Odassinsky 272-6739 DEREVO Company was created in St.Petersburg in 1988. At first it united five members of a big theatrical studio that A.Adassinsky, the leader of the company, had started a year before. At present after Derevo's system of workshops called "The School On Wheels" was started, new productions are often made by performers from different countries. From the very beginning Derevo prefers not to define the style of its work while in the mass media one can come across such definition as "silent theatre", "new dance", "Butoh", "anti-clowning"... But most likely it's a magical blend of many theatrical genres and music, and all of them can be seen in Derevo's performances - from street clownery to pantomime, from a powerful flow of rock music to an absolutely transparent silence. Derevo never uses such words as "actor", "play" and believes that the moment of creativity is a proof of the inner freedom and quietness, and its realization completely depends on the way of everyday life. The main them of all Derevo's performances is the man with his eternal philosophical problems of life and death that keep worried new and new generations. The performances are never strictly fixed, they are always "in progress", though visually the sceno-graphic part of a performance can exist for quite a long time. Usually a series of such performances has its own name. "The audience is offered not a complete but an unfinitely developing form. The performance lacks not only a literary basis, but also what can be played, there's no story that could be distinctly retold". Derevo pays much attention to the material part of the performances and mostly works with real "live" things, but not with their models meant for the stage. thus, there may appear on the stage a ferry, an old wagon, an automobile... Silence, sound, music are always live, up-to-date. Different musicians work with Derevo and add new colors to its productions. The range of work is very wide. Derevo has pieces for well-equipped theaters, big projects that need special preparation and street performances and improvisations good for any place: street, square, shore of a like, hospital... Derevo was a success with the very first piece called "The zone of Red" that was shown in St.Petersburg in 1988 for the first time. Since then Derevo has toured in most European countries, Israel and the USA. Horseman, presented on the Baltic House Second Stage, directed by Anton Addasensky: Derevo seems willing to do just about anything for a good time, unwilling to follow established rules about how their theatrical genre should work. Although they're a movement-based theater group, they also make use of language, although they are adept at minimalistic dance pieces, they also hurl around all manner of props and sets. Even more important, they are one of the few companies in their genre who fully exploit the possibilities for slapstick humor along with the po-faced seriousness so common to the Russian avant-garde. Although all involved displayed a consistently high level of talent and professionalism, the show still had an anarchic, improvisatory, "anything goes", feel to it, which kept things moving as the actors would change locations, costumes, characters, and even stage personas. In the end, the through-line for all of the parts was not all the way there, and a single whole never quite emerged. However, this in no way interfered with the brilliance of each individual scene, or with the extremely high quality of the actors, who showed themselves capable of going from dance, to music, to comedy, to drama, to audience participation, all without missing a beat. Shishli-Mishli, presented by the Derevo Theater, on the Baltic House Second Stage, directed by Anton Addasinsky: It starts slowly---the characters are isolated from each other, each performing his or her own actions. It all begins to change with the arrival of the first major prop, a fantastic, crazed, wonderful flying machine. The actors play at being pilots, then the machine and the show explode into a thousand pieces. Like Derevo's previous show, "Horseman", "Shishli-Mishli" is a collage, a collection of moments, dances, images. But while the lack of a strong through-line for "Horseman" made it somewhat like flipping channels on a high-class TV, each image in "Shishli-Mishli" comments on and develops the others, finally adding together into a profound and moving meditation on the meaning of dreaming, or art itself. And of course, a wonderful time is had along the way. The performers are all super talented actors, dancers, mimes, and creators, and each of the pieces in the show is clever, powerful, demanding, and impressive, not to mention extremely funny. While most theater is trapped in prose, "Shishli-Mishli" is staged poetry, one re-read with performance. DO THEATRE Artistic Director EVGENI KOZLOV 232-9696 198103 St. Petersburg A/B 157 phone: (812) 312-4882 fax:(812) 275-5822, 144-1665 The "Do-Theatre" was formed as a theatre-school in 1987 by Evgeni Kozlov. The school's basic principles were the individual sensual experience, para-theatrical experience, the culture of movement and dance training, and some principles of Antonin Artaud and Gorden Craig's The Theatre of Cruelty. Of particular interest to us were the ideas of taboo, of overcoming human inertia, of both the ritual traditions existing now and those that existed before, and of the culture of the carnival and mysteries. During the time of its existence, the group has managed to realize many small and large stage projects. At present, the main body of the company is composed of five actors, three musicians, a light mechanic, and a manager. Also working with the "Do-Theatre" is the photographer Vyacheslav Allerov. His mobile exhibition "The Dance of Photography" is presented before our performances. The "Do-Theatre" Cast Evgeni Kozlov-artistic director Irene Kozlova-actress Alexander Bondarev-actor Irene Andreeva-actress Yuliana Petrova-actress Dmitry Tyulpanov-musician, actor Pavel Litinov-musician Nikolai Rubinov-musician Maria Tovstopyatova-light mechanic Dmitry Stemasov-manager From the very beginning, we tried to avoid the words actor, acting, theatre. Most important was the recognition that we really exist, exist biologically, physically, metaphysically... We tried to find the form of community allowing us to join our life with our creativity. Now we are trying to look at ourselves, our life, and our work from the perspective of a past which has not yet come into existence. This way of looking at oneself incorporates both the eyes of a child, wide open and absorbing all that is happening around, and the stupefied attention of a fish, and is simultaneously aware of the two sides of life. With this vision of the world, one may see the world moving softly and unhurriedly, and the events taking place all around fitting into their place in history. The dance, which is at once a sketch and a ritual, allows us to find the distance separating us from ourselves. It shows the unreality of our thoughts and the illusiveness of any feeling. That gives us the possibility to balance somewhere between the life which is real and the life of dreams, while the somnambulistic feeling of balance inspires the reverence we often feel towards old age and death. We see no sense in words; their absence gives us a chance to breathe freely. More important for us are the beginning of a sound, movements, immobility, old men's whispers, children's laughter, the rustle of autumn leaves. We have always valued the books of ancient times, the reality of dreams, and the spontaneity of impressions. We are not quite sure of anything, but dance brings us together every day. Open type (space) projects have always been of particular interest to us. The noise of the streets, the absence of the limits typical to the theatre and of the boundaries between a dancer and the life surrounding him, performing in a place where people are not just passive spectators restricted by the conventionality of the auditorium and seats---all of this brings a peculiar spirit into our performance. It is there that we feel the atmosphere of the theatre where every person plays the part assigned to him. The way this person stops, his posture---all this is dancing of the Part. Standing in his place, each spectator joins the dance, forgetting for a while the words of his own play. Our projects are not limited by street shows, but they do require special work with the space. Work with the space's composition, architecture, rhythm, sound, and lighting (at night) makes it possible to create unusual, fairy tale images in the ordinary surroundings so familiar to people in everyday life. This place can be a street, a park, a city square, or an abandoned building. This perception of space is the main idea of our street shows. We are also interested in joint projects combining different types of art (music, painting, photography, theatre, dance), and in organizing shows combining different theatrical approaches, methods, and genres. These shows will exist in order to open new forms of communication inside our culture, and to enrich the experience of each theatrical group participating in the project. The "Do-Theatre-Dance" company workshop centers its activities on developing the trend associated with the feeling of freedom, expressing that through movement, breathing, and voice. Freedom, in this case, is interpreted as a way of living, a form of sensual thought. The workshop program compromises special body work performed as a ritual of communication with one's own self. It includes exercises which enable one to get into the secret corners of one's life and open vast areas one never thought existed. It gives one a chance, while dancing, to immerse oneself in the flow of reminiscences and associations, to slip into the world of dreams and illusions, to experience being trees, lakes, mountains, and experience many other feelings to which people have no access to in their everyday thinking. Classes can be conducted in English, French, and German. They are accompanied by live music to aid submerging in the exercise. Intonations of a Woman on the Edge of Balance, presented on the Baltic House Second Stage, directed by Evgeni Kozlov. Despite the slow start, the show soon became an exciting and powerful piece, each moment developing and deepening levels the piece's themes of anxiety and androgeny. All of the actors displayed astonishing body and face control, and the production often tended to work, not through any kind of linear, Aristotalean plot development, but rather through a series of images, each of which contributed to the whole. The end effect was subtle, dignified, and powerful, like million matches which add up to a bomb. THEATRE SUBBOTA ("SATURDAY") 196126 Pravda St. 10 info: 315-0154 Yury Smirnov-Nesvitsky, Artistic Director 217-4595 (h) Tatyana Kondratieva, Managing Director 296-3840 (h) _he small theatre "Subbota", with the auditorium, which admits no more than 200 hundred spectators, is situated down town. Originally, since the day of foundation on March 18, 1969, Subbota has been formed by a company of young men and the spectators always feel themselves as if they were part of this brotherhood. The Subbota's repertoire has the unique peculiarity. It mostly contains the titles of the plays, Subbota's own pieces, born in the actor family of the theatre, and also inspired, written and embodied by in on the stage: often the performers play themselves under their own names and family names. Having once appeared in the gateways, in a small company as a theatre of amateur actors, Subbota has now turned into a professional theatre, and nevertheless it has lost none of the unique sincerity, warmth and coziness, inherent in a small theatre. Diverse repertoire enables everybody to choose the title one likes: classics, frolicsome comedy performances and farces, small shows and lyrical ones, evoking and nostalgic moods in the spirit of A.P. Chekhov; folklore motifs are not foreign to Subbota. Subbota makes successful tours of Russia and has also visited England, Sweden, Denmark and Hungary. Avant-guard trends are not foreign to the Subbota theatre, either; it is not by accident, that critics found it possible to express the following view of the performance, staged after Macbeth: "This performance is dangerous to describe... Adepts of classic purity of style may stone us... The old and formidable melody is arranged in super modern rock rhythms. Reality and premonitions, our fears and pain together with our salutary black humor gave blended. That is why, even if Matias Rust lands during the performance on the stage, or Maradona runs out, kicking the ball, or communist leader Ligatchov popsup with his speech (for choice!), Subbota will continue its performance, without so much as batting an eyelid (Smena, Olga Skorochkina). And yet, Subbota is not striving for super modern things, it dislikes abstract constructions, preferring cordial relations with the audience and feeling averse to scaring or reproaching them. Its acting carries on the vest traditions of Russian school. It is largely sue to Yury Smirnov-Nesvitsky, doctor of Art, producer and dramatist, its founder and head. He is the author of many books about Russian and modern theatre, in particular, of the well-known book about Evgeni Vachtangov. According to the tastes and aesthetic preferences of the theatre's head, the acting in his theatre has been influenced by Evgeni Vachtangov's and Mikhail Chekhov's ideas. The school of acting in Subbota includes a special seminar, where the lectures on methods of acting alternate with practicing different exercises, done by the actors. Foreign colleagues show an interest in such courses. Subbota stages performances for young spectators, and children with their parents enjoy watching such merry pieces as Winnie-the-Pooh, Suitcase of Nonsense, etc. The performance Windows, Streets, Gateways, which grown-ups and children watch with excitement still now, was a significant stage in the Subbota's program of upbringing. Those, who love old St.Petersburg and understand the poetry of the stone slums and the straight lines of the Vasilievsky Island, who listen to street songs with palpitating heart, feel double gratitude to the funny and sad Subbota. To lovers of rare titles, Subbota offers such a spectacular musical show as Of Human Bondage after Saumereset Maugham's novel. In the theaters history it is the first staging of this work by S.Maugham. One of Subbota's program performance is staging the Ruta V.'s Soul Yearing, a modern Kitsch, where a deep penetration in the contemporary private life of the girls Rita, Tanya and Kira, played by Rita, Tanya and Kira themselves in accordance with the theatre's tradition, goes side by side with the attempt at penetrating mysterious (almost Bergman) atmosphere of understatement. (From Subbota's PR): Shows: Gibson, Fitzgerald, Johnson THEATRE COMEDIANS (new) Ligovsky Prospect 44 (Pertsov House) Alexandr Plush, director Artistic Director - Michael Levshin Shows: Postan, De Fellippo, Averchenko BURAGO THEATRE. Alexey Burago, Artistic Director 516-1207 Anastasia-1993 show THEATRE OSOBNIAK (MANSION) Kamennostrovsky (Kirovsky) Prospect 55, ph. 307-4177 Mailing address: 195247 PO Box 142 Michael Solntzev 274-0704, 557-0470 (h), Igor Larin 591-3125 (h) Latest: St.Jeronomus & Petrushka shows Fogging: A Variation on Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, presented the Theatre "Mansion" Stage. This was clearly a variation on Dostoyevsky's novel, not an adaptation--although many of the characters were the same, and the action was the same, the ending of the narrative with the murder, and the use of a variety of stage techniques, created a world far crueler than Dostoyevsky's, a world with no God, only the Devil. This was put forth through an extremely Brechtian stage methodology, using such "alienation" techniques as direct addresses to the audience, mustached men playing women's roles, deliberately inappropriate music, and a hyper theatrical play-within-the-play. This was all well executed, and rather than being dryly intellectual, the show's refusal to go for the easy, cliched emotional reactions gave it a cold power that few can match. After the performance, I heard one member of the audience say, "Now, let's go to think." Clearly, the show's goal was achieved. Repertoire 1. Dream about Cherry Orchard - the sketch by tunes of piece by A.Chekhov Cherry Orchard 2. Darkening - variouse by tune of novel by F.Dostoevsky Crime and Punishment 3. My first friend - mono-play by remembering of I.Pushin and poems of A.Pushkin 4. Vertinsky. Confession of baron - mono-play about Vertinsky's life through look him lovely role 5. Punch - street performance, old national dolly comedy with the poems, songs and jokes 6. Abduction in Mumi-Dole - sharp-theme children detective by tunes of Norway tales (Tuvee Yanson) 7. Artists are joking - performance-concert from the sketches, jokes, songs, poems and advertisement and also imitative show Circus on the Stage Plans: 1. Mimical ballets: Posthumous mask, Jesus Christmas 2. Mono-play Yevgeny Onegin 3. Performance Double-man by Durenmant BASIC WAYS OF THEATRE DEVELOPMENT By the way of modern understanding of classical master-pieces, finding of new forms development of Stanislavsky's system, bio-mechanic of V. Meyerhold, system of education actor by M.Chekhov Theatre is working at education of universal actor of the future who capable connect in oneself all schools and ways of dramatic art. Company size Solntsev Michael - Director, Administrator, Financial Director; Zavarin Igor - Artistic Director, Actor, Artist; Krechno Tamara - Costumer, Actress; Podnozov Dimitry - Actor, Stage Manager; Teterina Olga - Actress, Semionov Sergey - Sound, Light THEATRE DaNyet (YesNo) _____ "_____" Pushkinskaya St. 10, Managing director Maxim Solomin 112-27-71, 164-53-86 Small experiment oriented group around the oldest St.Petersburg underground stage director Boris Ponizovsky. Miss July, by August Strindberg, presented on the Bolshy Small Stage, director Boris Ponizovsky: Like all of DaNyet's work, this show's foundation was the movement which, together with skillful use of the minimal props, communicated well the themes of Strindberg's play. Beginning with a monologue directly to the audience, the play included dance, straight dialogue, a clever, minimal, wheeled set, and occasional strange props, which included a typewriter with guitar straps and giant toys on wheels. This production, as a whole, was not dedicated to naturalistic "staging", but instead to incarnated metaphors, each movement or property having symbolic value, making for a performance engaging both aesthetically and intellectually. FROM THEATRICAL SILENCE IN THEATRE LANGUAGE Pantomime of drama theatre for two and four actors. This is the performance-project for language and style of the future plays of the theatre. The script written by actors and artists by the method of Artistic Director. ...Poetic of the method: All - face: Face - face, Dust - face, words - face. All faces. His. God. But he is without face. Art from nothing. Combination superior and insignificant. Divine not given to actors. Oneness of place, time... and unseccessive of behavior, strict of style and abundence of events, eccentric of reasons, ....................... not allow to improvizators to embody to their superior characters. Masters of stage imitate the culture, nature of theatrically, intellect and feelings, using the parts of paradox and masks as partners, not having the analog. Finale would be discount to spectator, contradictories of finale transform him to ....................... Naivety minutes of four poems by to yet unknown poets during 2 hours 15 minutes are set up silence. (Theory-Poem: The principles, method by spectator, student, mytholog of the theatre - Artistic Director Boris Ponizovsky) THEATRE POPUGAI FLOBER (FLAUBERT THE PARROT) 196240 POB 353 Artistic Director Tatyana Kabanova 510-6245, Managing Director Tatyana Surodina 467-6035 The theatre POPUGAI FLOBER is one of the numerous theaters in St.Petersburg to continue the tradition of cabaret-theaters and cafe'-concerto, which were of such immense popularity in the turn of the century period leading up to the 1917 Revolution. The name and activities of the theatre reflect the aesthetics of the "Silver Age", and the devotion of the theatre's founders to the extravagant and strikingly spectacular. The compact but mobile company is made up of young and talented graduates of theatrical and musical collages who have already been privileged to work with many leading artists as well as theatrical and variety companies. The theatre is firmly committed to the "life" performance of musical works - a form which is particularly appreciated in the world today. It is this which determines the choice of instruments used: upright piano, viola, acoustic guitar and bayan (a kind of accordion). In their current repertoire there are included a number of musical programs which are interesting for native and foreign audiences alike - a chamber concert-spectacle drawn from the songs of Alexander Vertinski (acclaimed as one of the best one-off performances to be shown in St.Petersburg in the 1990 theatre season), Madam Bomzha - a musical show inspired by the best of classic jailbird songs, Isadora, Adieu! - a musical based on the tragic live affair between the russian poet, Sergy Esenin, and the American ballet dancer, Isadora Duncan, and a concert of old Russian and gypsy romantic ballads. Tatyana Kabanova - the Artistic Director of the theatre and performance author - is one of the most noteworthy and talented of the new generation of actors and actresses. She is an up and coming star of the still infant Russian show-business world, and the presenter of Musical News, a popular television program shown on the local St.Petersburg channel. The voice of the actress, which possesses an uncommon resonance and dramatic intensify, can often be heard in musical broadcasts on St.Petersburg local radio. As an actress, she has worked both interestingly and rewardingly in the cinema. Her most recent performances were as an actress in Yuli Koltun's psychological thriller, Lapa, and as a commissar of Cheka (Stalin's KGB) in A Rogozhkin's The Chekist, a Russian-French co-production made for French television. The theatre's performances are in the best way commercial and attract wide-ranging audiences form both home and abroad. The theatre possesses both audio- and video-advertising material, and anticipates the release on record of classic jailbird songs. THEATRE "MEETINGS" Artistic director Sergey Rytov 159-3908 Children shows only. THEATRE MIMIGRANTS (MIME THEATRE) Pantomime, clowns Artistic Director Alexandr Plush 251-6328, 210-9692 (h) THEATRE "STRANNYK" (STRANGER) Artistic Director Tatyana Preobrajenskaya 224-4280 (h) Summary of organization Founded in 1988. In 1992 the theatre was named Strannyk. The Theatre of Music, Poetry and Plastic Strannyk comprehends path of innermost life beauty. The performances of the Theatre Strannyk is transformation of spiritual energy of love, beauty and light in real art images. Creation of Strannyk actor is beauty eradiation of plastic move and voice, it is mas's art secret. The Theatre have created own unique school of spiritual plastic theatre. The repertoire of Theatre Strannyk: The life Way of Alexander Nevsky Wanderer by Macio Bassie (Mystery of human soul in the Japanese theatre No style). Now the Theatre prepares the performance Macbeth by W. Shakespeare. It is modern mystery in masks. Director is Tatyana Preobrazhenskaya. Painter and mask sculptor is Sergey Yanick. The Theatre Strannyk is looking for new partners and participants in the area of world theatre research-performance: ancient, Old Russian, oriental and modern Western theatre. YOUTH CREATIVITY THEATRE (___) Nevsky 39 (Anichkov Bridge) Artistic Director Evgeny Sazanov 310-44-68, 312-3307 (h), Managing Director Oleg Meknikov 310-4822 "The Boys" by Victor Rozov (based on Dostoevsky "Brothers Karamazov"), "Romeo and Juliet" (1993) THEATRE "FAMILY" One of the founders of Russian Youth Theatre, former Artistic Director of Leningrad Youth Theatre (Bryantzeva) Zinovy Karagodsky 113-5192 (h). A few generations of St.Petersburg actors were his students. Strong training techniques. Teaching at the University for Humanities, acting, directing. THEATRE "BLACK RIVER" Oleg Mendelson 555-2627 (h) (Translate from Russia) ISLAND THEATRE Alexandr Bolonin 235-7127 (h) Lenin St. 31 - 6 Fax: 234-0088 Theatre Ostrov was opened in January 28 in 1991 performed Invitation to the death penalty by novel of Vladimir Nabokov. The second premier was Hamlet by William Shakespeare was performed in December 3 in 1991. Now we rehearsing the performance by piece of A.Ostrovsky Without guilt are guilty. In our group there are 12 actors. Theatre Ostrov is co-operative of professionals attached to dramatic art and united of wish in superior contents of poetic of classical drama, to process regarding creative activity with spectators, reabiliting eternal moral laws of spirit and heart, living by humorouse life in classical and avant-guard forms of modern theatre. Language of the spirit and heart is international, it hasn't borders and barriers. It always ready to creative activity. Sincerely, Artistic Director Alexander Bolonin "Hamlet", by William Shakespeare: The production was mostly traditional, although there were some unusual staging elements, including putting the props table onstage and having all the minor court characters played by one person. This production also involved a lot of powerful sound effects and music. The theater sat about 170, but had a fair amount of vertical space, allowing for a set with two levels. (* * 1/2) THEATRE "INTERSECTION"4 Michael Gruzdev 164-62-90 (h) Dekabristov St. 34 Municipal theatre Intersection was founded in August, 1991. Before that time it situated as theatre-studio a lot of years. Theatre regenerates deep traditions of really way in a history of Russian and foreign arts as theatre of intime drama. The search of new contacts with spectators, new means of expressive, and in the first time, combination of dramatic and musical arts, philosophy-poetical understanding of material is credo of the theatre. Every performance of the theatre Intersection is experiment in sphere of form, style and method of actor's exist on the stage. REPERTOIRE: Performance Verona is Planet of Love by piece of young moscow play-writer A.Shepenko is reflection of theatre about love in the end of 20th century; Love and Life of Edith Piaf is independent masterpiece of the theatre by the songs and books of French singer; Ms. July by piece A.Strindberg; Dedicated that Madam by piece J.-P. Sartar Behind the closed doors Issue by productions of A.Platonov "Antigony" by piece of Sophocles This plays are complete a really repertoire of theatre. The theatre continues the creative search in selected way, preparing the performance by novel of K.Gamsun Mysteries and performance Philosophy of Love by works of Hemingway about love of beginning of 20th century. Artistic Director M.Gruzdev CLASSIC CENTER ST.PETERSBURG Evgeny Lukashkov (from file)+ review on Lermontov's production. METAMORPHOSIS THEATRE Olga Chernyavskaya, Artistic Director 252-6039 (h) 198020 Prospect Gaza 52, Apt. 14) Managing Director 299-6668 (h) "Metamorphosis" Theatre: Prayers to Fire. A violently emotional performance ignited with chanting, dance and heavy tribal drumming. Clad in loose, burlap cloaks the performers acted out an ancient Slavic ritual in frenzied dance to the rhythm of their hand made instruments. This rehearsal prepares for the open air performance before involved spectators. This theatre group operates as a holistic commune seeking unity of body with nature and the ineffable human spirit. Many have trained in these rituals for several years, invoking movement and sound from meditative trance. (* * * * 1/2) THEATRE MASK Gorokhovaya St. 57a (Culture Community College) Theatre of Masks, movement workshop-This was an hour and a half comprehensive exercises. Starting off with simple yoga and martial arts movement, the dancers graduated to more difficult routines of dance, rhythm exercises, mime, and isolation. The end of the workshop included interactive mimes, much like some of the non-verbal Theatre Sports games. From photos of the performances, we gathered that the theatre is oriented towards mime, dance, and clowning, making use of big costumes, masks, puppets and makeup to match the broad gestures. The shows seem full of pageantry, and many are designed particularly for children. Twilight Dance, presented by the Movement Laboratory, on the Theater of Rain Stage. The piece was a movement piece, using no text, but only lights, costumes, scenery, music, and movement. Although some of the images in the piece were quite beautiful, the piece as a whole was twice as long and three times as slow as it should have been. Any point was dragged out endlessly, and any image was at first stunning, then understood, then familiar, then overdone, then boring. By the end, the somnambulistic pacing actively damaged the show's content, not only by giving away whatever surprises the end was intended to have, but also by working as a cop-out---the slower the movement, the less data communicated; the less data communicated, the less people would notice how little was there. THE FORMAL THEATRE Artistic Director Andrey Moguchy 542-0694 (h) "As with the other shows we have seen by the Formal Theatre, Petersburg worked to fulfill the highest aims of the avant-garde, creating a theatrical vocabulary at once as new as our world and as old as our existence, a chancy, exciting exploration of the theatre of the future." American actors, Russian-American Center The direction of the theater: An experiment. Laboratory investigations. The result: A performance---realized myth. The performance exists once, and then dies... ...This is a miracle. Repertoire "The Bald Soprano" by Eugene Ionesco "It is a play in which there is everything---mysticism, eroticism, humor, and madness. In short, everything but the bald soprano." -Andrey Moguchy, director "Petersburg" improvisations from the novel by Andrey Bely "Out of nothing, out of poignant silence and impenetrable darkness, light flashes and vague sounds are heard. Thus, the Word is created once again, from nothing." -Nevsky Times, Dec. 24, 1991 "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" by Tom Stoppard "In a dark, square room, not divided into a stage and an audience, "world-theater" is being born. An integral and self-sufficient world... reflecting what the "view of the epoch" is unable to see." -Petersburg Night, April, 1992 "Two Sisters", a game with the classics Winner of the "Best Director" Award at the St. Petersburg Studio Theater Festival, 1992. "Fool For Love" by Sam Shepard Jointly produced with the Russian-American Theater "Mythology tells us that incest, seemingly so abominable for mortals, is freely permitted to the gods, and from history one may learn that it was a sacred rule obeyed by kings. So it constitutes a privilege, inaccessible to common people." -Sigmund Freud Street performances The theater stages one-time actions performed in different settings, making use of pyrotechnics, light and sound effects, vehicles, and mechanical devices. The theater works to speak in a clear language of spontaneously flowing visual forms. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN HOSTING THE FORMAL THEATER, PLEASE CONTACT FOR FULL TOURING INFORMATION: Russian-American Center, Office 131, Baltic House International Center, St. Petersburg 197198, Russia. Telephone: (812) 232-8576. "Petersburg" by Andrey Bely at Formal Theatre-This piece was devoted to conveying the chaos, paranoia, and fantasy of the city. It did this through unusual staging, with many simultaneous events, colorful, almost archetypal characters, a constant piano accompaniment, using both normal piano pieces and "noise" to pace and mediate, and two performance spaces--most of the show was inside the theatre, in a pit-like set, strewn with urban debris, but the show actually began in a most unexpected way--while we waited outside, on the staircase winding around the theater, with flaming matches and obscure passage readings. Now drawn into the play, we witness, the protagonist weave in and out of a variety of frightening, confusing, alienating, delightful, and above all absurd situations, in a desperate attempt to find some rhyme or reason in the rush of events and attacks around him. Many actors who had appeared in other Formal Theatre works performed in this show, along with some we had not seen before, and the acting worked to the same end as in the Formal Theatre's Two Sisters, a humanizing element in the intellectual broth. As with the other shows we have seen by the Formal Theatre, Petersburg worked to fulfill the highest aims of the avant-garde, creating a theatrical vocabulary at once as new as our world and as old as our existence, a chancy, exciting exploration of the theatre of the future. (* * * * */2) "Two Sisters" (rehearsal), directed by Andre Moguchy, at the Formal Theatre-This seemed to be an intriguing post-modern work, using elements of Bergman, Chekhov, Beckett, and Sophocles, among others. Although the tech was minimal, it was all the more effective for its starkness. Despite the jumpy, exotic, non-realistic script, the acting stressed honesty and emotion, grounding and humanizing the play's literary jump-cuts. The directing seemed to stress that humanistic quality--although there were many notes, the director was more inclined to clean up entrances and exits than demanding a set series of emotions, preferring to let the actors find the emotions in themselves. (* * * *) "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead", by Tom Stoppard, directed by Andrey Moguchy at the Formal Theater: The show was presented at a small theater, with about 25-30 seats, creating a very intimate experience. The small theater also allowed the performers to use many unusual lighting and sound effects which could only be perceived in a small space. Despite the wordiness of the script, the skillful use of sound, movement, and voice, as well as an impressive, though minimal, set, helped to communicate the basic experience of the play. The acting was outstanding, in part because the Formal Theater's philosophy is built around creating the perfect environment for natural acting. (* * * 1/2) PRESS: Today you may be absolutely sure of one thing: if you still have this idea of a theatre being a place where some wonderful and sublime people , wonderfully elevated over the every-day reality , are creating their wonderful world of art in a space filled with god-like sensations, you've got an absolutely wrong idea. A theatre that wants to survive ( since we are now speaking about those off-theaters which were recently known as studios), such a theatre must needs be incrusted into other structures of reality called "the current moment". It is very difficult in such a situation to give recommendations as to who should follow whom and on what essential principles. Of course, it cannot be doubted that people of art have enough good taste and good sense to guarantee they will not overstep the line separating the servants of Melpomena from those who are serving a completely different divinity. WALKING BAREFOOT ON A PARQUET-FLOOR TOWARD THE UNIVERSE. Andrey Bely's "Petersburg" directed by Andrey Moguchy. That's right. I was of the same opinion :"Making a show based on this complicated prose... And a theatre you might well call avant-guard... and to do this in the midst of today's confusion and poverty..." So, in short, I felt rather angry and critical when I came to the show. It was staged in the Art School named after Mukhina, whose wonderful interiors should complete and form the atmosphere of the performance according to the Director's design. Some objects we saw seemed foreign to the gorgeous interiors, like bunk-beds, others fitted them perfectly, like a grand piano, some just lived their own life, like a beautiful antic wardrobe in which the actors would settle as in a niche. Even some unexpected costume details, for instance bare feet concluding an elaborate dress, did not seem an exaggeration in the confusing atmosphere. At one particular moment you might be surprised by the actors talking not only in whisper but all together, so different pairs are engaged simultaneously in a very intense dialogue standing in opposite corners of the stage, which is meantime criss-crossed by the actors performing some mysterious movements, while you can't catch a word of what is being said. But if you think I object strongly to the show, you are mistaken. It has something that reconciliate you with the crazy idea of pouring the contents out of one form (brilliant prose) into the other (theatre show), when the contents are just determined by the original form. This "something", strange as it may sound, is the Director's determination of creating his own logic and theatrical plot on the level of emotions, symbols and associations instead of following the logic of relationships offered by the author. In a way the Director has succeeded in producing an effect of entering the world of Andrey Bely's "Petersburg", a strained, shattered, perverted world, chillingly fragile, vague and poignant. If anyone could achieve a more powerful effect following the way traced by the Director, so much the better. I believe Andrey Moguchy did a great job. The performance has an interesting rhythm, of which pauses are sometimes the most significant part. Or sometimes the least significant. The one thing that one could really object to is the Oriental music piece with guitars and percussion - a really nice piece but definitely out of place in the performance. Another objectionable moment is the cigarette smoke coming in wisps right into one's nose (the audience forms a semi-circle along the walls and across the hall). The spectators might have a coughing fit which was presumably not included in the Director's plan. There is another peculiar phenomenon worth noting. During the show I was present at, a young man armed with the camera would wander among the actors all the time, approaching it to their noses or making a" blow-up" of their legs. Well, that's the weak point of Andrey's production: this young man formed a natural part of the confusion, though it turned out later that he was just a professional camera-man filming the show. Andrey Moguchy's failure lays in the fact that his successful casting, with the actors' individualities happily, if unexpectedly coinciding with the characters, does not prove to be a substitution of the inner life, absent from the Director's designs. No live relations are formed, therefore everything is possible, be it a camera-man on the stage or any kind of improvisation. From this point of view the performance directed by Moguchy is an imperfect if daring exercise on the Master's theme. Aliona Kravtsova "Chas Pik", N 3, January 20, 1992 St.Petersburg TERRA MOBILE _____-_____ Artistic Director Vadim Meecheenko 272-1316 (h), actor-managing director Nikolay Kurushin 530-1291 (h) a mime-dance theater group The unique theater company Terra Mobile was created eight years ago somewhere in the land of St. Petersburg by Vadim Mikheenko who is it's artistic director. Although their name has no Russian equivalent, it brings to mind an association with something that is eternal and changeable at the same time. Born from a combination of break-dance aesthetics and street theater, their theatrical form is wordless using experimental dance as a means of expression to create a powerful connection with the audience. Their performances come not only with a unique powerful dance imagery but with an eclectic style of clownary, mime break-dance, and plastic improvisation. Their forms of acting create their own genre of "life collage" combining different layers of form, mood, imagery, and everything possible that life throws at you. The grotesque, the erotic, comedy, and the playing with the audience all compile their arsenal. Loaded with fantasy, intensity, melancholy, and deep thought, it is difficult to capture the principles that create the artistic foundation of Terra Mobile. "In every veritable phenomena of Art there is something inexplicable, mystical that raises us above the vulgarity of life. And that love has found its reflection in the performance of Terra Mobile...mystical, beyond human understanding and tragic. The imperceptibility of the tragic is in every movement of the actors. That this is difficult to express in words- the vivid and complicated movement of the soul, the tangle of the characters' emotions - is expressed in their plasticity." "Teatralnaya Zhizn" No. 6, March '91 Physically precise technique merges harmonically with emotional imagery, lyrical acrobatic movement merges with physical "master lines" which is only the physical manifestation of an artistic philosophy which the creator and director of Terra Mobile V. Mikheenko describes: "We believe that the creativity of the human being is self-returning. Artist does not exist without spectator, spectator does not exist without artist. We exist by combining these two roles. We are actors and spectators, spectators and actors at the same time. Perhaps this is the essence of our solitude...and our constant desire for communication...and our constant desire for solitude. The actor does not create the image- he creates the particular life of the particular individual. The image is born by the spectator. By this, we believe the audience is a part of our creativity. To create... think about this word - to c r e a t e. By our performance we want to prove to you that the real creators are you. We don't want to show you fairy-tales, we don't want to lie to you, we don't know how it "needs to be", how it "should be". You know how it "needs to be" and how it "should be". Isn't the illusion of art and theatre's power over each individual born out of his constant search for truth? The wine before we drink it does not exist, and after we have drunk it, it is gone. What a fleeting moment to taste. But we are still trying to achieve it...... Gogol's Coat, directed by Vadim Mikheenko - This company tries to convey meaning through movement, primarily mime and dance, rather than dialogue, hence Gogol's Coat was entirely non-verbal. Throughout the show, most emotion is conveyed through movement, with some use of distorted and exaggerated facial expression. The actor's ability to execute the rigorous choreography was amazing. Philosophically, the troupe does not adhere to the Stanislavsky method--the actors do not attempt to feel the characters emotions, but instead attempt to convey them through movement and symbolic staging. In Gogol's Coat, a lengthy, avant garde elaboration of Gogol's short story, "The Overcoat", they made manifest many ideas that the story hinted at, and then some. The symbols came in rapid succession, sometimes indistinct and not fully developed, but often portraying precisely the frigidity, sterility, artificiality, hipocracy, and shallowness of life and society. The accompanying music was very important in setting the tone, and ranging from Barber's Adagio for Strings to techno-beat, although more could have been done with the lighting design. Terra Mobile are vagabond street performers at heart (and in practice), and their taking the street to the theatre, hand vice-versa, makes for a fresh and exciting show. (* * * *) Private Lives, directed by Vadim Mikheenko-This sarcastically-titled production sought to portray the lack of privacy, both in theatre and Soviet life, and evolved via very personal images, sometimes very funny, sometimes transcendental, other times incomprehensible. Introduced with the actors posed as ushers, the show begins with comic buffoonery and develops into a thickly veiled allegory of society's suffocation of innocent love. Because the direction was minimal, the show was stylistically disingenuous and lacked cohesiveness. In some actors, particularly the men, the emotional content of the play was explicit, but others relied primarily on form to suggest the intellectual and emotional information. Even more than in Gogol's Coat, the plot was obscured by symbols beyond the grasp of the audience. (* * 1/2) JUPITER THEATRE Vladimir Malyshitsky, artistic director 244-7908 (h) Dreams of Eugenya, presented by the Jupiter Theatre Company, directed by MALYSHITSKY -This powerful piece dealt with a sick family getting sicker, and a sick country getting sicker, through the dreams and hallucinations of Euvgenya, a woman rapidly losing her mind. The line is constantly blurring between her nightmarish visions of a cannibalistic family and a claustrophobic world, and the "real" world, in which her family tries to help her even as they deny that it is they who are killing her--there are no guarantees of which you are seeing. This expressionistic principle, in which the audience's perspective is the same as Eugena's, was also assisted by the staging--the closeness of the actors in the theatre-in-the-round, and the establishment a world outside of the small room of the theatre, all conveyed a sense of being locked in, trapped with a gang of lunatics, just as she feels herself to be. One of the few pieces we have seen dealing with the current problems of Russia, as opposed to the historical, this was a disturbing and powerful piece, a nightmare of too-closeness. (* * * 1/2) I Am the Same...I Am One..., presented by the Jupiter Theatre Group, directed by Malyshitsky - A strong work, but a decidedly mixed viewing experience. The play itself was strong, not only in its acting, but also in its willingness to explore political themes, shunned by too many theaters, without losing the human ground, forgotten by too many theaters. By exploring the life of an actor before, during, and after the Bolshevik Revolution, they achieved an effect similar to what was sometimes done in Dreams of Euvgenya, making political opinions complex and human. However, the play was hard to enjoy, due to the physical conditions of the theatre. The overcrowding of the small theatre, the stuffiness caused by the fact that all doors and windows were closed, the lights which were sometimes directly in the eyes of members of the audience, and the lack of an intermission in a show which was over two hours left one in the peculiar position of simultaneously being taken with the performance and wishing it would end quickly. (* * *) THEATRE UNDER THE ROOF Obukhovskoy Oborony Pr. 105 tel. 568-2145 Artistic Director - Funtusov Vladimir System of Stanislavsky This is the practice course of training for the artist psychology technic. 8 - 16 rehearsals which introduces student with basic elements of the Stanislavsky's system and gives the primary skills of artistic play. Also during the learning the mechanism of formation of stage action shows opened by Stanislavsky and is base of method of acting analysis of piece and character. Lessons include the plays-exercises, alone and ...... sketches. The course can build by the different levels of complex beginning from the primary introducing (8 - 16 lessons) and finishing to level of promotion of actor's expert (more lessons). The middle various - practical training - also needs more lessons. Initial stage for multi-cultural productions should be started with basic acting technic. Psycho-technic is the best training to start with. - Introduction: Basics of Stanislavsky's system - Physical freedom, ways to free you body - Imagination: inner vision, inner speech - Stanislavsky's magic "if" - Given circumstances - Task and goal - Mechanics of stage action - Stage task: goal, action, accommodation - Science of truth and believability - Stage naivety (animals, subjects, circus, etc.) - Stage communication, iter-dependence - One-man and two-men sketch - Stage event. Evaluation. - Logic and continuity of action - Role's approach Summary. This class could be developed on three different levels: 1. Practical applications 2. Training 3. Role\character development TEATR IMENI KUKOL Dreams of Korol, presented by the Theatre of Kukol, on the Theater of Rain Stage: The Theatre of Kukol is also a movement-based theater, often using similar techniques to the Movement Laboratory. However, the Theater of Im. Kukol is anything but boring. In keeping with its title, "Dreams of Korol" was appropriately free-associational in its composition, at turns beautiful, stark, sexy, funny, and brilliant. Although the piece lacked a strong through-line to hold the fragments together, every piece was a wonder, whether it was the hilarious scene with a row of women trying to act as audience to a pretentious ballet dancer, two women's arresting grinding to the music of Screamin' Jay Hawkins, or the stark and simple beauty of a dance between a man and a woman, illuminated by a single white light from overhead. RAT * Summer '92 THEATRE OFF 233-9998 Artistic Director Alexey Merkushev, Manager Vadim Gololobov The OFF theatre exists since June, 1990 and led by Alexey Merkushev. The creative manner of this group does not stay within the limits of particular genre and is inspired by experience of European theaters, by Japanese traditional dance Buto. One can see OFF not only on the stage, but also on squares and streets. Musicians, sculptors, artists willingly participate in OFF performances. There is a regular perform- group (artists of SVOJI group), and any exposition can lead to an improvisation. Our work is a sequence of symbols 'seen' in dreams or dug up life and shown in grotesque form. We really don't act the parts, don't try to explain anything, don't force our ideas upon anybody and we do not 'mirror' life. What we believe to be very important is - the past, to which we go back in our recollections, - sensation of the day passed and the time we leave behind, - the memory of our childhood and our constant search for it. Words are slander, silence is falsehood. What we think a way out of the bounds of words and silence is movement, dance. A dance born by darkness, fell by heart creates images. Keeping balance between silence and sound, on the brink of dream, we come to where rhythm and breathing are, to movement which creates itself.
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