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HomeLatest NewsRussian stage reformer Stanislavsky - 160 - Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Russian stage reformer Stanislavsky – 160 – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Date: May 31, 2023 Time: 23:21:20

What is called the Stanislavsky system, its author did not complete: its initial stage entered the public space and is subject to a variety of interpretations – from deification to denial. What is left of her today?

Andrey Zhitinkin: The brilliant discoveries of the 20th century are known: genetics, quantum theory, the atom… But few remember: Stanislavsky created the profession of director. There was anarchy: whoever he wanted, he set up. The venerable actor took on a play for a benefit performance, he showed his partners where to get out and where to go: that’s all directing. Stanislavsky was the first to declare the director’s right to his own vision of the material, when the same play receives one reading from director A., ​​from director B. – another. And these worlds of direction can be completely different.

Stanislavsky was the first to claim the director’s work as his intellectual property. The echo of this fight has not diminished until now. Mark Zakharov complained: “Probably, during my lifetime, directors will never achieve the right to intellectual property.” He was right, and all the current courts in Lenkom arose because these rights were not spelled out in the documents there. Flying across the country, I often see tracing papers from my performances in theaters. I never argue with colleagues, but they could at least indicate the original source on the posters! However, it happened, and the directors finally received the legal rights, and now no one can interfere with the score of the performance they developed. And Konstantin Sergeevich started it all!

Tadpoles on thin legs

The system is voluntarily parodied. Here is an actor, in the role of the fifth mushroom in a clearing, and the director demands that he come up with a biography: how he grew up in the mycelium, what injuries he suffered in childhood – all according to Stanislavsky … But seriously, what? what is the point?

Andrei Zhitinkin: Without a system, an actor is empty, his fantasies have nothing to fly on. At one time, Stanislavsky was impressed by the “old women” of the Maly Theater – they rewrote their roles by hand, unconsciously appropriating the text. Marking pieces, caesuras, where there will be a semantic break, building the perspective of the role … Without analyzing the play by action, the actor will not begin to fantasize. And Stanislavsky came up with an effective analysis of the play. I came up with a drinking period that will awaken the emotional memory of the actors, will extract something of their own, personal, that can be put under the situation in the play: there will be a lively emotion. But the system did not freeze, Stanislavsky also evolved and at the end of his life he suddenly left the drinking period. Because acting work can’t last forever. This is well shown in Bulgakov’s Theatrical Novel – performances in the Art Theater have been rehearsed for years! The heads of the actors swelled up and, like tadpoles on thin legs, they were already afraid to go on stage: their own nature did not wake up. Here Stanislavsky in the hall cannot wait for the actor to go on stage. And the one behind the scenes responds: wait a minute, I need to get ready. Stanislavsky, unable to bear it, shouts: “They are only going to the bathhouse!” He realizes that his method is starting to work against the actor, refusing the drinking period and suggesting that the actors just improvise the scene however they feel.

Constantly refuting himself, fearing extremes, he developed. And the wise old man Stanislavsky is much more interesting than his young lady, who wrote books about the System. I think he still doesn’t fully understand himself. They read “My life in art” and “The work of an actor on himself”, but what he came to as a result, they do not know.

Stanislavsky laid the foundations of a realistic, psychological and everyday theater. But he himself described the story, when he let the old natural women of the village go on stage, they just went from backstage to backstage, and all the cardboard of the performance came out.

Andrei Zhitinkin: This is a wonderful, but unique case! In the same way, it is impossible to outdo a dog or a cat on stage. But these old women can only be themselves: there is no such magical reincarnation. This is not necessarily makeup: the entire stream of human consciousness changes. It transforms without painting or gluing anything.

Today there are many forms of theater: the theater of the absurd, the theater of Brecht, the musical theater. Are these methods of psychological theater discovered by Stanislavsky necessary?

Andrey Zhitinkin: Here is a vivid example – musicals. In the course of action, from the fullness of feelings, a person begins to sing. But why suddenly, if the very process of this emotional takeoff had not clearly developed before? Directors who misunderstand the nature of the musical do not build these psychological zones, and instead of a performance, a set of numbers arises, the plot disappears. So Stanislavsky is needed everywhere, even in a musical and an operetta. It is no coincidence that at the end of his life he settled in an opera studio. And the roots of what Dmitry Chernyakov or Dmitry Bertman is doing now lie, of course, in the late Stanislavsky, who foresaw that the opera would become the most interesting of all theatrical genres. What is happening before our eyes.

Andrei Zhitinkin and Lyudmila Gurchenko at the rehearsal of the musical Bureau of Happiness, 1999. Photo: Valery Sharifulin / TASS

whisperers and charlatans

How would Stanislavsky react to the current quality of stage discourse? They murmur as in life, but nothing can be understood from the audience. Even in the cinema, watching Russian films at festivals, I read English subtitles.

Andrei Zhitinkin: This is a disaster. The art of stage speech is leveled: the actor now has a microphone on his cheek. The great Mochalov had the strongest moments, when he spoke in a whisper and the audience felt a chill down their spines. Perhaps today only in the Maly Theater people are still seriously engaged in speech. Otherwise, all the shortcomings of diction will quickly return. Why are movie actors afraid to go to the theater? There’s a different measure of temperament, and they’re not as contagious on stage as they are in close-ups in the movies, where you don’t have to carry the energy of the whole performance. I remember a funny incident. In the off-Broadway performance in New York, the famous Jessica Lange played Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire, and I didn’t hear her from the sixth row of the stalls! But Al Pacino was watching at another show, and even in quiet scenes when he was remembering something with a glass of whiskey, he was everywhere.

Before Stanislavsky, the era of tragedians reigned in the Russian theater, singing his monologues, comedians, whose place is in the buffet.

Fashion to gossip: another trend or bad training? I remember that Konstantin Bogomolov very angrily ridiculed the declamatory manner of Alla Tarasova in the role of Kruchinina. And they told me that in the cinema the directors require even the actors to speak indistinctly, like life.

Andrei Zhitinkin: Oleg Efremov made the revolution. When he arrived at the Moscow Art Theater, the people’s artists in koturny proclaimed comments in such a way that they already seemed to sing. Efremov was enraged. And so a young master with young actors tried to remove the pathos, to return to the organic. So there was a “Contemporary”. They no longer “played” there: the roles lived there, and each viewer could identify with the characters. But then even the best actors admitted that they unconsciously adopt Efremov’s manner, his whispers, his pauses. The path of the theaters is a sinusoid: everyone began to play “to the Sovremennik”, classics – in modern costumes, yesterday’s innovation became commonplace. , ingenious costumes… And with the lively voices of the actors.

Stanislavsky and De Niro

He worked in the USA, except for Broadway with its musicals, the dramatic theater there is clearly inferior to European and Russian ones. But the film actors there are stronger than ours, and it seems to me that the Stanislavsky school makes itself felt precisely in American cinema.

Andrei Zhitinkin: The famous New York studio of Lee Strasberg is an apologist for the Stanislavsky system. And Strasberg himself was under the spell of the amazing Mikhail Chekhov. And not only American cinema, but also world cinema, has been strongly influenced by these theories and practices. All the big stars from Marlon Brando and Al Pacino to Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro have gone through this school. Therefore, they are striking even in close-ups, where the camera cannot be fooled. Leading directing seminars at Boston University, I was struck by the attitude towards Stanislavsky: no jokes or cynicism, an icon! He is published there in the form of folios and pocket, he is a guru for them. But they forgot: he just didn’t want to be an icon. He himself developed, explored, searched, doubted. And he wanted this from the theater.

Now the average level of the actor has grown a lot, and there are fewer shocks. After all, you can master the craft, but no one has canceled the personality. The system is the base, it is good only in conjunction with your own individuality.

After reading all this, you will not say: is this yesterday?

Andrey Zhitinkin: They will not say. Art came in waves. At the beginning of the 20th century, they were carried away by the form. Then the bureaucracy of the Moscow Soviet Art Theater was swept away by the organic Sovremennik and, as an extreme, by “whispered realism.” Then Yuri Lyubimov instilled the Brechtian principle in the Russian psychological school. Efros came, he loved the drinking period – the search process was almost more interesting to him than the performance itself. And he unleashed his cohort of actors, you can’t mistake them for anyone else. Mark Zakharov’s actors are deeply individual, his creed as a director is staging attractions, even though he called it directing zigzags. But no matter how many such waves, Stanislavsky went down in history by inventing this profession, laying the foundation of the direction, presenting an effective analysis of the play and a method of physical actions. This method is convertible, it is a bridge from the Russian to the world theater. It became the foundation without which nothing can be built in the theater. Stanislavsky is necessary for both psychotherapists and psychoanalysts, and Freud must have read his books. He remained in history, and now everyone who is engaged in art decides for himself what kind of contact to enter into with him.

Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.

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