Body of the avant garde

Meyerhold Centre, Moscow
Presented in the frame of Russian Case
Участник программы «Russian Case» Фестиваля 2017 года
Director: Dmitri Melkin (Filippov)

Age category 12+

Grief and the overcoming of collective trauma of the past are reflected in an idiosyncratic way in the performance of BODY OF THE AVANT GARDE, which resulted from the Meyerhold Centre’s research project devoted to Meyerhold’s theatre. The young director Dmitri Melkin (Filippov) tried to synthesize the plastic dominant gesture and the art of the 1920s-1930s. Using elements of biomechanics and popular psycho-physical techniques of the 20s, the actors gain experience of a pre-expressive existence rooted in the circus performance, which Meyerhold often mentioned. “Circus saves from stylization,” the director of the show repeats after him, and creates a situation where a film documentary is edited together with circus acrobatics. Thus, the footage of sports parades directed by Meyerhold, rehearsal of which he allegedly saw on the way to Lubyanka, is compared to a circus number on the pole which resembles execution. The biomechanical and circus-like “body of the avant-garde” suddenly reveals a connection to the totalitarian culture of the 1930s.

Alyona Karas