Creative Association “Alif”/Centre of Creative Projects “Inclusion”, Kazan
Presented in the frame of Russian Case 2020
based on poetry by Gabdulla Tukai

Director: Tufan Imamutdinov
Choreographer: Marsel Nuriev
The libretto of Elmir Nizamov’s opera is based on five poems of a XX century Tatar national poet Gabdulla Tukai, which were translated specially for the show from the Tatar language into rare and dying languages of Russia’s small peoples: Chelkan, Shor, Todgin (a dialect of the Tuvin language) and Dolgan. What came out of it was an oratoria performed by a choir and deaf performers with sign language. Director Tufan Imamutdinov is the Artistic Leader of Kazan Theatre for Young Audiences, and it’s not for the first time that he has treated in his independent projects the problem of dying languages, the Tatar writing system and the fate of the Tatar language which is going through difficult times now. The choice of deaf performers for exploring and embodying this issue takes the question of language and communication to a universal level, offering the audience to feel the loss of speech and the impossibility to speak as a transcendental topic, rather than a social or a specifically national one.

Elizaveta Spivakovskaya

This performance was created by director Tufan Imamutdinov together with the students of the Center. It is based on five poems by Gabdulla Tukai, which are translated into endangered languages of the Siberian peoples. The poems are performed by deaf and professional actors.
Small nations` languages cease to be a form of communication, turn out to be unnecessary, and it is most important that people stop thinking in these languages. Deaf people speak their own language, often incomprehensible to the majority. And it was important for the director to work with such special people while creating an acute performance that tells of the dying of culture. The language is doomed if no one understands and needs it. And all of us are turning into people with disabilities when losing our culture.


“Alluki” is a reflection on the language problems that have swept Tatarstan in recent years. In “Alluki”, the actors read verses by Gabdulla Tukai translated into the endangered languages of the Siberian peoples (Shortsky, Tuvan-Todzhinsky, Chelkansky and Dolgano). “This performance was conceived as a response to the new law on languages,” the director honestly said at the premiere. - I put the question “Where are we going to?” But I do not answer the question “What to do?”, because this is not my mission. My duty is to warn. Everyone seems to know and understand the problem of preserving the language, but no one does anything, no one takes specific action to preserve it, so far we just waste our breath.”


To talk about the issues that we cannot gloss over is the main goal of the social theater. In a xenophobic society, meeting with someone who is different and talking with him is a rare opportunity to overcome fear and understand something important - first of all, about yourself.


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