Director Yury Grymov — about why society doesn’t lose interest in contemporary theatre
Photo: from personal archive of Yuri Grymov
The amazing thing to me in the current theatre that he even survived, in some incomprehensible way. Moreover, the importance of the theater in Russia has increased. It is very inspiring. Far be it from me to say, in modern Russian theater, everything is fine. But it is not uncommon for some productions in regional theater causing a nationwide outcry, talk about it, I bet she makes people think — that’s good.
Someone, of course, receives this response via the scandal crosses the line, breaks down. But because of resonance in such cases is still in the public interest in the theater, but not to the scandal. If people were not interested in theatre, then there is no scandal on stage would not cause a serious response.
In General the theatre is alive, and it’s great. To say thank you for the fact that the Russian theater is alive? Of course, enthusiasts who are with him have experienced and are experiencing difficult times. And the state that supports contemporary theatre.
Recently in Paris I decided to go to the theater. Chose a decent production with good actors and the press four and a half stars. Unexpectedly easily bought a ticket, only thirty euros. In Moscow, the average ticket price is higher. And get on a good performance is not so easy.
I came to Montmartre. Usual the theatre in Paris — nice, cozy, small with a history. By the way, large theaters we have is also a Soviet heritage: only then and only in Russia built theaters and temples. This fact also had an impact on the formation relationship to the theatre in society. Worldwide, only Opera houses can boast of large, pompous, defiant admiration for the buildings, and in Russia it is a common thing even for the regional drama theatre.
So what struck me in the Paris theatre? Among the audience there is an audience, I was the youngest. Especially notable was his young age. However, the same experience I had in other European countries. In Europe in the theaters goes public in the range of 60+. At such moments, I always come back to my feelings from the meeting with the viewer that comes to my play “Flowers for Algernon” in Moscow Ramtha is the majority of young people.
Of course, in Europe there is an experimental youth theatre, with the same essential scandal, but it is somewhere away from the General flow. Basically, this is a serious conversation with a very adult audience.
We were able to maintain a connection with a much larger audience. Assume that then triggered the only rule: people go just where they are interested and where they hear something important.
There is another distinguishing feature of the current Russian theatre. It does not apply to some “fundamental principles”, it just is — plain and a little touching. The entire Russian theater, which historically originated in the province, speaks with the viewer mostly on the “Moscow dialect”. Such involuntary “accent” is neither bad nor good. It just happened. Kaluga, Kostroma, Voronezh, the style is recognizable everywhere.
However, please note that today’s audience, seeking for something important, not only to the theater, she goes on numerous exhibitions and museums of contemporary art. Why? Why in all the major cities of the world there are museums of contemporary art? Why people come, pay money for the tickets and look at the strange strange work of authors?
It seems to me that these two areas — contemporary art and theater — are now at the stage of collision. Not catastrophic, but conceptual. From this contact may occur mutual insemination, to be born a new sound, a new language by which to speak of a new theatre.
Largely these expectations are explained my steps to update the theatre “Modern”, where I have recently been artistic Director. We are very excited that we in the theatre will come new people — actors, artists, Directors, composers with whom we will create something new, alive. Because to cling to the past and to look your style is a dead end. The legendary Russian theater of the XIX century, played and talked with the audience in the language of the nineteenth century, in the twentieth century, Efremov, Evstigneev, and other great artists was clear to all, because I lived on the stage of the human life of the twentieth century. In the twenty-first century actor and Director will be clear to the audience only when they can send him their thoughts and experiences in modern language.
So in all. If in my youth I in order to see good photographs of contemporary European photographers went to the library and they subscribed to magazines in the reading room, now I just take a smartphone and go to any photo site. Now you do not need to take a razor blade and quietly cut out of these magazines any pictures, as did I. Repent! Is! Now you can just copy the file to your phone.
Too much has changed our life. Changed the meaning of many words. The technology has changed. We ourselves have changed. Theatre can not change with new developments.
If we talk about government support, the large (sometimes huge) money spent on technical re-equipment of theatres. It’s perfect! When I saw that the engineers “bloat” (in the best sense of the word) in the Maly theatre, I was thrilled. The transformer stage, tremendous opportunities for use of space is a real 3D theater, in modern language. I want to wish the Small theatre main: properly use all it’s technical splendor.
And this area, at first glance is a purely technical one, coming in contact with theater, can give a new and unexpected result. And in the theater will be (and already emerging) employees — graduates of not Schepkin school, and some of the Bauman University, technicians, computer scientists. This is normal and correct!
But if we talk only about the arts, about culture in General, I am convinced that today’s talented young people can find and fulfill themselves at the theatre. I say this based on personal experience. When I was in advertising, video clips, because it was very interesting. And very proud of this period. Then it was fun to do TV. But show business, music videos, advertising, television are quite interesting today. Journalism uninteresting. Uninteresting movie.
Today’s cinema has betrayed its audience. It substituted the mystery of cinema on physiological process: is the screen of saliva and the viewer is taken to chew your popcorn.
Only the theatre is still interesting to the viewer. Maybe because the theatre is still interesting person. Not as a physiological specimen, and as a person.
And this mutual interest should be maintained and support by all means.
The author is a theatre and film Director, artistic Director of the Moscow drama theatre “Modern”