Vera Komissarzhevskaya meets Eleonora Duse. The “Joan of Arc” of the Russian scene and the “Divina” of Italian theatre

 

Embed or link this publication

Description

Il presente Numero Speciale della rivista focalizza l’attenzione, in modo particolare, proprio sul tema della ricezione della personalità e dell’attività artistica di Vera Komissarževskaja e di Eleonora Duse da parte del pubblico e della critica dell’epoc

Popular Pages


p. 1



[close]

p. 2



[close]

p. 3

ISSN 2421-2679 Arti dello Spettacolo / Performing Arts sa 1 Editorial

[close]

p. 4

2 ISSN 2421-2679 Arti dello Spettacolo / Performing Arts Editor Donatella Gavrilovich University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’ Donatella Gavrilovich Associate Editors Donato Santeramo Queen’s University, Kingston (CANADA) Ol’ga Kupcova State Institute of Art Studies (SIAS), Mosca (RUSSIA)   Consulting Editor Marie-Christine Autant-Mathieu EUR’ORBEM, CNRS, Paris-Sorbonne (FRANCE) Delphine Pinasa Centre National du Costume de Scène et de la Scénographie (CNCS) (FRANCE) Dmitrij Rodionov A. A. Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum (RUSSIA) Advisory Board Maria Ida Biggi University of Venice ‘Ca’ Foscari’ - Giorgio Cini Foundation of Venice Gabriella Elina Imposti University of Bologna Andrei Malaev-Babel Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training (USA) Lorenzo Mango University of Naples ‘L’Orientale’ Maria Teresa Pizza Archive ‘Dario Fo-Franca Rame’ Roger Salas ‘El Pais’, Madrid (SPAIN) Riku Roihankorpi University of Tampere (FINLAND) Editorial Board Leonetta Bentivoglio ‘La Repubblica’, Rome Michaela Böhmig University of Naples ‘L’Orientale’ Manuela Canali National Academy of Dance, Rome Silvia Carandini University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ Marietta Chikhladze Tbilisi State University (GEORGIA) Enrica Dal Zio ‘Michael Chekhov Association MICHA’, New York (USA) Dominique Dolmieu Maison d’Europe et d’Orient - Eurodram (FRANCE ) Erica Faccioli Academy of Fine Arts of Carrara Stefania Frezzotti National Gallery of Modern Art (GNAM), Rome Fabrizio Grifasi Fondazione Romaeuropa, Rome Vladislav Ivanov State Institute of Art Studies (SIAS), Mosca (RUSSIA) Lucie Kempf Université de Lorraine (FRANCE ) Claudia Pieralli University of Florence Gabriel Poole University of Cassino and Southern Lazio Daria Rybakova St. Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts (RUSSIA) Elena Servito INDA (National Institute of Ancient Drama) Foundation of Syracuse Margaret Shewring University of Warwick (ENGLAND) Artem Smolin St. Petersburg State University of Information Technologies, Mechanica and Optics (RUSSIA) Leila Zammar Loyola University Chicago in Rome Fabio Massimo Zanzotto University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’ Editorial Assistants Annamaria Corea, University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ Anna Isaeva, Université Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle (FRANCE ) Irina Marchesini, University of Bologna Alice Pieroni, University of Florence Marianna Zannoni, University of Venice   Staff Giulia Cara, University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’, Gioia Cecchi, University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’, Marco Damigella, University of Roma Tre, Davide Di Bella, University of Florence, Alessandro Maria Egitto, University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’, Valeria Gaveglia, University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’,  Silvia Loreti, University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’,  Manuel Onorati, University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’,  Valeria Paraninfi, University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’, Ilaria Recchi, University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’, Andrea Vanacore, University of Roma Tre . The journal evaluates submissions through a double-blind referee system.

[close]

p. 5

ISSN 2421-2679 Arti dello Spettacolo / Performing Arts The “Joan of Arc” of the Russian scene and the “Divina” of Italian theatre edited by Donatella Gavrilovich - Gabriella Elina Imposti Editorial by Maria Ida Biggi - Donatella Gavrilovich 4 Arti dello Spettacolo / Performing Arts sa 3 Vera Komissarzhevskaya meets Eleonora Duse Abstracts 8 Introduzione. Eleonora Duse e Vera Komissarževskaja: un mosaico di tessere policrome Donatella Gavrilovich - Gabriella Elina Imposti Progetto grafico Gioia Cecchi Segreteria e ufficio stampa staff.aspa@gmail.com Tipografia Universitalia Via di Passo Lombardo, 421 00133 Roma ARTI DELLO SPETTACOLO PERFORMING ARTS Anno II | Numero 2 | 2016 Special Issue 16 Вера Комиссаржевская – “русская Дузе”: рождение театральной репутации Ольга Купцова 22 Vera Komissarjevskaïa, la “petite Duse”? Lucie Kempf 31 Deux actrices de talent et leurs admirateurs dans les bouleversements de la modernité Marie-Christine Autant-Mathieu 38 Editorial Голос примадонны: Вера Комиссаржевская и Элеонора Дузе в русских ушах Oksana Bulgakowa 45 Attrici in posa: le fotografie di Eleonora Duse e Vera Komissarževskaja Marianna Zannoni 52 The influence of Komissarzhevskaya and Duse on the creative methods of the 20th-century masters of the Russian theatre Andrei Malaev-Babel 60 Russian Critics On Eleonora Duse Daria Rybakova 69 PROPRIETÀ LETTERARIA RISERVATA Eleonora Duse o Isadora Duncan? Il dibattito nella critica russa del 1907-1908 Copyright 2016 © Gavrilovich Michaela Böhmig 74 Editore UNIVERSITALIA Via di Passolombardo 00133 Roma Tel. 06 20419483 P.I./C.F. 03914561000 email: editoria@universitaliasrl.it www.unipass.it Immagine in copertina: Vera Komissarzhevskaya (1901) e Eleonora Duse (1890 ca.) Tutti i diritti sono riservati. La riproduzione dei contenuti, totale o parziale, in ogni genere e linguaggio è espressamente vietata. Tutti i marchi citati nella rivista sono di proprietà dei rispettivi aventi diritto. ISSN 2421-2679 Registrazione tribunale 21 gennaio 2015 con n. 8/2015 Gordon Craig e l’attore. Gli scritti su Eleonora Duse Donato Santeramo 82 М.Н. Ермолова и В.Ф. Комиссаржевская – две Жанны Д’Арк русского театра Раиса Островская 90 La Komissarževskaja e il simbolismo russo Cesare G. De Michelis 101 Нора, Гедда, Гильда и их мать Вера: Вера Комиссаржевская в драмах Генрика Ибсена Эмилия Деменцова 105 Summarizing remarks on Komissarzhevskaya and the Russian Avant-Garde Dennis Ioffe 109 Gli occhi della Komissarževskaya: talento, magia, mito Mario Caramitti 115 Bearers of Light: The Search for the Sacred in Vera Komissarzhevskaya and Wassily Kandinsky Donatella Gavrilovich 124 Vera Komissarževskaja e la vocazione teatrale del regista Georges Pitoëff Maria Pia Pagani 141 Комиссаржевская: способы трансформации образа Анна Сергеева-Клятис 147 Фотографии В.Ф. Комиссаржевской как самопрезентация актрисы Юлия Рыбакова 154

[close]

p. 6

4 ISSN 2421-2679 Donatella Gavrilovich Il primo Special issue della rivista Arti dello Spettacolo - Performing Arts è dedicato a due grandi attrici, attive a cavallo tra il XIX e il XX secolo: Eleonora Duse e Vera Komissarževskaja. Esse s’incontrarono personalmente solo una volta a San Pietroburgo nel dicembre 1896. Eleonora Duse era in tournée nella Venezia del Nord e Vera Komissarževskaja la vide recitare al Teatro Aleksandrinskij in La dame aux camélias di A. Dumas e in Heimat (La patria) di H. Sudermann. Dopo il terzo atto di La patria andai nel camerino dalla Duse…Non ci conoscevamo… Entrai e rimasi in silenzio, io sentivo che se avessi detto una parola allora… Duse anche rimase in silenzio, poi si avvicinò a me e mi prese la testa tra le mani…e mi guardò a lungo negli occhi. Non ci dicemmo l’una l’altra nemmeno una parola1. The first Special issue of the journal Arti dello Spettacolo. Performing Arts is dedicated to two great actresses, active at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries, Eleonora Duse and Vera Komissarzhevskaya. They met in person only once in St. Petersburg in December 1896. Eleonora Duse was on tour in “the Venice of the North” and Vera Komissarzhevskaya saw her acting at the Alexandrinsky Theatre in La Dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas and in Heimat by Hermann Sudermann. After the third act of Heimat I went to Duse’s changing room. We did not know each other... I went in and remained silent, I felt that if I said a word thenvDuse remained silent as well, then she came close to me and took my head between her hands, then she looked into my eyes for some time. We did not say a word to each other1. In occasione del centocinquantesimo anniversario della nascita di Vera Komissarževskaja (1864 - 1910) Maria Ida Biggi, Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia, direttrice del Centro Studi per la Ricerca Documentale sul Teatro e il Melodramma Europeo della Fondazione Giorgio Cini di Venezia, in collaborazione con Donatella Gavrilovich, Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”, ha organizzato un convegno internazionale di studi, che per la prima volta nel mondo mette a confronto le On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Vera Komissarzhevskaya (1864-1910), Maria Ida Biggi of the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Director of the Study Centre for Documentary Research into European Theatre and Opera of the Giorgio Cini Foundation in Venice, in collaboration with Donatella Gavrilovich of the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, organized the first international conference devoted to a comparison of the two actresses: Vera Komis-

[close]

p. 7

ISSN 2421-2679 5 Editorial by Maria Ida Biggi - Donatella Gavrilovich due attrici: Vera Komissarževskaja incontra Eleonora Duse. La “Giovanna d’Arco” della scena russa e la Divina del teatro italiano (4 - 5 marzo 2015). Denominata la “Giovanna d’Arco” della scena russa, la Komissarževskaja è stata paragonata alla Divina dalla critica dell’epoca passando alla storia come la “piccola Duse”. Per questo motivo le giornate di studi hanno puntato l’attenzione sull’attività delle due attrici, paragonando il loro stile recitativo, confrontando il loro rapporto con altre interpreti della scena mondiale, con i grandi registi e gli artisti dell’epoca e analizzando l’influenza da loro esercitata sulle generazioni successive. La Fondazione Giorgio Cini ha aperto le porte del suo splendido complesso monumentale, sito sull’Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore a Venezia, per accogliere studiosi provenienti da tutto il mondo, mettendo generosamente a disposizione i propri spazi per la realizzazione del convegno e di una documentata e preziosa mostra dedicata alle due attrici. Le fotografie e altri documenti relativi all’attrice russa, sono stati forniti dal Museo Statale Teatrale Centrale “A.A. Bachrušin” di Mosca e dal Museo Statale di Arte Teatrale e Musicale di San Pietroburgo. Il Centro Studi per la Ricerca Documentale sul Teatro e il Melodramma Europeo ha schiuso i propri scrigni, esponendo rare immagini dell’attrice italiana e inedite testimonianze dei suoi sog- sarzhevskaya meets Eleonora Duse. The “Joan of Arc” of the Russian stage and “La Divina” of Italian theatre (4-5 March 2015). Nicknamed the “Joan of Arc” of the Russian stage, Komissarzhevskaya was compared to “La Divina” by the critics of the time and was also called “the little Duse”. For this reason the conference was focused on the activity of the two actresses. It compared their acting styles, their relationship with other performers of the world stage and with great directors and artists of the time and analyzed their influence on the following generations. The Giorgio Cini Foundation opened the doors of its splendid monumental complex, situated on the Isle of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, to welcome scholars from all over the world, generously making available the venue for the realisation of the conference and of a well-documented and valuable exhibition dedicated to the two actresses. The photographs and the documents related to the Russian actress were provided by the A.A. Bakhrushin State Central Museum in Moscow and by the St. Petersburg State Museum of Theatre and Musical Art. The Study Centre for Documentary Research into European Theatre and the Opera of the Giorgio Cini Foundation in Venice opened its collections, displaying rare images of the Italian actress and unpublished doc- Editorial

[close]

p. 8

6 ISSN 2421-2679 Donatella Gavrilovich giorni in terra russa, provenienti dal ricco Archivio Eleonora Duse, dono di sua nipote Sister Mary Mark e di altri amici e studiosi della Divina. La presente pubblicazione raccoglie e mostra alcuni di questi preziosi materiali a corredo dei contributi dei diversi autori. Note 1 G. Pitoev, Večnoe – večnoe, in Alkonost: Sbornik pamjati V. F. Komissarževskoj, Izdatel’stvo Peredvižnoj teatr P. P. Gajdeburova i N. F. Skarskoj, Sankt Petersburg, 1911, p. 106. umentation of her stay in Russia from the rich Archive of Eleonora Duse, gift of her nephew, Sister Mary Mark and of other friends and specialists of “La Divina”. The present publication collects and displays some of these visual materials together with the contributions of the different authors. Notes 1 G. Pitoev, Večnoe – večnoe, in Alkonost: Sbornik pamjati V. F. Komissarževskoj, Izdatel’stvo Peredvižnoj teatr P. P. Gajdeburova i N. F. Skarskoj, Sankt Petersburg, 1911, p. 106.

[close]

p. 9

ISSN 2421-2679 7 Vera Komissarževskaja in Piazza San Marco a Venezia Ringraziamenti I curatori del numero speciale della rivista: Donatella Gavrilovich e Gabriella Elina Imposti Esprimiamo la nostra gratitudine al Centro studi per la ricerca documentale sul teatro e il melodramma europeo della Fondazione Giorgio Cini di Venezia, al Museo Statale Teatrale Centrale “A.A. Bachrušin” di Mosca e al Museo Statale dell’Arte musicale e teatrale di San Pietroburgo per la loro inestimabile collaborazione. Il presente numero speciale raccoglie i documenti presentati nel corso del Convegno Internazionale di studi di Venezia. Sono scritti in diverse lingue: italiano, francese, inglese e russo. Desideriamo ringraziare tutti i membri del comitato di redazione, l’editore e gli altri colleghi che ci hanno aiutato nel faticoso processo di preparazione di questi materiali per la pubblicazione. In particolare, vogliamo ringraziare Jeremy Barnard, Saba Burali, Erica Faccioli, Anna Isaeva, Anna SergeevaKlyatis, Donato Santeramo, Daria Rybakova, Andrea Vanacore, Marianna Zannoni che hanno contribuito a rivedere i testi per la pubblicazione finale. Thanks The editors of the special issue: Donatella Gavrilovich and Gabriella Elina Imposti We wish to express our gratitude to the Cini Foundation, the Study Centre for Documentary Research into European Theatre and the Opera, the Bakhrushin State Central Museum and the St Petersburg State Museum of Theatre and Musical Art for their invaluable cooperation. This special issue collects the papers presented during the conference. They are written in a number of different languages: Italian, French, English and Russian. We wish to thank all the members of the editorial board, the publisher and other colleagues who assisted us in the painstaking process of preparing these materials for publication. In particular, we wish to thank Jeremy Barnard, Saba Burali, Erica Faccioli, Anna Isaeva, Donato Santeramo, Andrea Vanacore, Marianna Zannoni, who helped revise the texsts for the final publication. Editorial

[close]

p. 10

8 ISSN 2421-2679 Abstracts T Vera Komissarzhevskaya «Russian Duse»: the Origin of her Theatrical Image OLGA KOUPTSOVA he life, appearance, and style of acting of the Russian actress Vera Komissarzhevskaya were compared by her contemporaries with the theatrical talent of Eleonora Duse. Komissarzhevskaya greatly appreciated the acting of Duse, and was present at her guest performances in Saint-Petersburg in 1896. The permanent and constant comparison with Duse became the starting point of Komissarzhevskayas own theatrical reputation and self-representation. This paper compares the characteristics which Russian theatre critics assigned to these two actresses at the time. It also focuses on the reviews of the way the two actresses played the same roles of Nora, Hedda Gabler, Monna Vanna, Magda and other roles. Vera Komissarzhevskaya, a Little Duse? Duse and Komissarzhevskaya as Seen by Russian Theatrical Critics LUCIE KEMPF When Duse first came to St. Petersburg and Moscow in 1891, the Russian theatrical critics literally fell in love with her. They had the impression that they were not watching an actress on stage but a suffering human being in real life. A few years later, as they discovered Komissarzhevskaya, they immediately noticed the uncanny resemblance between the two actresses, but were far less enthusiastic. They criticised Komissarzhevskaya precisely for what they admired in the Italian actress. In their opinion, Duse remained unique and inimitable and they could accept her new style of acting because she was a foreigner, who was not expected to prove her worth in Ostrovsky’s plays and therefore could not be compared with the famous Russian actress Maria Savina. Moreover, as she played the parts of modern characters as well as classical heroines, Duse was able to fit into those critics’ idea of what an actress should be.

[close]

p. 11

ISSN 2421-2679 9 Abstracts Two Talents and their Admirers in the Turmoil of Modern Theatrical Reforms MARIE-CHRISTINE AUTANT-MATHIEU Legendary actresses in the history of the theatre who shared many roles almost at the same time, Komissarzhevskaya and Duse put into the limelight and denounced, by their lives and work, the defects of the theatrical world described by Ostrovsky in “Talents and Admirers”. The careers of these two actresses, spanned the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, at the moment when the actor’s theatre is replaced by the director’s theatre. They constituted the points of reference and the models for two reformers of Russian theatre, Stanislavsky and Meyerhold. In this paper, we will show how the advent of the stage director and the emergence of a new dramaturgy changed the conception of the performance and the balance of its components. The Voice of a Prima Donna: Vera Komissarzhevskaia and Eleonora Duse through Russian Ears OKSANA BULGAKOWA Neither the voice of Vera Komissarzhevskaya nor the voice of Eleonora Duse was recorded but their contemporaries left numerous reminiscences about the peculiarities and expressiveness of the actresses’ voices. Both artists transformed the established theatrical stereotype at the level of bodily and vocal expression. Komissarzhevkayia deeply impressed her contemporaries by the difference between her fragile figure of a teenage girl, typecast for a lyrical or romantic heroine, and her unexpectedly low, throaty voice, which was associated with passions unknown to an ingénue. She had a very broad vocal range and could easily pass from contralto to soprano. She used this ability to shape the role of Nora as she worked consciously with two different voices: the high voice of an innocent girl – which corresponded to the expected social stereotype – and the low, authentic hidden voice of her heroine. This contribution analyzes the “mermaid” qualities of the voices of Komissarzhevskaya and Duse, as heard by the Russian critics and locates these impressions within the landscape of stereotypes concerning the voice and cultural semantics of acoustic phenomena, which experienced a radical shift in Russia at the turn of the nineteenth century. Abstracts

[close]

p. 12

10 ISSN 2421-2679 Actresses Posing: the Photographs of Eleonora Duse and Vera Komissarzhevskaya MARIANNA ZANNONI Photography is a valuable resource both for studying theatre in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and for retracing the artistic life of its protagonists. Photography studios were quick to approach the theatrical world and its greatest performers. The rapid increase in the production and diffusion of images of actors, from the middle of the nineteenth century, led to the establishment of an autonomous genre with specific characteristics and its own market at the beginning of the twentieth century. The subject matter of our study, the photoshoots of Eleonora Duse and Vera Komissarzhevskaya, is particularly effective in rendering the strength and the innovative nature of these two fin-de-siècle actresses. The aim of this paper is not to disclose the results of an already-completed study but to begin a comparative analysis between the photographic repertories of the two actresses. The Influence of Komissarzhevskaya and Duse on the Creative Methods of the Twentieth-Century Masters of Russian Theatre - Yevgeny Vakhtangov, Michael Chekhov and Nikolai Demidov ANDREI MALAEV-BABEL The art of Komissarzhevskaya and Duse influenced the creative practices of the three 20th-century masters of Russian theatre Yevgeny Vakhtangov, Michael Chekhov and Nikolai Demidov. Vakhtangov developed Komissarzhevskaya’s ideas on the “new actor-human”. Demidov strove to duplicate the “body-less” movements of Komissarzhevskaya and Duse, and their flights of passion, by introducing techniques, such as “psychological breathing” and “the great sleep of the body”. While Duse worked to achieve total harmony of “speech, mime, and gesture”, Vakhtangov followed her example by seeking the organic foundation behind theatrical expressivity. Chekhov, in his technique, strove to discover the out-of-body psychophysical state, characteristic of both great tragediennes. Russian Critics On Eleonora Duse DARIA RYBAKOVA Duse came on tour to Russia four times. In writing about her, the most discerning critics raised issues that had been under discussion for the whole of the nineteenth century. Critics tried to explain the phenomenon of Duse with the help of two Russian conventional conceptions of acting: “emotional experience” and “presentation”. Duse’s acting was studied in the context of the main styles of the period. Duse’s heroines provoked critics to discuss the fraught questions of the day and the grave social problems. Eleonora Duse or Isadora Duncan? A Debate among Russian Critics in 1907-1908 MICHAELA BÖHMIG The purpose of this paper is to analyze the reception in Russia of Isadora Duncan and Eleonora Duse, who both performed in Moscow and Saint Petersburg in the 1907-1908 theatre season. The analysis will focus on the article by the philosopher Dmitri Filosofov and the polemical rejoinder by the writer and translator Iulia Zaguliaeva. Special attention will be given to an essay by the art critic Alexander Rostislavov, who compares the Italian actress and the American dancer and writes about the female principle in art. These pamphlets and articles are major examples of how the two artists were regarded by Russian critics. Gordon Craig and the Actor. His Writings on Eleonora Duse DONATO SANTERAMO The article investigates Edward Gordon Craig’s concept of the Übermarionette in a new light, as it challenges the established understanding of Craig’s theory on acting (the elimination of the actor from the stage). After analyzing several writings in which Craig himself questions and discredits his controversial article The Actor and The Über-marionette, the paper offers a close examination of Craig’s writings on Eleonora Duse. It is ar- Abstracts

[close]

p. 13

ISSN 2421-2679 gued that Craig’s texts dedicated to the Italian actress, ranging from great praise to the utmost vilification of her acting and persona, are the result of Craig’s conflicting ideas on acting in general, and on Duse in particular. The article concludes that in the end, Craig sees Duse as a remarkable actress, perhaps one of the greatest of all time. Yermolova and Komissarzhevskaya: two Joans of Arc of Russian Theatre RAISA OSTROVSKAJA In Russia at the end of the nineteenth century two actresses inspired deep and serious affection in their audiences, Maria Nikolaevna Ermolova and Vera Fedorovna Komissarzhevkaya. Born eleven years apart, they belonged to two different theatrical generations and schools. Ermolova, an actress of the Moscow Imperial Maly Theatre, was famous for her performances of the classical roles that defined Russian tragedy and inspired the Russian intelligentsia of the 1870s-1880s, when the term “intelligentsia” itself came properly into use. Komissarzhevskaya, who epitomised the more sober and austere tradition of the St Petersburg Aleksandrinsky Theatre, shunned the classical repertoire, history dramas and big tragic parts, finding her voice in the contemporary dramas of Ibsen, Ostrovsky and Chekhov that resonated with the audience of the tumultuous 1890s and the first decade of the twentieth century. Yet, Komissarzhevskaya was heavily influenced by Ermolova in her attitude to every tragic part as an event of a lifetime that had an impact beyond the theatre audience. One character who brought the two actresses together was Joan of Arc. Ermolova played Joan in Schiller’s drama for eighteen years and considered it «her only worthy contribution to Russian theatre». Komissarzhevskaya dreamt of playing Joan of Arc in A Daughter of the Nation by fellow actress Annenova-Bernar, in which Joan appeared in mystical hallucinations. The story of Komissarzhevskaya’s unrealized part and the connection between the two actresses is the subject of this paper. 11 Abstracts Vera Komissarzhevskaya and Russian Symbolism CESARE G. DE MICHELIS Has a Russian Symbolist Theatre ever existed? The leading figures of the Symbolist movement were reluctant to accept that there had been that form of Theatre. However, at the time of Symbolism there was a theatrical production and also a strong attraction to the Russian Symbolist Theatre, which is expressed in many forms. Vera Komissarzhevskaya represented all this, and her sudden death was perceived as the end of Symbolism itself. Nora, Hedda, Hilda and their mother Vera: Vera Komissarzhevskaya in dramas of Henrik Ibsen EMILIYA DEMENTSOVA The thoughts of Ibsen heroines such as Nora, Hedda and Hilda echoed the thoughts of Vera Komissarzhevskaya. Just as the heroines of the founder of the European “new drama” stood against the usual stereotypes, Komissarzhevskaya was convinced that «The time is out of joint». For the Russian actress it was extremely important to speak from the stage of the most pressing social problems of the time. She did this by means of her performances of the roles of Ibsen’s female characters, which allowed her to show her talent to the full. Summarizing Remarks on Komissarzhevskaya and the Russian Avant-Garde. Modernist Pragmatics of Performativity, Meyerhold and Beyond DENNIS IOFFE As is widely known, in 1906 Komissarzhevskaya relocated her highly-acclaimed and successful theatre to a new venue and invited none other than a young acting director from Penza, Vsevolod Meyerhold, to become her new provocatively-experimental director. The aesthetics of Symbolist theatre was then extremely important to her. Vsevolod Meyerhold was Director of Komissarzhevskaya’s Theatre for approximately a year

[close]

p. 14

12 ISSN 2421-2679 and a half (1906-1907). The creative relationship between Komissarzhevskaya and Meyerhold was always extremely complex and eventually disintegrated for good. Initially, Meyerhold set out to seek more radical alternatives to the traditional realist system of art, which would eventually acquire the name of Konstantin Stanislavsky. Komissarzhevskaya’s Eyes: Acting, Seduction, Myth MARIO CARAMITTI Viewers, journalists, poets: whoever was speaking about Vera Komissarzhevskaya, invariably recalled her enormous shining blue eyes. They were the main, first and deepest impression projected by her acting talent. An overview of the magic effect of Komissarzhevskaya’s eyes needs to be based on both physical and semiotic evidence. Starting from the analysis of on-stage pictures, her expressiveness, intensity and orientation will be compared with witnesses’ memories and texts of performed plays. Physiognomy is explored in the interconnection of verbal and photographic representation, while the role of her eyes turns out to be pivotal in her inner performing strategy. Important information is also provided about the “sight” of her most usual photographer, Elena Mrozovskaya. Bearers of Light: The Search for the Sacred in Vera Komissarzhevskaya and Wassily Kandinsky DONATELLA GAVRILOVICH Kandinsky and Komissarzhevskaya probably never met. Where they certainly did meet is in the common ground of their conception of the role of the artist. Both saw their work as the product of an inescapable inner need and both viewed it as sacred. In the chaotic years of the early twentieth century, Komissarzhevskaya, Kandinsky and Elena Guro, actress, painter and poetess, were important reference points for many Russian artists and intellectuals. For them art was a way to study, an instrument that allowed them to explore another dimension of reality, to make the invisible, visible, to reveal the hidden essence of things. The search for common roots between these artists has focused the analysis in the field of archaeology and visual arts and has discovered, in Scythian art, Shamanism and the cult of the Mother Goddess, new perspectives for the interpretation of expressive form in these artists. Vera Komissarzhevskaya and theTheatrical Vocation of the Director Georges Pitoeff MARIA PIA PAGANI The paper analyzes the important but little-studied relationship between Vera Komissarzhevskaya and the director Georges Pitoeff (Georgy Ivanovich Pitoev, Tiflis 1884-Geneva 1939). Thanks to her guidance, he discovered his theatrical vocation, realizing his first experiences on the stage and receiving a very important lesson in artistic management. Pitoeff closely followed the activity of The Dramatic Theatre before its bankruptcy. It was a short, but intense, experience. In fact, he had the opportunity to study the echoes of the work of Vsevolod Meyerhold (Blok’s Balaganchik), observing directly the work of Nikolai Evreinov (Wilde’s Salomè) and Theodore Komissarzhevsky (Goldoni’s The Mistress of the Inn). He then spent most of his life in Western Europe, where he imported Komissarzhevskaya’s artistic heritage. A vivid example is his theatrical work about Joan of Arc, which is full of spiritual depth. Komissarzhevskaya: the Transformation of the Image ANNA SERGEEVA-KLYATIS On 10th February, 1910, in Tashkent, after two weeks of painful illness, Vera Komissarzhevskaya passed away. The day after her death Alexander Blok gave a poignant obituary to the St. Petersburg newspaper «Speech». On 7th March, 1910, in the hall of the St. Petersburg City Duma at the memorial evening for Komissarzhevskaya, Blok gave a speech, which shortly afterwards was published in the second edition of the «Yearbook of the Imperial Theaters» (1910). This famous speech, which finished with a new poem on the Abstracts

[close]

p. 15

ISSN 2421-2679 death of Komissarzhevskaya, «She came at midnight...», outlined the characteristics of her talent and personality and expanded the semantic field of obituary. Until the revolution of 1917, when the cultural and social values of the time were overthrown, journalistic thought invariably revolved around the pattern outlined by Blok. Such was the magic of his words, that both consciously and subconsciously quotations from his texts were reproduced from time to time, gradually forming the mythic and immortal image of the actress. Photographs of V.F. Komissarzhevskaya as Self-Presentation of the Actress (from the Collection of St. Petersburg Museum of Theatre and Musical Art) JULIA RYBAKOVA There are large collections of photographs in the St. Petersburg Museum of Theatre and Musical Art, which are a very important source in the study of the personality and creativity of the actress. The photos of V.F. Komissarzhevskaya’s life show her psychological state, while the photos of her in her roles help us to understand the aesthetic content of her talent. She ordered 52 photos in the role of a young Rosie (The Battle of the Butterflies, by Sudermann), creating, in essence, a kind of solo performance. The series of her photos in the role of Sister Beatrice (Sister Beatrice,by Maeterlinck, director, Meyerhold) illustrates the birth of the new conventional theatre. The hundreds of remaining photos left provide an enormous contribution to the study of Komissarzhevskaya’s life and destiny. 13 Abstracts

[close]

Comments

no comments yet