Performance as polemic: Tairov's 1920 princess Brambilla at the Moscow Kamerny Theatre

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3 Scopus citations


Aside from hinting at the rift between the two directors that had become evident after their failed 1918 collaboration on Claudel's The Exchange, Tairov's criticism of Meyerhold's The Dawn reveals a widening gap in the two directors' fundamental conceptions of the purpose of theatre in the wake of the Revolution. Meyerhold famously declared "October in the theatre" after becoming head of the Theatre Department of Narkompros (the Commissariat of Enlightenment) in the fall of 1920; he attempted to liquidate the Moscow state academic theatres, of which the Kamerny was one, and to require that all theatres stage revolutionary works using the radical methods of "cubism, futurism and suprematism." Although Tairov had experimented with cubist designs, he had spent his immediate post-Revolutionary years defending theatre as an autonomous art form that should express universal truths rather than being a vehicle for topical content, declaring, "A propagandist theatre after a revolution is like mustard after a meal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-64
Number of pages32
JournalTheatre Survey
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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