In January of this year, the artistic Director of the Russian academic Youth theatre, people’s artist of Russia Alexei BORODIN notes professional anniversary – it is 40 years and runs the Ramtha.
– Alexey Vladimirovich, you headed the theater 40 years ago, in January 1980 then it was called Central children and were not even academic. What feelings did you enter the glorious building?
– I was 38 years old — a little for this post. Maybe I was being a little frivolous, but some I didn’t worry much. I decided that I should try, just so to dispose of life, but I will not hold on to the chair, if you feel yourself change. And this feeling, I think, was correct: to be yourself, not padegimas under someone or under something. In the days of my youth, I knew this theater was here as a spectator. CDT was then at a very good level, it was managed by Maria Knebel, worked with Anatoly Efros and Oleg Efremov. But, crossing the threshold of the theater as artistic Director, I realized that he is not so alive, and in many ways zorganizowany pioneer-Komsomol. My task was to open the window to make a “draft.”
You led the team in the deepest era of stagnation. Shortly before your destination, the troops were introduced into Afghanistan, was still alive Brezhnev and started working artistic, carefully verifying the correctness of the ideological performances. Now we live in another country and another time. Tell me, in what period you was harder to work with as a Director?
the Theater is always associated with what is happening outside the window than the country lives. With the Soviet ideological system I first encountered when trying to put your graduation work in the Smolensk drama theatre – “Two friends” by Vladimir Voinovich. I was a naive 27-year-old man who caught a great period in the history of Melpomene, when it was open the theater “Contemporary”, Teatr on Taganka. But it was 1968, the Soviet Union, together with a number of countries of the Warsaw Pact entered Czechoslovakia troops, and in Smolensk it was deaf like a regional party. Our performance was a total defeat. My regional was accused of formalism and anti-Soviet, were removed from their posts chief Director and theatre Director.
Then in Moscow I understood that the capital is no place for me – in the best case will be some tenth assistant at somebody, and it happened that in 1973 I was invited to head the Kirov theatre for young people. And in the Kirov, I must say, was wonderful regional Committee – the exact opposite of Smolensk. There I said: you are a specialist, you do it. This approach was amazing at the time, I was very lucky to get into such an oasis of liberalism. In the end, I got very good experience and perfectly understood the rules of the game. Arriving back in Moscow, I understood how to exist, to remain a free person and avoid any reefs.
And they were constantly. For example, three months we gave the play “Trap No. 46, height second” on the play of Yuri Shchekochikhin. Fault with “Les Miserables” Hugo asked, for example, why the stage hangs the French flag or why the protagonist of the play, Jean valjean goes to the barricades. In Hugo, the answer is, it is written that he happened to be there. I answered, “This has to change!”
I had to listen to such quibbles, but we were already hardened, and by hook or by crook avoided them, knowing that do a good job. The “trap” with us defended Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Rolan Bykov and Oleg Tabakov. The play was the battle – officials then made 68 comments.
We learned to live in the given circumstances, and I still strongly protected from them stunning the managing Director of the theatre Mikhail Yanovitsky. It took me literally fatherly. Kadets worked in the theater for 50 years, he was “seized” at a Spachakli always has money.
During the time of Perestroika came the joy that we can buy what we want books and put all sorts of performances, but doesn’t get any money. Then I lost the Kadets: at some moment on the stage burst pipe began to fill, and the funds for the repair. The next day after the incident he died. The broken heart. It was in 1997.
is It true that during this period you wanted to leave the theater?
– Yes, it was a difficult moment when I’m like a tiger in a cage, went to his office and realized that you can’t do anything: no money, and how to exist troupe and theatre – is unclear. This “test money” lasted for some time. But I remembered how in Kirov we worked in a much more Spartan conditions and put the performances are not worse than in Moscow. And even before the economy Ramtha strengthened, we mentally overcame this period of despair. It was hard, but I personally helped wall Cabinet: when you realize that you took the baton from those who came before you — until the Moscow art Theater-II, Mikhail Chekhov. It is very important to realize that not everything starts with us, not us over. And it is very important not to lose relations between people, because friendship, when you realize that you are not alone gives me strength.
– before You decided on the direction in art, starting to work for children and youth. What those spectators are more interesting to adults?
– Children better than us, adults. I know it’s their children and grandchildren, for my students. They are open and free. Adults — more than functionaries and doctrinaire. Well, if a person has creative experience, but everyday it often spoils because handles appear, “it’s possible”, “it is impossible”. A child can do anything. For myself, I have formulated the task of our theatre: talking with children about everything, protect them from the cynicism and cruelty.
– Why you renamed the theatre to the youth? The audience matured?
– of Course. The Central children’s theatre was the flagship theatres for youth across the country – the theatres in which he worked with such famous Directors as Zinovy Korogodsky, Lev Dodin and in Leningrad, Adolf Shapiro in Riga, Boris Naruszewicz in Gorky. But over time, the name “baby”, I think, obsolete. No man in 10 years does not consider himself a child. If I tell him that he is in children’s theatre, he says – why, it’s for kids. I took a thesaurus and found the word “childhood”. But found “youth (youth)” as the period from infancy to the middle years. It turned out that our theater is like a Leo Tolstoy: childhood – adolescence – youth. “Youth” is the development and the term “child” – a kind of stagnation.
– In Ramta you put among the other two pieces of the famous Russian journalist Yury Shchekochikhin – “Trap No. 46, height second” and “Between heaven and earth the lark winds”. What attracted you to the dramatic work of Yuri Petrovich, who became famous for his investigations?
– Moscow from Kirov Spectators we arrived the four of us. I, head of the literary part and my Deputy for art Affairs Yelena Dolgin, main artist Stanislav Benediktov and now the General Director of the Bolshoi theatre Vladimir urin. All four of us are friends. So, Elena knew Shchekochikhin and brought him here. He published an article in the “Literary” seems to be “the lake” – about how because of the jeans killed the boy. Agreed that Yura will write a play about it. From the point of view of drama it was very clumsy but was very much alive and true. It has become clear that it will not receive the approval of the Council, but I came to the Deputy Minister of culture, saying that there is a modern play, which we will supply without cost to the departments and so on. We were allowed to rehearse. Then came the young generation of artists: Alex Veselkin, Serge Greyin, the now dead Lara Moravian and Eugene Dvorzhetsky. Lovely guys. The team was said to Jura, whose theatre was called Sekachov. We did the “Trap” just two months, and then began our ordeal — set is not allowed. But we released it later, in the Restructuring.
the Brothers Strugatsky and ray Bradbury in the repertoire of the theatre is the search for new forms of conversation with young people?
At the time I was very fond of contemporary fiction. Just read Isaac Asimov, ray Bradbury. But to translate their works into pieces it was very difficult. It was a kind of theatrical experiences. I think it’s important to do what you are most passionate, that like. It’s in a good way “infects” other – first the actors and then the audience.
– do you think that obsolete plays at all? For example, the works of Viktor Rozov was actively raised in the postwar period, including in the Central children’s theatre, and now it is almost not visible.
– In 1990, I made the play Rozov “Home”, about a guy who returned from Afghanistan and here to kill. I think it was an honest piece about what is happening. In 2013, when we celebrated the 100th anniversary of Viktor Sergeyevich, we conducted a laboratory in which young Directors staged excerpts from his plays. Misha Egorov presented a large fragment of the play “on the road”. Subsequently he grew up in a chamber performance in a dark room. This formulation is very well accepted by the audience.
In 2021 we will mark the 100th anniversary of the theater and want to put pieces of previous years, including one Rozovsky.
– Boris Akunin presented in your work “Erast Fandorin”, black and white versions of “Yin and Yang”. What you are interested in this writer and why did you put two versions of “Yin and Yang”?
– the fact that, along with fiction, I love good detectives. When Moscow began reader boom AkuNina with his Fandorin, the artists literally put my hands on these books. I started to read “Azazel” — the writing was clever, talented, entertaining, interesting background on the historical context. Even not having read the book, I burned to put it. Elena M. Dolgin somehow persuaded Boris Akunin come to us — because then, according to him, he theatre did not love. But after our meeting agreed on the setting and even himself wrote the dramatization.
the Premiere of “Erast Fandorin” was a great success, and I asked Akunin to write us something else. He replied that he got the idea, but in two versions. And when I read the play “Yin and Yang”, it is understood that it is necessary to put both, because it is not only a great detective, but talented and amazing theatrical literary game. And happy set.
– Akunin appears you have to play “the Last days”, along with Pushkin and Bulgakov. How would you define this genre? Fantasy? The farce? Phantasmagoria?
– Fantasy, rather. I have long liked the play of Michael Bulgakov “the Last days” (about the death of Alexander Pushkin), however, I realized that it’s not the strongest of his work, it is necessary to trim. I called Akunin and said that the works on the “History of the Russian state”, and there is a very interesting period for the adolescence of Peter I. In the end, sent the play “to Kill a snake”, but short, 37 pages.
the question Arose — how to connect Pushkin and young Peter? What they have in common? Of course, “the bronze horseman” by Pushkin. It turned out that the reflection one time to another is a very curious thing. Happened three authors and three centuries – NINETEENTH, twentieth, twenty-first. Reflected the time of Peter I, and the time of Nicholas I. This is a kind of creative adventure, but I think it’s interesting.
– You are not only a theatre Director but also a theater teacher, who trained a galaxy of famous figures culture and the arts. You a strict teacher?
– no, I’m not strict. When every four years gaining course at GITIS, always worried of the huge number of talented people should be selected 30 people. It’s insanely difficult moment with terrible force should work intuition. But these 30 people give energy, which can be compared with a cold shower. However, once I started engaging in Ramtha large number of young filmmakers, the theater began to occupy so much time that it left on the students.
– what, In your opinion, is the mission of the theatre in our age of the Internet and high speeds? Not outdated does it?
– No, not obsolete, on the contrary. People are now almost completely devoid of live communication, separated from each other. And the theatre is the only art where everything is born on your eyes — it unites the actors on stage and spectators in the courtroom. A person feels lonely. Theatre infuses the energy in a person, and thus it often saves.