THE DELHI DANCETYuZ, St. Petersburg
Director – Dmitry Volkostrelov
Playwright – Ivan Vyrypaev
Set designer – Ksenia Peretrukhina
Costume designer – Alexei Lobanov
Cast: Alexandra Lobygina, Tatiana Tkach, Andrei Slepukhin, Adelina Chervyakova, Alyona Bondarchuk, Nadezhda Shumilova, Alisa Zolotkova, Maria Sosnyakova, Ivan Stryuk
Duration – 1 h 30 min
Age restriction – 16+
Ivan Vyrypaev’s Buddhist manifesto, the play The Delhi Dance, was written in 2009; two years later Vyrypaev directed the like-named movie and the play had become staged by many Russian theatres. However Dmitry Volkostrelov’s version at the small stage of TYuS in St. Petersburg (set designer Ksenia Peretrukhina arranged the audience to be seated on both sides of the stage) stands out of all the earlier stagings. Suffice is to say that Vyrypaev aged 40 and Volkostrelov, 32, represent two different generations. What used to be a guideline of life for the generation of Vyrypaev became an intellectual puzzle that for the generation of the twenty- and thirty-year-olds becomes a question without an answer. What’s more interesting is how the aesthetic programme of the two noticeable practitioners of the modern Russian theatre converge at some point and diverge at others.
Volkostrelov’s conceptualist production reproduces the very mechanism of the delusions and dictums that typify Vyrypaev’s characters – the mother, the daughter, her boyfriend who find themselves together at the admission office of a clinic. The detachment that was with perfect precision acted out by the two actresses of different generation, lays bare the complex process of reflection the two heroines of The Delhi Dance give themselves to in state of detachment from another person’s death. This callosity, comprehensively illustrating the condition of the modern man, in the production becomes the key instrument of characterization. The main conjuring trick of The Delhi Dance is the harmonious linkage between the scenographic and communicative contents on the one hand and the paradoxical nature of the play on the other.
“The Delhi Dance” of St. Petersburg TYuZ is a combination of techniques that Volkostrelov has been employing for quite a while now. Like in “A Bad Girl”, it is the neutral reproduction of the text rather than the actor/text relationship (not to mention traditional performance of it) that moves into the forefront. Like in “Shoot/Get Treasure/ Repeat” special importance is ascribed to the relationships between the video projection and the live performance. Therefore all the meanings are contained in the word.
Sofia Kozich, St. Petersburg Theatre Journal
None of Volkostrelov’s previous stagings has been so picturesque and aestheticized. With all its technical complexity the space looks stylish and ascetic. The audience is seated on two sides of the acting area but they don’t see each other for between them is the stage setting that repeats itself twice on both sides.
Zurab Javahadze, Gazeta.ru
In Volkostrelov’s “The Delhi Dance” the walls of the hospital are decorated with art objects, namely the fake posters of medicines designed by Ksenia Peretrukhina in association with Yakov Kazhdan. Costume designer Alexei Lobanov dressed the actors in the emphatically impersonal and dull casual style. In each one-acter the performers swap roles and juggle with the means of physical expression, interacting alternately with each other and with the viewfinder of the video camera. In other moments they directly contact the audiences. By multiplying the conventional idiom inscribed in the dramatic structure the director actually blows open the psychological motivations and obliterates all the references to the kitchen-sink logic of the events on stage. By juxtaposing the actors of not just different ages but of different theatre schools, too, i.e. actors with experience in contemporary theatre and those with no such knowledge Volkogonov prescribes them not just to perform their parts but also to demonstrate to the public the specific chronicles of their own existence in the profession.
Dmitry Renansky, Colta.ru