Meyerhold, Theatre and the Russian Avant-garde
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Meyerhold collaborated with avant-garde and futurist artists like Popova and Maykovsky to create a new kind of theatre in Russia in the early 1920s. His goal was to break free from naturalistic theatre set design and solve the problem of combining the two dimensionality of the set with the three dimensionality of actors.
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The scope of Meyerhold's oeuvre is all too often reduced to the work on 'biomechanics' which accounts for a mere fraction of his experimentation as a director both with and after Stanislavski. Although the subject of biomechanics is clearly and cleverly addressed in the film - illustrated through contemporary studio work - it is rightly treated as a stage in the development of a life's work that, like no other, pioneered the symbolic role of the body in performance.
Sadly, as with so many artistic luminaries of his generation and provenance, Meyerhold fell prey to Stalin's purges and was executed by firing squad in 1940. With such scant English language video material on Meyerhold available in the public domain, this film offers a superb introduction to a master of theatre. I would strongly recommend it to anyone interested in Russian theatre, theatre in general, or the period of history under scrutiny.