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Symbolism in 20th Century theatre
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Symbolism in 20th Century theatre

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Research project for 20th century theatre

Research project for 20th century theatre

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  • 1. SymbolismIn 20thCentury Arts
  • 2. Outline1. What is Symbolism?2. Symbolism‟s Impact on the Arts3. Rise of Russian Symbolism4. Russian Impact on Theatre5. Notable Symbolists and their contributions
  • 3. François Sarcey: "When I understand a few phrases here and there, I tellmyself: this is a Decadent poet.When I understand practically nothing, I say to myself: this must be a symbolist"
  • 4. What is Symbolism? Began in late 19th Century Europe and flourished in Russia A complex, imaginative and colorful movement A philosophy that reflect purity of vision > observation, abstraction> ordinary Explores images, metaphors and inner realities of human experiences that cannot be directly perceived Basis for artistic and intellectual movements such as Expressionism and Surrealism
  • 5. Impact on the Arts Symbolist wish to create a certain state of the soul Works tend to revolve around dreamscape Fairy tales (love/death) > social issues In Visual Arts:- Color (blue/green), Flowers (lily/rose) and animals(swan/peacock) became important inspirations In Literature: symbolists write in a poetic language- verses are musical- words that suggest > state- poets write with free verse, away from constraints ofstructures E.g. The Intruder: "the rose-leaves are falling”
  • 6. Guess!
  • 7. Impact on Theatre Director is an important member in theatrical production Infuses all the other arts into Symbolic Theatre 2D type of scenery to 3D scenery Focuses on the human consciousness and emphasize on moral problems- psychological> external actions- Loseshuman characterization, dramatic action and realistic stage-settings for theatre effects of mystery and mysticism Aims for a stage with qualities of rhythm, tone and harmony in the unfolding movement of its actors and accented by the play of varied lighting
  • 8. Rise of Russian SymbolismAn intellectual and artistic movement Russian Symbolist movement affected all the art media 1st generation - 1890-1900 “Silver age” 2nd generation – 1900-1910 “Blue rose movement” Focuses on intrinsic experience of art making Evolution of modern Russian painting See painting not only as an exercise on color andlife, but also as a philosophic force
  • 9. Mikhail Vrubel‟s Morning
  • 10. Russian Impact on Theatre 20th Century Moscow art theatre – only carrier of the great European theatrical culture during that time! Russian Theatre > the other European Theatre- greater, deeper, fuller and mightier The essence of Russian theatre is not an ensemble but an unity- Elements in theatre are closely connected to each other, inter- dependant on one another- The elements of Russian theatre cannot be altered;it is only possible to alter the placing of the emphasis
  • 11. Important Russian SymbolistsAlexander Symbolist poet, music composer, pianistScriabin(1871-1915)Andrey Bely Symbolist poet, prose writer and dramatist(1880-1934)VyacheslavIvanov •Symbolist poet and classicist(1866-1949) • Revive the Dionysian origins of the theatre to Symbolist theatre • Attempts to write Russian symbolist drama and stage it appropriately were not very successful Opposed by Andrew Bely in 1907 • mocked the Dionysian approach • pointed out the impossibility of symbolism in the theater - would destroy the barrier between viewer/actorValery Symbolist poet.YakovlevichBryuso - insisted that the theatre be stripped of extraneousv (1873-1924) production values and handed back to the actors
  • 12. Andrey Bely Bely believe that drama is the highest poetic art Bely‟s attribute to drama - atmospheric and musical. „Man must live by his creative imagination and re-fashion reality according to his inner vision‟ Bely conceives, the stage is the incarnation of the dream, and the fictive world of the drama infects people as with a fever, through the creation of a life that is lofty and meaningful. He creates a new stage space that opens out onto infinity. His plays abounds in strange optical effects:- pulsating intensities of light and the refraction of radiance become the dramatic action, replacing psychology and plot.
  • 13. Alexander ScriabinScriabin had always wanted to expresshimself in word and gesture of sensoryimagesHe sees colors for keys and musical notesScriabin hear colors. Color is a means forconveying Scriabin‟s sensation or ideas.He is also interested in dance as a symbolic gestureExperimented with dance forms that might interpret themood of the piece- realize that music reveals its own shape and how it maybe expressed in motion.
  • 14. Scriabin‟s Prometheus Prometheus was a combination of symbols ofdance, visual, music and colors (light machine) Scored for orchestra due to thevarious tone colors In Prometheus, fire is light, life, struggle... Usually got to do with mystical views.. second line ofPrometheus for a light machine to produce a color for therood of the harmony indicated above http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3B7uQ5K0IU
  • 15. Petrushkahttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbWDG3LU4bc
  • 16. References: Bowlt, J. E. 1973. Russian Symbolism and the „Blue Rose‟ Movement. The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 51, pp. 161-181. Efros, A. and Gordon, H. 1929. The Russian Theatre and its Artists since the Revolution. College Art Association, Vol. 1, pp. 6-9. Gerould, D. C. 1978. Andrei Bely: Russian Symbolist. Performing Arts Journal, Vol. 3, pp. 25-29. Matlaw, R. E. 1979. Scriabin and Russian Symbolism. Duke University Press, Vol. 31, pp.1-23. Schumacher, C. 1996. Naturalism and Symbolism in European Theatre 1850-1918. USA: University of Cambridge, pp. 208-120, 227. Tisdel, F. M. 1920. Symbolism in Theatre. The Sewanee Review, Vol. 28, pp. 228-240.