CULTURALOGICAL PROJECTS DIVISION
"THEATRE IN A BASKET" CREATIVE WORKSHOP
|Paul Florensky once noted that "If Rublov's
Trinity exists, God exists". To paraphrase Florensky, one can
say that "If Les’ Kurbas exists, Ukrainian theatre exists".
Theatre, like history, has never lacked its dreamers. Among them
were those who stood the theatrical world on its end by means of
the Archimedes law of the lever. Les’ Kurbas was in that group.
His 20th century kin include Gordon Craig and Adolph Appia, Vsevolod
Meyerhold and Konstantin Stanislavski, and Bertold Brecht and Antoine
Artaud. It is with them that we make our entry into the 21st century.
Theatre and film director, actor, playwright, theorist, teacher,
and polyglot-translator, theatrical reformer Les’ Kurbas (1887-1937)
created a world class modern Ukrainian theatre and laid the foundations
for a new lexicon in 21st century theatre (even the frigid GuLAG
only managed to act as a mere provocation for the master's last
chef-d'ouevres). It is to him that perhaps the most sublime of designations
of the actor of the future as a "wise harlequin" is attributed.
Left incomplete during his lifetime, his theory of "character
transformation" is today being completed through the efforts
of philosophers and artists searching for the core "archetypal"
specificity of Art. Modern virtual space only strengthens the intensification
of this search.
The Les’ Kurbas State Centre for Theatre Arts, created by a decree
of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on December 12, 1994, began
its work in 1996. We took into account new practices in contemporary
world culture, which foresee the "totality" of function,
an easy interchangeability of "elements", the parallel
development of theory and practice, and the principles of multi-levelness
The Centre has three divisions: scholarly-research, culturalogical,
and artistic-theatrical search laboratories. Preference is given
to the generation of ideas, to young talents and new methods and
methodologies, and to experimentation in the broadest of artistic
realms (it is impossible to research theatre today outside of a
unified artistic context). The Centre aims to provoke experimentation
and to create globally-constructive models for TheatreŻas a builder
of a national spiritual environment, featuring a new Language. The
intellectual thought of new Ukraine and its culturology and art
research, should reintegrate themselves into the European and world
contexts from which they were separated for well-known historical
The Centre's activities
include five strategic directions:
1. The development of a contemporary
dialogical model: Ukrainian culture - world culture.
2. The writing of the history of 20th century
Ukrainian theatre in the context of world artistic culture, through
the utilization of new methodologies.
3. The creation of a wide-ranging system of culturalogical
projects as a mechanism for the reintegration of national culture
into the world context.
4. The formation of innovative models for theatrical
and artistic education.
5. Analysis of state cultural policy, proposals
of alternative and innovative cultural forms.
The Les’ Kurbas Centre is an open ground. We subscribe to a well-known
physicist's formula for "insane ideas". Come, fantasize,
roll up your sleeves and work. It is your destiny to live in the
third millennium, begin today.