The Stanislavsky Electrotheatre Wraps Up its Program of Online Streaming

4 June 2020

From March to June 2020 the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre conducted a full online program of activities, streaming videos of repertoire productions, films by Boris Yukhananov and lectures of the theatre's School of Contemporary Spectators and Listeners. As we bring this program to a close, we look back to sum up.

When all Russian theatres went into quarantine in mid-March, the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre was one of the first to put together an online repertoire. It began streaming dramatic performances, operas, films by Boris Yukhananov, and lectures from the School of Contemporary  Spectators and Listeners. Over a two-and-a-half month period, the Electrotheatre generated 73 streams, which broke down into 38 repertoire performances, 17 films, and 18 lectures. The total number of viewers logging on to watch was 3,771,624. Most  streams were hosted on the theatre’s page on the VKontakte social network.

Each program pursued a given topic, and had a specific vector. The “opera” program focused on important works created by the Electrotheatre's stable of composers, as well as on lectures and discussions with their creators. The online program included Octavia. Trepanation by Dmitri Kourliandski, and directed by Boris Yukhananov; the five-day opera series Drillalians; Prose by Vladimir Rannev, and Maniozis by Alexander Belousov. These streams took place on the Afisha magazine website.

During Heiner Goebbels Week we streamed Goebbels' production, Max Black, or, 62 Ways of Supporting the Head with a Hand, accompanying it with the director’s lectures, a recording of the presentation of his book The Aesthetics of Absence, and the film version of the installation Fading Apocalypse, featuring discussions with Heiner Goebbels, Boris Yukhananov, Theodoros Terzopulos and Romeo Castellucci.

In May, in conjunction with Seance magazine, the Electrotheatre showed a retrospective of Boris Yukhananov’s films and theatre productions. The program included 17 works belonging to different eras in Russian culture, many of them anticipating future trends in art. Access to films was open for a month, and this was the first and most complete exposure of Yukhananov's online film archive to date.

The multicomponent nature of Boris Yukhananov’s new procedural projects was easily integrated into the realities of working online, which made it possible to stream the full six-day project Orphic Games. Punk-macramé, and a three-day version of The Golden Ass. The Open-circuited Workspace.

Also in May, the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre took part in the International Online Theatre Festival, hosted annually by The Theatre Times web magazine. The festival program included five Electrotheatre productions: the opera Octavia. Trepanation by Dmitri Kourliandski and Boris Yukhananov, Idiotology by Klim Kozinsky, The Constant Principle by Boris Yukhananov, Psychosis by Alexander Zeldovich, and Max Black, or, 62 Ways of Supporting the Head with a Hand by Heiner Goebbels. All shows streamed with English subtitles.

I'm very pleased we had this is query about the filming because, of course, one of the things we had to keep in mind, when we were looking at what we might screen for the festival, was how well it translates. It's not a question of quality. It's whether the camera is able to capture the spirit of the production in question and I think for those of you who've already seen, or for those of you who haven't yet, please, do watch, because the quality of the images is just stunning and incredibly cinematic in a sense.” – Alma Prelec, artistic director of The Theater Times Festival, speaking about the Electrotheatre productions.

In conjunction with Teatr magazine, the Electrotheatre streamed recordings of six lectures from the Alternative Theatre History series, created on the basis of the publication's 33rd issue.

We especially wish to note the Electrotheatre at Home project. I consisted of online lessons in which our chief designer Anastasia Nefyodova and actress Anna Antosik taught classes in creative drawing and costume designing for children. This was a first, absolutely unique work experience for all members of the team, and it grew into an independent art project that still exists in the form of a website exhibit.

We wish to thank the partners who supported our ideas and helped bring them to fruition, as well as those who provided informational support and coverage of all the streams: Dozhd TV channel; Afisha, Seance, and Teatr magazines; and the VKontakte social network.

We look forward to meeting offline at the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre as soon as it is safe!


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