A heretic in the Cathedral. Who’s afraid of theater, Serebrennikov

Cancelling the premiere is completely sold out for all four views forward, the Director of the Bolshoi theatre Vladimir urin knew it would be a scandal. This wasn’t here a few decades.

The production of “Nureyev,” which was done in January at an accelerated rate at the request of the theater, may have imperfections, but the experienced viewer knows that they out almost any performance and after only a few performances he is getting form. Participants and a few spectators the last of the runs say that he was fine. But even with a certain amount of roughness could find a softer way out — to declare the performance and prepremiere to announce that it will be further developed.

Experienced Director had to choose between two varieties of the scandal — the one that now accompanies the cancellation of the premiere, and those that would have happened if it took place on the Historical stage showed a love story of a dancer-a gay man who escaped from the Soviet Union, directed to which came the investigators. Of course, the Director thought about theatre, and about his own career, and even about the fate of the play.

Knowledge of the right hand

Manufacturing drama where the elderly Director of the retrograde struggling with a young progressive artist — simplistic interpretation of what happened. Urin interested in the fact that the show came out (he even hastened his creators), and that the bike had the ability to put modern plays, as he does for many years. The idea of the Big picture of how the Museum, where they still show the same “Swan lake”, which have all seen on TV the day of the putsch, no longer correspond to any reality. For the staging of operas and ballets for many years, attracted to the modern-minded filmmakers, and in the winter there was a British franchise of the Opera Britten’s “Billy Budd”, where the young sailor enthusiastically loves the captain, and Sergeant major loves of a sailor, but his ill-wishes to the light, refusing to accept their own feelings, and on stage there are no women. Put 18+, and all things with the law.

Setting Serebrennikov, judging by the reviews seen, vivid and provocative, but not controversial for those who know the real, not fictional Big. Even the “naked” Nureyev on leaked the video of the rehearsal — actually a dancer in a speedo Nude. Similarly, in artificial Topless since the 1990s, Gypsy sing your chorus in “La Traviata” at the Musical theatre of Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko, and a recognized teacher of the modern Russian and world theatre of Anatoly Vasiliev since the 1990s, the words “but I swear your honor” with Tatiana slipping dress, and underneath nothing. This did not prevent him to receive all the Russian awards and its own theater on Sretenka. Yes, and the main court conductor Valery Gergiev from the beginning produces one after another new reading of operas and ballets. Nevertheless, urin felt that in the interest of all to cancel the show now “Nureyev”.

The urine pointed to a glaring incompatibility of the two stories, concerning government, and he himself could not see it. The final season premiere on the Historical stage of the Bolshoi theatre defiantly contrary to the proceeds of the most influential public areas of the narrative that pieces of silver — a dubious experimenter realizing your morbid imagination for the budget money that are in addition out there somewhere he still lost.

This type of narration is trying to shift a completely unfounded Serebrennikov somewhere to the side of the actionist Pavlensky and Pussy Riot. After all, most know it only by name — to the theater, even though it is full, as in the Church, we go well if three percent of the population, and unknown in personal experience, devoid of the necessary comparative material can be filled with anything, how about any government official to say “corrupt”, and about any diplomat — spy.

It is questionable if the experimenter what he’s doing in the Big, and even the second time (last year he released his ballet “a Hero of our time” with the same composer Demuslim), and even on the main stage in Prime time? Grand theatre — the former place of party congresses, with its “Royal box” where the lead foreign dignitaries, continues to be perceived almost as a branch of the Kremlin behind the walls — Kremlin Russian culture. Who made? Who is overlooked?

Urin felt the danger of this situation including myself. Stopping the play, he was able to convince myself that making myself better and Serebrennikov: possible scandal after a noisy premiere could harm find themselves in a difficult situation, the Director, to spur his persecutors among the cultural fundamentalists.

In fact, the opposite happens: in the time of persecution Serebrennikov output premieres at Large would have looked like confirmation of his directorial status, cooling the ardor of even the most ardent detractors. But the unceremonious cancellation of the premiere gives them the encouraging message: that’s how it turns out.

But as the prosecution initiated by the state investigators and supported close to the state custodians of the mores, the risks associated with the premiere, the theatre management was considered superior to the risks associated with its cancellation. Can’t our government with one hand push and the other to support, so it supports the arm and removed.

Glory fighter

In the process of removing the hands was a significant case of competition for the right to be the source of the ban. After urin undertook this painful duty, TASS released a news with reference to anonymous source in the Ministry of culture that the screening of the ballet moved on the personal order of Medina. The Agency later corrected the news title: now that Medinsky has supported the transfer.

TASS did not publish news without prior coordination with the appropriate Agency, even if the source is anonymous. The random appearance of news on the direct disposal of the Medina is almost excluded: the head of TASS Sergey Mikhailov studied with in Medina, the University, after graduation, together with him founded the PR Agency “Corporation “I”” (after the transformation — “Mikhailov and partners”), all the while the political and career both did not break contact, and now they are roommates in the center of Moscow.

It would seem that the glory of the censor should not be too desirable for the Minister of culture. However, spreading the news, sources of the Ministry and the government focused not on theatre lovers and not even on the conservative publics, although it is the Minister-a censor was supported. Distributors news hoping that it will be noticed Putin and conservative security forces will help to interpret it correctly: Minister of Medina — our people, sparing the reputation of fighting for the sovereignty of Russian culture against the corrupting influence of the West. In this environment, because time — like Brodsky’s poetry — there is space and geography: the corrupting modernity comes from the West, past the great rises in the East.

The desire to pass zapretitel gay propaganda at the Bolshoi there are two reasons. One — at Medina problem. He’s got problems with the dissertation and the reputation of the scientist-historian, and his staff have just been under investigation and trial for theft in the restoration of cultural heritage objects and opaque contracts. The Minister clearly knows one rule: in the current ideological and administrative structures if you are being attacked liberals can’t touch you. Pressure on Serebrennikov’s a sure — fire way to displease liberals.

The second reason is groups in power for a long time counting the days till the resignation of Prime Minister Medvedev, wondering if it will take place immediately after the elections or directly before them, as happened with former Prime Ministers Kasyanov and Fradkov, and kept going places in the future government.

Will change the composition of the government, which Medina is not the most valuable asset. On the other hand, his position is not so important, that it turned the main battle. As the Minister of the ideological pool he is more presidential than Prime Minister Putin, not Medvedev’s. Its very purpose, which he is obliged Volodin, occurred in the correction of heritage Medvedev returned Putin, and so there’s a good chance to survive the likely resignation of the current Prime Minister.

For this we need to create the impression that you’re more valuable to the state than to the secondary post, which is, of course, a fighter for the ideals of the state. When you greater your post, why would you change, and if we are to change, with the increase. An act of selfless protection “of the Kremlin of Russian culture” from child molesters — visible application necessity and loyalty. Because same-sex love, sympathetically shown on the Historical stage of the Bolshoi, contrary to all the statements that Russia is a country of traditional values.

One of us

One can imagine that the decision on temporary ban until the play was taken above the level of the cultural Ministry. For example, after the scandal with the removal of “tannhäuser” of Timothy kulyabina in the Novosibirsk Opera on demand there the Metropolitan of the people from the presidential Administration was interested in the upcoming premiere of kulyabina in the Great and even sent people to watch the rehearsal of the Opera “don Pasquale”, although the Director urin vouch for this statement. But it was six months before ideologist Volodin headed the administration suddenly replaced by a technocrat Kiriyenko, from which it is difficult to expect an act of theatrical censorship, besides its surrounded by a lot of fans of contemporary theatre.

The Russian system is wrong to imagine as a continuous Morse code specific instructions for any reason, coming from the top. We have a personalist regime in the symbolic, not in the managerial sense of the word.

Officials of different level have great autonomy, but their task in the framework of this autonomy to make the right decisions that will fit your vision of the situation the first person because of a wrong they will have to answer. Exactly, and not running to the phone puppets with Western cartoons built relationship between Prime Minister Putin and President Medvedev between 2008 and 2012. Hence their public discussions, for example, according to the Libyan issue.

The system is based not on direct commands from above, and on what can be called the hierarchical trust (when one with the confidence the party is accountable to and dependent on the other) and the idea of belonging to one circle. “We (you) know personally, you are a respected and experienced worker, you our one of us, so do what you gotta do, but don’t fail”. So for the most part arranged between the President and the Prime Minister, the Kremlin and the Ministry of culture, the presidential Administration, and administration of the Bolshoi or Mariinsky theatre. It is not compulsory convergence of views in all details, but in this “know personally” and “an honorable man, one of us.” This is the weight of the hardware.

Ironically, not much interested in the arts of the high officials of the weight of the hardware in the sphere of culture associated with their childhood memories: one seen in movies and on TV, when they themselves had none, and he respected actor, Director, representative of the creative intelligentsia. And who came later — the dubious newcomer. Therefore, Tabakov, even though he was at the national screen and then walked to the ladies ‘ dresses, and Zakharov, although he undermined his films and performances the strength of the state, and now puts the “Day of the Oprichnik”, a large weight of the hardware. Urine can say “you’re one of us”, and Serebrennikov him less, he won’t say, and his actors to walk around in dresses and undermine the strength of line.

Talents and admirers

However, in the state apparatus, the stranger it does not recognize all. They say that Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets dissatisfied with the cancellation of the show and as the curator of the government, and as a patron of the Bolshoi theatre. It looks like she failed to protect the troupe from the pressure.

Among the higher Russian officials and businessmen, many for whom culture is not just a useful piece of ideology, and has its own, including export value, theatre is not a social event, where during the intermission, you can meet with the same and walk wives (husbands) and dresses; the painting is not a wall calendar; literature — not that the school for children, but now for adults: the art of the garden, not the herbarium.

Russian culture is one of the few industries where we stand on an equal footing with the developed world. Her to have export potential — in the same way as industrial products, it must be modern, competitive and interesting to the end user — the enlightened public. Closed tradition turns into curiosity: on the exhibition is quite skilled North Korean artists go to have fun.

Sincere lovers of theater, Serebrennikov, generally a living contemporary culture, despite the attempt to create for Russia a conservative isolationist ideology, still many among the Russian establishment. These people don’t miss a single speech Currentzis, go to the premiere Bogomolov, call for your club concerts of the composer Desyatnikov. Among them are many of those who in any way falls under the concept of the system of the liberals and the technocrats, in General, can be considered as intellectuals and pragmatists in power.

On another ward

If we simplify the story of the political debate in Russia — it is, of course, not between Putin and Navalny and not between the government and the opposition, but between those who see Russia integrated into global modernity, and those who see her at the head of the resistance that modernity, wherever those others are. You can describe it as a dispute between the reformers and pragmatists on the one hand, and ideology on the other, which dates back almost to the ancient dispute between Westerners and the native soil.

Pressure on the Gogol centre another attempt of self-affirmation of one group against other. Moscow, where there is such a theater, Gogol center, where the silver can be put on the Historical stage of the Bolshoi ballet of the defector-gay (he is a turncoat, traitor, perhaps even more important), for ideologues are not fully sovereign, is not quite his own, partly stranger in Moscow.

In the new situation the recent period Putin, who somehow maintained the balance and relative equidistance from both groups (incredulous law enforcers closer to him, but there are areas where not only they have the last word), it is also a struggle for the future of Russia after Putin, its course and its place in it.

The attack of one group against another is made in the traditional shape requirements to match the words, the final severity of the declared the country’s role of guardian of traditional values: we caught Serebrennikov, in the eyes of the General public one of the main violators of traditions, did you will to hinder us? The attempt of pragmatists to publicly stand up for the Director or performance to their opponents a session of self-exposure in an incomplete state according to the stated ideals.

Among several candidates for exposure by Kirill Serebrennikov chose among others because he has his own theatre, and so he let small, but the chief, who, it turns out, does in his own theater he wants. This position of others in the role of chief cultural institutions in the center of Moscow can be particularly annoying to some of his opponents and makes him more vulnerable than others. The head should be only your. And if not, he can be attacked not only with the shifting aesthetic positions, but with a much more coarse material: it can be applied two basic principles that guide the Russian government in relations with those who lack your “nothing against us for our money” and “criticize, be perfect.”

The situation is reminiscent of what happened in recent times in the Russian Church. The comparison is not so paradoxical if you consider that a Church service is action, and the Greek word “Liturgy” theatrical origin. The Russian Church entered the 1990s a large pluralistic, freely developing organism. But gradually under the verbal attacks of religious fundamentalists diversity began to decline and development come to naught.

And thus, that the priests are distracting from the traditionalist liturgical uniformity characteristics are not banned in the Ministry, and deprived of their own parishes and were transferred to serve in someone’s great temple, where above them was the Abbot — the mediator between the unreliable experimenter and superiors. You can serve, but in the team and under the supervision inevitably. But if the Church requirement is not stylistic, but at least dogmatic uniformity has its own logic, in the art it hangs in the air. To announce the highly erotic art of theatre in General and ballet in particular is sacred — a contradiction in the object, which is easy to check: the disturbance would be not less but more if the dance brought Nureyev is not gay, but, for example, the participants of the first Ecumenical Council.

However, what was started in the Church, the ideologues would like to complete in the field of culture. Because for them the one and the other — just different humanitarian of the projection of power: spiritual and secular varieties of service state the idea. Director urin in this case is the rector, who is responsible for employees in the same temple, but the presence of their own Church-the theater is considered the keepers of cultural homogenization serious disorder. Sadly, for them, not only the pieces of silver, but urin, and their high-ranking fans in the government and even Minister of Medina, and occasionally Putin himself is too soft and inconsistent to bring Yes the started a good thing a conservative unification, they mind have their own candidates.