Migrating Modernist Performance: British Theatrical Travels by Claire Warden

By Claire Warden

Exploring the stories of early to mid-twentieth century British theatre-makers in Russia, this booklet imagines how those travelers interpreted  Russian realism, symbolism, constructivism, agitprop, pageantry, dance or cinema.

With a few looking for a substitute for the company West finish, a few for experimental suggestions  and others nonetheless for tactics that will politically encourage their audiences, did those trips make any adjustments to their perform? and the way did notably Russian suggestions impact British theatre history?

Migrating Modernist Performance seeks to reply to those questions, reimagining the stories and artistic output of quite a number, usually under-researched, practitioners. What emerges is a dynamic selection of performances that bridge geographical, aesthetic, chronological and political divides.

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46. Christina Lodder with Peter Hellyer, ‘St Petersburg/Petrograd/Leningrad: From Aesthetes to Revolutionaries’ in The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines vol. III 1880–1940, eds Peter Brooker, Sascha Bru, Andrew Thacker and Christian Weikop (Oxford UP, 2013), 1249. 47. Alexander Bakshy, The Path of the Modern Russian Stage and Other Essays (London: Cecil Palmer and Hayward, 1916). 48. Christopher Innes, Edward Gordon Craig: A Vision of the Theatre (Abingdon: Routledge, 2004), 311.

K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday (1923). An English writer and theologian, Chesterton showed a particular interest in Russia, reflecting, like so many of his compatriots, on British misunderstandings of Russian culture. E. 80 This book attempts to reach across geographical divides and educate a British readership about Russia’s vibrant cultural traditions. It is an act of transnational friendship and educative instruction. In its title it also confirms one of the central motifs British artists used to understand Russian culture: the Russian or Slavic ‘soul’.

Upon their return to Dalcroze’s school in Hellerau, Germany, Diaghilev and Nijinsky visited to ask Dalcroze for choreographic assistance. Rambert subsequently took up a consulting role with the Ballets Russes as it prepared for The Rite of Spring. Her time with the company took her to London, which she described in less than glowing terms: ‘we had arrived in the middle of a pea-soup fog. ’32 Despite this, Rambert later founded what eventually morphed into the Rambert Dance Company, a collective that continues to influence British dance.

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