“Fall is only a step on the way to knowledge”

“This is not a painting at all. What is written here is what you can’t see with your eyes.”

The Artistic Director of the Modern Theater has released the second part of the Antichrist and Christ trilogy. The audience has already seen “Peter I”, but now the main character is Leonardo da Vinci. Philosophical reflections on who are the geniuses of world history and what is more in them – goodness and faith or demonic sin. What path will the heroes have – from darkness to light or vice versa? And what role do faith, hope and love play?

The philosophy of Merezhkovsky, as an author, is superbly complemented by the visual images of Grymov, as a director. The result is a good mix of visual and semantic images, which make up the entire performance. And it seems that one without the other is unthinkable – the picture clings to the words so tightly and vice versa.

Photos provided by the press service of the theater “Modern” / Yulia Meshkova

The Modern Drama Theater was founded in 1987 as one of the few new state theaters in Moscow. Created by graduates of the Shchepkin School on the basis of an experimental theater studio. And, I must say, the experiments do not end here. But, as artistic director Yuri Grymov correctly notes, “the theater is not a building; these are, first of all, the people who work there and who come to the performances.”

The master’s productions are always filled with a special mood, they have a lot of meanings that you need to read between the lines and then, perhaps, you will be able to find some important answers to your questions about the meaning of life, about the purpose and purpose of a person.

What is a true artist and creator? What is allowed to a genius? How to reach the goal and carry out the main work of your life?

Photos provided by the press service of the theater “Modern” / Yulia Meshkova

“He studies people, butchering corpses…”

Leonardo da Vinci is the leading character in this performance. Before us is the Renaissance, when in art the center of attention is “the image of a harmoniously developed and strong person both in body and spirit, who is above everyday routine,” as the authors of the production define it. And it’s hard to disagree with that. Plunging into the 14th-15th centuries, the viewer still does not break the connection with the present – such is the style of Grymov, where the past, present and future intertwine, unite and create a very harmonious ensemble, as if pulling the viewer out of harsh everyday life and allowing them to rise above problems and worries, but at the same time allowing you to look at everything as if from a slightly different angle, in order to understand and comprehend something very important and necessary.

Great artist and “universal man”. His works “The Last Supper”, “Mona Lisa”, “Lady with an Ermine”, “Savior of the World”, “John the Baptist” still excite the mind and amaze. Leonardo himself, first of all, considered himself a scientist, he gave the world many inventions. He was not afraid of failure, but considered it only a step on the way to the goal. On the one hand – cruel, on the other – very vulnerable. There are legends about his personal life, but there are not enough facts to state something for sure.

Photos provided by the press service of the theater “Modern” / Yulia Meshkova

“Is the kite a sin when it devours a mouse?”

Da Vinci (Honored Artist of Russia Dmitry Bozin) appears here either in the image of Christ, as evidenced by many mise-en-scenes, or as a real fiend. And sometimes it’s so hard to believe. That it’s the same person. But perhaps this is the peculiarity of a genius – in an undeniable combination of good and evil? Immensely self-confident and clearly moving towards his own goals, this character himself becomes the subject of research in art, and the director, together with the artist, like real artists, add completely different colors in order to maximize the nature of a genius. In life, after all, talented people often seem like eccentrics.

But, I must say that Leonardo is an amazing person. This is not just an artist, his knowledge seems to be limitless: he is engaged in medicine, military engineering, music, architecture, versification … But the main thing is that he is not afraid of anything new. This is a person who is constantly looking, trying, making mistakes and trying again and again. At the same time, the master is not too worried about his artistic masterpieces: he mixed up the paint, the fresco is destroyed – so be it.

He is not ready to give anyone a portrait of the Mona Lisa. And even being forced to sell it to the King of France ((Alexander Kolesnikov), he asks that he take it away only after his death. And all because Lisa Gioconda (Maina Chizhevskaya) evoked special feelings in him. Perhaps, in communicating with her, we we see a completely different Leonardo, for the first time he allows himself to be weak, supple, even gentle.Where have his strength and assertiveness, his cruelty and indifference gone?

Photos provided by the press service of the theater “Modern” / Yulia Meshkova

“The soul of an artist should be like a mirror: it reflects every gesture, every movement, and remains pure itself”

In general, everyone who surrounds Leonardo, especially at the beginning of his journey, is very ugly. For example, Duke Moreau (Yuri Anpilogov) is hunchbacked and ugly. There are always some grimaces on his face, either these are convulsions, or a real reflection of his inner world and thoughts, his wife Beatrice (Zhanna Chirva) also seems to be prone to a nervous tic and she is all skewed, and the Siamese sisters (Olga Bogomazova and Marianna Kanivets) are completely are an ugly sight. Savonarola (Aleksey Bagdasarov) is too straightforward and greedy for money. The student Giovanni (Bogdan Shchukin) idolizes the teacher so much that he cannot accept the combination of the divine and the devil in him. Salai (Maria Kondratova), who becomes the chosen one of a genius, it is not clear whether a young man or a girl …

But gradually, each subsequent character that appears on the stage seems to be better than the previous one. Isn’t this a movement from dark to light? Isn’t this a sign that it was not in vain that Christ preached his teachings, regardless of betrayal and apostasy? Doesn’t this prove that from ignorance to education, from dark to light, one can make one’s way? And even necessary.

It is worth noting that the production itself is like a picture. All mise-en-scenes are arranged in such a way that if you take a freeze-frame at any moment, you can hang the canvas on the wall and admire it. And so it can be assumed. That this theme of a genius and artist is very close to Yuri Grymov himself, as a creator and creator. But the artist here is a very broad concept: it is not only a great person, a historical figure, but also each of us who wants and is able to create something, not only to consume, but precisely to create.

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