Phaedra

The Mystery of Spirit

Marina Tsvetaeva
Premiere: July 2015 |Running time: 2 hours | No intermission | 18+

About

Many authors throughout history have offered their own rendition of the classic myth. This antique story focuses on Phaedra, wife of Theseus, king of Athens, who fatally falls in love with her husband’s son, Hippolytus. Different versions of the myth tell a varying story: in some, Phaedra is obsessed with the young Hippolytus and his rejection pushes her into madness; in others, she tries to fight these feelings, understanding their illicit nature.

For this staging of Phaedra, Roman Viktyuk reached for Marina Tsvetaeva’s verse poem in which the author sides with the protagonist, overpowered by love, yet fully aware of the weight her feelings carry. However, Roman Viktyuk’s Phaedra does not focus so much on the characters, as it is more about the ritual of theatre, a deliberately created sacred spiritual space on stage. It is not the plot of the poem but the passion, the emotions and the energies embedded in Tsvetaeva’s text that interest Viktyuk the most.

One can take part in this ritual only by accepting their juxtaposed animalistic and divine natures, where ‘animalistic’ carries its original pre-christian meaning of honest and present. Director Roman Viktyuk constantly searches for primordial divinity and pre-human nature in the characters of his productions, and Phaedra brings him very close to his goal.

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Artistic team

Author
MARINA TSVETAEVA

Director
ROMAN VIKTYUK

Set Designer
VLADIMIR BOER

Choreographer
VLADIMIR ANOSOV

Costume Design
ELENA PREDVODITELEVA

Lightning Design
SERGEY SKORNETSKY

Sound Director
LUDMILA PLATONOVA

Assistant director
Andrey BOROVIKOV

Assistant director
Ludmila ISAKOVICH

Cast and Characters

Face of Phaedra – her mask
Hon.  Artist of the Russian Federation
DMITRY BOZIN

Hippolytus
IGOR NEVEDROV

Destiny
IVAN IVANOVICH

Choir:
Konstantin Avdeev
Nail Abdrakhmanov
Anton Danilenko
Sergey Zakharin
Nikita Kostochko
Alexey Kotovshchikov
Stepan Lapin
Stanislav Motyrev
Igor Tensin
Alexander Titarenko
Alexander Semenov
Dmitry Tadtaev
Mikhail Uryansky

Video

Press

Reaching after perfection in motion, and in this sense, certainly, being the successor of Tairov’s theatrical ideas, Viktyuk builds the performance as a series of spectacular still images. This show about life and death, about love that leads to death, for both Tsvetaeva, and Viktyuk, is a show about the challenge of the Gods. Viktyuk emphasizes this idea by including a quote from Tsvetaeva’s diary: Tsvetaeva, at last, too, defied the God when she put her head in a noose.Phaedra  by Viktyuk is a tragedy of rebel against the Gods and , naturally, human powerlessness  in this fight. Poetry, as well as life, is opposed to silence, Viktyuk in his performance achieves perfection in control over the human body, and the verse, and the silence on stage.

Grigoriy Zaslavskiy  «Independent Newspaper»