Premiere 1994, Moscow
Duration: 55 min
"The Golden Carriage" Prize at the Contact 97 Festival in Torun (Poland), Marcella Soltan was hailed as the festival's best actress
Furder Prize- At the ZUERCHER THEATER SPEKTAKEL Marcella Soltan was awarded the Main Prize (artistic perfection,- "she has developed a new theatre language which singles her out in terms of a radical approach, expressive means and the force of imagination").
Prix de la Critique-(" the skill of the company is such that they manage to condense the entire history of mime, from Debureau up to contemporary forms of expression including the theatre of illusion) at the MIMOS 2001 (Perigeoux, France).
This play was conceived immediately following the disintegration of the USSR and echoes with the collapse of that great building. "My country has died, but its people live on..." Inasmuch as we are concerned here only with people, you will find no ideological, political, or even historical allusions.
In a single minute, this building that 250 million confidently called home simply vanished. Perhaps it was unattractive from the outside...perhaps uncomfortable inside...for some, a veritable prison...some were happy to see it go...others couldn't survive the change. We seek not to examine the fact of the disappearance, but only to display it lest it should be forgotten, for "what a country it was."
When the surrounding world begins to deceive you, what can be more cruel and awful?
When you, not strong enough to step off the imposed way run towards the rough tissue covering the future, which is no longer time, what can stop you or reconcile this run?
What is the name of the fear that come into your heart and spins within, trampling a dead circle that will never heal up?
What is the name of blind state when you cannot lean back to follow a wrinkle on the brow, when you are halfwaiting of “Get out!...”?
...if I tell you that everything tastes emptiness, will you care?...
My country has perished but the people remain. My inside and my outside have changed, and if my soul had been on me he would have killed me long ago...listen then: a bunch of wires were coming down from the sky, some of them were covered with untidy rust swaying above the ground like a dead hair, some of them were dig somehow into the ground. How it happened, my word of honor, I do not know. Even in Moscow flooded with rumors, I have not heard a single version. They did not provoke anyone’s alarm or curiosity and only the harmless city fool would hitch at them some copy-book pages covered with Krylov fables in children handwriting...
The blue car has arrived bringing cold and hunger. Everything has now become overgrown with woe, and trying to escape from pertinacious puffing of the wind assiduous sucking round every bit of the sick city, I would walk up the soft hills which were now swelling abundantly around the newly erected apartment blocks, still and frozen to death. I would select carefully a spot free of moles and then settle down for an hour or more to watch the horizon. In the place where once was continuous joint between the earth and the sky, there had been for a long time a long and almost even crack, and looking closely into it I was trying to discern a movement like that of a watching eye. Should I have managed to persuade myself that it was so, and somebody had been keeping an eye on us, I would then go downhill leaping over fresh juice breaks in the struggling earth. Should I not, then I would remain motionless for a long time, until the crack that had replaced the horizon started emitting ugly flimsy darkness. It was rolling down in the wind in dirty lumps amidst which I would completely lose my bearings, and falling waist-deep into the mud, I would make my way back to the city...
It is hard to believe that all that is surrounding me know has not always been this way
The group from Moscow thrower opens a window of time. A window of time to the age of speechless amazement. The audience of the whole Theater Spektakel 2000 was never as unguilty as this very evening.
The precise body language is breath-taking. For moments it seems that gravity does not exist anymore.
As far back as the time of Diagilev and his dancers, Russia, regardless of the state, has been known for producing perfect dancers. Both actors of the blackSKYwhite theater, Marchella Soltan and Andrei Ivashnev, created their own style, connecting pantomime with traditional dance, but radically different from any thing else available for understanding forms of movement. It causes a strong and scary influence... An endless landscape is created in one's imagination, reminding us of the architecture of the Stalin era, with contortionists casting large shadows in the process of movement; where each hand creates the belief that it is separated from the body; where illusion and excellent ownership of the body imitate two acting persons where there can only be one, or makes the view of the person from the front and the back indistinguishable. The resulting office of the absurd comes with frighten cheerful puppet-cripples who are headless or double-headed, and mannequins and grimacing executioners who still want to conduct business even though the order is canceled.... "Here was the USSR" is the successful completion to the highest degree, through the construction and provocation of all opposing points, of view, of theater festivals.
Postdamer Neueste Nachrichten
At the chernoeNEBObeloe (blackSKYwhite) theater, space becomes piercingly terrible, with a man-made double-faced world, a surreal expedition...
Theater der Zeit
No doubt it was virtuoso and the plastic theater produces a strong affect. Marchella Soltan and Andrei Ivashnev no doubt act like their bodies obey different laws, like they are weightless. Beautiful, fantastic, and a bit mysterious.
Markische Allgemeine Zeitung
blackSKYwhite is the most alternative of all theaters in Russia. Its performances are without even the smallest conventions. The performances relate to the subconscious, therefore the heretical perceptions of the audience should be absolutely certain. From the very first second, the audience is caught up in the perfor-mance's continuous flood. The director balances on the border of film and theater. He succeeds in penetrating the fissures between the worlds. Not only does he penetrate, but he makes the fissures inhabitable. He reaches unprecedented, even for the cinematographers, the effect of presence...
Ariupin rushes to go beyond the theater. He approaches it from the side of "an inhuman" wilderness, questioning irrationality, borderless chaos, uncoordination of the body, abhorrence, and fear he finds human...
The prodigious plasticity of movement by Soltan and Ivashnev bring to view a dwarf, a giant, a two-headed being, a two-bodied being, and sometimes an unspeakable, indescribable apocalypse. It seems like the actors have no skeleton or muscle. Their bodies obey totally different rules than other people. Real apocalyptic beings live in the back-side of the horrible mirror. Their bodies bend and transform in the performance's hypnotic rhythm. The actors and the whole atmosphere of the performance swallow the audience like a black hole in space, but here! the mirror is taken away and the audience returns from the back-side of the mirror of sub consciousness, from this scary empire. Scary, but nevertheless its own. You see, the audience was helped to extract their own secrets.