Oriental Motives in the Aesthetics of the New Theater of Gordon Craig

UDC 792.03.07:82-2

Violeta Demeshchenko
Institute for Cultural Research of the National Academy of Arts of Ukraine, Kyiv.
ORCID 0000-0001-8296-4628

DOI: https://doi.org/10.37627/2311-9489-14-2018-2.68-78

Keywords: theatre, directing, oriental theatre, performance, Japanese engraving, scenography, symbolism, puppet.

Abstract. The article is an attempt to rethink the creativity of a well-known English director, artist, screenwriter and journalist Gordon Craig who, in his professional work, preferred the traditions of the Eastern Theatre (China, India, and Japan) and their aesthetics. The director also was fond of the ideas of symbolism, which made it possible to use the forms of figurative poetic and associative thinking effectively in theatrical performances being the means of transferring an emotional idea.
The article also reveals the creative stages of the prominent English director Gordon Craig emphasising his theatrical experiments through the prism of oriental art, as well as how the director’s work as a whole influenced the formation of a new aesthetic tradition of the European theatre of the twentieth century.
Undoubtedly, in the tradition of oriental art and theatre, Craig sought to borrow those living forms that could serve the creation of a new theatre; traditions verified by time could become a solid foundation for creative experimentation. Craig believed that new independent theatre art could arise only based on innovation, which includes the living knowledge of the theatrical past and the synthesis of all the achievements of European and Eastern culture. Craig’s experiments, conducted in the early twentieth century, his theoretical concepts of spatial construction of a spectacle, a new stage design, acting game and the philosophy of the super-puppets entirely influenced the entire theatre art of the twentieth century.

Author Biography.

Violeta Demeshchenko, Ph.D. in History, Associate Professor, Institute for Cultural Research of the National Academy of Arts of Ukraine, Kyiv.


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PDF (Ukrainian)

Published: November 22, 2018.

Vol 14 No 2 (2018).