Vyacheslav Dolgachev: «To Hear the Time!»Autor: Interview by Lyudmila Filatova
Source: «Planeta Krasota», No. 9–10, 2010
L. F. Vyacheslav Vasylyevich, I’d like to talk with you about how you perceive the present day situation. The Theatre is always a reflection of the life. How do you see this life? Have there been any changes since you came into this profession?
v. D. I won’t say anything new, the life is beautiful! Now… and it was then… ever. But if in the younger days you think you know and understand everything, when you get older you seem to know less than you want. That’s because the outer world is rapidly changing, and also because you are another man. I have a feeling today that I was moved to another planet! The same toponyms, but different space and time. That’s why I even feel myself confused sometimes. But I think the mysterious world is a perfect land for a work. There are difficulties anyway — how to relate what you knows with the present-day requirements. Sometimes I am afraid to know how to do something! I need NOT TO KNOW!
L. F. But the experience in directing is an advantage! At least concerning the school, the skills… and then there is a sudden uncertainty as you say…
V. D. No, I don’t say uncertainty! It is rather the knowledge that all your know-hows are not everything you need, you need to use them in a proper way. When I was young I easily answered the questions, but now a questions may remain unanswered for a long time. Being the young director I was well equipped and I had a lot of ideas. Now I know you cannot stick to your skills alone, you need to discover new laws of contacting the reality all the time. When the skilled hand writes with your handwriting but doesn’t discover anything new, this is a misfortune.
L. F. But what about the professional rules? Are they the same for all times?
V. D. The rules also exist in time, they deviate, they grow into different interpretations, and the task of a director is to contact through them with a real life, daily.
L. F. What should a director do then — to express his own view, or, perhaps, to reflect the social events, what is going on «on the street»?
V. D. Well, first of all I am a living person who just LIVES. And my perception of the outer world is my building material. But, of course, this is MY perception! If I feel some social aspect touches me at the moment, then I reflect it; if I am moved by some inner or personal problem, I choose it in due course… and the book I’ve read, the meeting — all goes organically into the future performance. It has its effect on the choice of dramaturgy, and sometimes in the process of rehearsal there emerges something you didn’t remember! You didn’t think of it beforehand but something pops out. Whether you want it or not, you inevitably add a part of yourself into your work. But of course the object of your observation is not «Me». I’ve read a phrase by Mozart somewhere… about the music not being composed, it being recorded. Well, «I, me, mine…" is not interesting, besides this «me» will inevitably show up sooner or later. At the same time I cannot say I would like to be a kind of voicer to express social and political ideas. I haven’t got such predispositions, none of a kind! I just live and the theatre is a part of the life for me.
L. F. And the mode of life?
V. D. Certainly.
L. F. And what could drive you out of the theatre into another profession, if it is possible at all?
V. D. It is too late for another profession… (laughing). The retirement then, to grow plants in a garden. The first that comes to mind is a physical disability. But this may be overcome, and the profession helps in it. I would say rather a fading energy. If a director knows that the a spark of his inner energy is going to fade, he won’t interest anyone, he wont touch anyone. This is the main thing everything depends on in the theatre — including the ability to hear the time.
L. F. We have our common time, you have your «own time», there is a theatrical time, and the theatrical epochs change… What epoch seems more preferable to you? If not the present one, then would you like to get into another time?
V. D. No way! The past was remarkable, but I don’t want to get there back! In spite of the fact that the theatre had greatest rises and downfalls before my eyes. I became a theatre fan in its happiest time. It was so popular and in demand. Today it is not so, let admit it, although it’s a pity… Where that theatrical boom? «A spare ticket», the queues at the box offices… It is hardly will be again, and even it will, not very soon, there must be certain prerequisites in the society. You need to know what is the theatre today…
L. F. And what is it today as you think?
V. D. I’ll tell you now. Well, if you know — do it, make performances, if you don’t — go away, wait for your theatrical boom! What is the theatre today? This is an elite art, especially the drama one. Not the musical, not the show — exactly the drama theatre. It is known that not all the world population visit us, but only 2%, and they are getting less and less. And I understand why! The theatre ceased to be the temple for the dissidents, where people would come to be together and to hear something against the system and existing order… There was the time when it was reassuring — we come here together, we laugh together, we clap… but I must admit I wouldn’t like to be in such a company now. I would like to have something individual… a sophisticated psychotherapy of a kind.
L. F. The ideal theatre is then…
V. D. A place when you feel warm. When you may come there as it were your home, when they would understand you, when they would talk to YOU in YOUR language. Only with you.
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