Yanka Kupala National Academic Theatre rehearsing Local Cabaret
We can only imagine how wonderful, stylish and creative the premiere will be, since Nikolay Pinigin, Artistic Leader of the Yanka Kupala National Academic Theatre, is known for his rich imagination. His performances to date may not be to everyone’s taste but no one can deny the quality of his direction, his original interpretations and that he brings out the best in actors. He is a true professional.
I have an idea of what to expect from Pinigin’s Local Cabaret, which he wrote himself, sharing the libretto with Igor Skripka, who heads the Literary Section of the Yanka Kupala Theatre. According to the PR Department, the creative experiment is inspired by the works of Marian Hemar, a Polish author of cabaret performances and ballads, and those of Julian Tuwim, a Polish poet. Music by Italian composers Luigi Denza and Gioachino Rossini has also influenced the performance, as has the folk music of Belarusian bard, poet, showman and composer Victor Shalkevich.
Of course, the theatre’s leading actors and singers Anna Khitrik, Yulia Shpilevskaya, Svetlana Zelenkovskaya, Victoria Chavlytka and Pavel Kharlanchuk are taking part, alongside People’s Artists of Belarus Victor Manaev and Sergey Zhuravel and Honoured Artiste of Belarus Zoya Belokhvostik. Up-and-coming Alexey Yarovenko and Marta Golubeva join the cast, supported by set designer Alena Igrusha, choreographer Natalia Korchevskaya and vocal coach Lusine Nalbandyan. Natalia Rusetskaya has translated songs from Polish into Belarusian, while composer Vladimir Kurian has arranged the music.
It’s easy to understand Pinigin’s choice, since ‘cabaret’ immediately arouses so many bright associations. I think of my childhood love of such cinema classics as sparkling Liza Minnelli’s Cabaret and Barbara Streisand in Funny Girl. Of course, impressions from childhood remain with us always. The films of Marlene Dietrich are also of note, since she encapsulated the very best of German cabaret, enjoying thrilling intimacy with the audience, on stage and screen.
Cabaret creates a unique atmosphere in which the audience is transported from every day care into a bohemian world of relaxation and festivity. It is perfumed by the beauty and glamour of women in expensive furs and sparkling jewels, and by glossy men in tail coats. Many artists, poets and actors first made their name on stage through this medium. If you ever visit the contemporary Moulin Rouge in Paris’ Montmartre (as I have) you’ll be a fan of cabaret forever.
During an interview with our magazine (#12/2011) Mr. Pinigin shared his future plans, speaking of Local Cabaret as an attempt to present the bourgeois culture which once existed harmoniously in Western Belarus last century - in Baranovichi, Slonim and in larger Grodno.
The 1930s were a difficult time, full of contradictions, but the entertainments organised at small cafes and restaurants allowed people to feel free and happy. These venues attracted free-spirited local and foreign bohemians, as well as bourgeois middle classes seeking amusement. The genre, so popular across Europe, brought forth songs in Polish, Belarusian and Yiddish in Belarus, interspersed with witty anecdotes.
My imagination sketches a Cancan, the boiling over of passion and something even more magical. I cannot wait for the premiere, which is sure to reveal more than I can hope for.
By Valentina Zhdanovich
Premiere coming soon
[b]Yanka Kupala National Academic Theatre rehearsing Local Cabaret[/b] We can only imagine how wonderful, stylish and creative the premiere will be, since Nikolay Pinigin, Artistic Leader of the Yanka Kupala National Academic Theatre, is known for his rich imagination. His performances to date may not be to everyone’s taste but no one can deny the quality of his direction, his original interpretations and that he brings out the best in actors. He is a true professional.