Life-Death and Disobedient Obedience

Russian Modernist Redefinitions of the Puppet

Authored by: Dassia N. Posner

The Routledge Companion to Puppetry and Material Performance

Print publication date:  July  2014
Online publication date:  July  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415705400
eBook ISBN: 9781315850115
Adobe ISBN: 9781317911722


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One of the striking things about Russian theatre in the first two decades of the twentieth century is that puppets were both everywhere and nowhere. The Russian homage to wooden actors was seemingly ubiquitous; still-famous examples include the trio of dancers who play puppets in Benois/Stravinsky/Fokine’s Petrushka (1911) and the puppet theatre-within-a-theatre in Blok’s Little Fairground Booth, directed by Meyerhold in 1906. Although Stanislavsky is often mentally pinned to his naturalistic stagings of Chekhov, his seminal production of The Blue Bird, one of Maeterlinck’s symbolist plays “for marionettes,” is still running at the Moscow Art Theatre over a century after its 1908 opening.

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