Premiere of Portfolio, a theatre revue with Darya Moroz and the Leningrad Centre actors.
The term “Portfolio” refers to a collection of achievements or demonstration of successes in a series of fragments of particular projects. The genre of the new show at the Leningrad Centre is dictated by the title. This genre is relatively unfamiliar to the Russian audience but fits in ideally with the main message of the show. In the Portfolio theatre revue, the actors become casting participants and have to demonstrate their creative baggage, accumulated over the years the show space has existed, while the audience serves as judges giving their assessment. The show begins with an epilogue: a passage from the Vsevolod Meyerhold lecture delivered in 1923 regarding the theatre of the future, and the requirements for creating the theatre troupe. Darya Moroz will take part in the show, performing the role of Meyerhold, and three other parts in addition to that – this will be a sort of personal challenge for her. The actress will reach beyond her portfolio, playing the part of the director holding the casting, and two women whose names are of great significance for the entertainment world – revue stars Josephine Baker and Marlene Dietrich.
The show in two acts will offer the audience everything they love about the Leningrad Centre: all the genres and all the staging solutions that had once been shown on the Centre stage, where “cramp,” the absolute style of the streets, is harmoniously incorporated into the same stage act with ballet and circus performances. The show is full of memorable performances, the most complex tricks up high under the dome of Europe’s largest kinetic chandelier, freak dolls that come to life and highly unpredictable experiences in the “theatrical attraction” genre.
In Portfolio, the actors reveal their unexpected sides, and the audience partakes of the process that has always remained in the shadows – what goes on backstage. The performers have the disconcerting truth about themselves as their stage partner: they are offered creative freedom to demonstrate their multifaceted talent and try and show everything that usually remains hidden. The episodes are joined together by documentary fragments from archive interviews for the Art Pictures Company. The actors talk to the camera about their creativity, freedom, ambitions and death, unaware of the fact that these interviews would one day become the main plot line in the show about themselves.
Portfolio is a debut production for many actors in the troupe. Anastasia Kalacheva, for example, debuted in her role as choreographer. Acrobats Alexey Ishmaev and Pavel Mayer, who won silver medals at the 40th Anniversary International Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain – Paris, present their act that won them the prestigious award in the spring of 2019.
The Leningrad Centre actors are growing as creative artists and keep discovering more and more facets of talent within themselves. As a result of this exploration, we now have a theatre in St. Petersburg that could challenge any renowned shows on the global stage. Everything that happens before the spectators’ eyes in Portfolio was created and initiated by the performers themselves, while Felix Mikhailov chose to step back somewhat to allow the results of several years of his efforts to fully shine through. On the one hand, Portfolio is a show that talks about the power of human nature, the thirst for life and thrill of creativity, and on the other hand – turns the entertainment genre into a drama performance.