Angelica Holina: ballet without ballet

There is a special charm when you have to write about a young artist, no matter who it is - a singer, a dancer, a performing musician. Because there are no well-established views on his work, he is still full of energy, and finally, a lot can be expected from the young maestro.

In this regard, it is very interesting to observe the choreographer of the Vakhtangov Theater (Moscow) - Angelica Holina.

Her life and creative biography fits into the genre of mini-descriptions:

- 1990 - Vilnius (Lithuania) - a phenomenon that is still in the world;

- 1989 - Vilnius Ballet School is over;

- since 1991 I started to make ballets - it is a fact of birth of a young (21 year old) choreographer;

- Along the way she graduated from GITIS (RATI) in Moscow in 1996, created in Lithuania - the Angelica Holina Dance Theater (A|CH) - 2000, and since 2008. collaborates with the Vakhtangov Theater, where it is called the director-choreographer;

- she already managed to receive the Lithuanian Order “Knight's Cross” in 2011, but more importantly, her students (from Vilnius) are already known at international ballet competitions, and the name of Angelica Holina is well known in European and American ballet circles.

Why Vakhtangov theater lucky with Angelica Holina?

The history of this theater, which is closely connected with music, is unusual, it is a mixture of genres from classical tragedy to mischievous vaudeville, these are bright actors, unforgettable performances. This is a burlesque, a laugh, a joke, but also a depth of thought and a philosophical beginning at the same time.

Today, theater is a rich history and tradition; it is directed by Rimas Tuminas. In addition to being talented, he is also a Lithuanian. And this means that Russian actors voluntarily or unwittingly "pour in / inoculate" a certain portion of "other blood." As a director, R. Tuminas won the state award of the Russian Federation and was awarded the Order of Friendship of Peoples. This is a question about the contribution of Tuminas to Russian culture.

And then director A. Kholina falls into this environment, and as a choreographer, he gets the opportunity to work with Russian actors. But it is possible that she brings to the work some kind of national traditions, puts emphasis in a different way.

The result is an amazing blend, a "cocktail" unusual in taste, which has always been characteristic of the Vakhtangov theater. So it turns out that choreographer Angelica Holina found her theater, and the theater received a talented director-choreographer.

About choreography and performers

In drama performances by A. Kholinoy, only dramatic actors perform, with the exception of O. Lerman, who has a choreographic school in the background.

Describing these choreographic "fantasies" performed by the actors, it is necessary to say that:

- the work of the hands is very expressive (and dramatic actors can do it well), you should also pay attention to the work of the hand (in solo and ensembles);

- about the diversity of poses (both in dynamics and in statics), drawing, "grouping" of the body - the choreographer cares, this is her work;

- footwork is also quite expressive, but this is not ballet, this is a different, but no less interesting theatrical form;

- the movement of actors on the stage - rather ordinary, rather than the usual ballet steps. But they get some kind of development and sharpness. In the usual dramatic performance - such movements (in range, scope, expressiveness) - no, they are not needed there. It means that the absence of the word is replaced by the plastic of the actor’s body, but a ballet dancer would most likely not perform such a choreographic “set” (sometimes because of simplicity). And drama actors do it with pleasure;


- but of course you can see and consider some purely ballet manifestations (rotations, supports, steps, jumps)

So it turns out that on the way from drama to ballet there are possible variants of performances without words, dramatic ballet, etc., which Angelica Choline does successfully and talentedly.

By the way, actor A. Nesterenko (Vakhtangov) called these performances "dance performances".

What to watch

Today in the Vakhtangov Theater there are 4 performances by Angelica Holina: "Anna Karenina", "The Coast of Women", "Othello", "Men and Women". Their genre is defined as wordless (non-verbal) performances, i.e. dialogues and monologues - no, the action is transmitted through movement and plastic. Naturally, the music sounds, but only dramatic actors “dance”.

Apparently, this is why performances are designated not as ballets, but otherwise, for example, as "choreographic composition" or "drama in dances." On the Internet you can find quite large-scale clips of these performances, and "The Coast of Women" is presented in almost the full version.

In the network, there is a movie "Carmen":

This performance ballet theater Angelica Kholinoy (A|CH), but the actors of the Vakhtangov Theater work or more precisely “dance” in it.

Rollers "Carmen" and "Anna Karenina" are defined as interview on the background of the playi.e. the brightest fragments are presented and the actors and choreographer express themselves:

So this form, when the actors "dance", and then - they say, it seems very successful, because it gives an opportunity to understand a lot.

What interesting things Angelica Holina herself and her actors said:

- "the performance must be worthy of the stage ..., there must be a great cohesion of energy";

- "The most important criterion is when an artist wants (to work / dance) and when he is a good person";

- "Russians (actors) also feel, but only 100 times bigger and deeper, and wider. It suits me. The scale of their soul ... Russian artists know how to express what I want";

- "it is necessary to submit all movements and make them clear." The actor L. Bechevin will say this, which means that the performers understand the meaning and content of the choreographic principle, and the viewer can see and understand it;

“You cannot force them (actors) to do what they do not understand on the stage, which means that every step must be justified.” This is again the words of the choreographer.

About music and the rest

The role of music in A.Kholina - great. Music accomplishes much, emphasizes, selects and therefore musical material, except you cannot call it high classics.

In Carmen, this is Bizet-Shchedrin, in Anna Karenina, the brightly theatrical Schnittke. In Othello, the music of Jadams and The Coast of Women are songs by Marlene Dietrich about love in English, German, French and Hebrew.

"Men and Women" - the music of romantic classical ballets is used. The theme of the presentation is Love and the scenarios by which people live, which means it is an attempt to tell about the highest feelings with means of art other than the word and, maybe, to find its other understanding.

In "Othello" stage fullness is achieved by the number of dancers and large-scale symbolic design in the form of a ball.

In the last performances of "Othello" and "The Shore ..." - the role of crowd scenes increases, as if the choreographer enters the taste.

And still a small, but very indicative touch: when Angelica Choline talks about the play, the actors, her “Baltic” restraint involuntarily catches the eye. But how does all this contrasts with the dynamics of movement, passions, emotions of her performances. That's really really - heaven and earth!

Today, when words about modern ballet are heard, then we can talk about very different ideas. And a lot depends on the director, creator of the play and the actors he works with. And if the maestro is not deprived of his talent, then we are simply confronted with a new phenomenon in theatrical genre, which is clearly seen in the example of choreographer Angelica Holina.

And the very last piece of advice: start your acquaintance with Angelica Holina from her play "Carmen", and then only pleasure and delight.

Alexander Bychkov.

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