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National Projects

Library Night 2019

Crazy Night or the Birth of Avant-Gard

On April 20, 2019, the Russian State Library for Young Adults took part in the all-Russian event Library Night-2019 devoted to the Year of Theater. The night consisted of many interesting performances transporting the audience back in time to the beginning of the 20th century, the Silver Age of Russian culture, time of intensive creative search and new trends in arts and literature. The guests had a chance to learn about many artists and writers of that time and to look backstage of the epoch.

At the opening ceremony, the characters representing the epoch appeared at the stage designed as a classical “black box”. Ballerina Tamara Karsavina, poets Anna Akhmatova, Vladislav Khodasevich, Andrey Bely and Georgy Ivanov, singer Alexander Vertinsky, artists Natalya Goncharova and Mikhail Larionov, dancers Ida Rubintstein and Isadora Duncan, Beautiful Lady from Alexander Block&39;s poem and others became visitor&39;s guides to the multifaceted world of art of the Silver Age. Witnesses of the epoch told about that time themselves.

All visitors could attend a master class of acting, a Diaghilev Quiz on artistic life of the beginning of the 20th century conducted by Maestro Sergey Pavlovich himself and his ballet group. Winners of the Quiz were awarded by theater tickets.

The dressing room and photo-studio were of special interest for guests. Everyone could transform him/herself into an Avant-Gard artist, a decadent, or theater actor, and then to join any group of characters. In this new image, anybody could attend a photo-studio and get a portrait in a piece of scenery. Next to the photo-studio, everybody could attend a real salon of the Silver Age epoch. The famous poet and philosopher Viacheslav Ivanov&39;s Tower in St. Petersburg was open for all visitors during the library night and there were talks on art and philosophy there as well as a spiritual séance and poetry readings. Besides, the attendees could see the original publications of the turn of the 19-20th centuries by famous poets Zinaida Gippius and Valery Bryusov.

The Artist&39;s studio of the library became a studio of Russian Avant-Garde artists&39; group Jack of Diamonds where the visitors could learn about the life and art of its famous participants. Then they had a chance to immerse themselves in the world of “wallpaper” poets, futurists, who combined visual, sound and semantic approaches in their poetry. Together with the artist Alim Velitov, the visitors made their own books on wallpaper based on the words of futurist poets and their own imagination.

While at the next room the lecture on Nikolay Evreinov&39;s Ancient Theater took place, the Children&39;s room was designed for little Avant-Garde artists. They took part in a puppet performance based on Vladimir Mayakovsky&39;s poem, in games, in a master-class on producing puppets, and filmstrips showing.

The surprise of the night was a performance by teachers from the Jazz-Dance School MSDK Larisa Vivas Kurbatova and Ekaterina Pavlenko who showed an energetic Charleston. Then the audience joined the professionals and danced at the impromptu jazz party in the style of the Roaring Twenties.

At the MediaLAB room, lectures and master-classes were devoted to the technical part of the theatrical life such as sound effects and light design. VR-glasses and 3D-pen helped the visitors to realize their creative ideas.

At the Musical Basement, the legendary Café of Poets was reconstructed where everybody could take part in a poetry reciting competition. The host of the event was singer Alexander Vertinsky in his popular image of Pierrot. The jury consisted of the actors and dancers of the beginning of the 20th century: Olga Gzovskaya, Alica Koonen, Anna Pavlova and Vaclav Nizhinsky. Besides, there were a master-class on polymorphus modeling and lecture on the Soviet cinema of Avant-Garde time.

One more center of attraction was the intellectual game “Last call? – I don&39;t believe!” organized by the club Zbyshek Quiz // Battle of wise men devoted to the world of art and theater in particular.

In the intermissions, all guests could come to Coffee and Newspapers room to eat, to relax and to explore the costumes for Sergey Diaghilev&39;s performances shown by his enterprise Ballets Russes. Moreover, everybody could color the sketches for costumes, as he/she wanted.

There was also a master-class called Avant-Garde Kamishibai-Theater where children and adults studied the Japanese paper theater technique.

At the closing ceremony, guests of Library Night and its characters met at the main site of the event. The last event entitled Theater Luggage let the participants find their suitcases and receive last presents. Then the short final play took place in which the actors recited poems of the 1910-1920s written by their characters leaving the audience in the atmosphere of the epoch.

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