From North to South, from East to West, Slavic countries are full of theaters. Smaller and bigger, perform unique shows on the stages around the world. Is there anything like “the Slavic theater style”? I don’t think so. Our culture is too rich in different local aspects that might be used to create outstanding artistic visions. Here is a short list of a few important Slavic theaters. We believe that you know at least some of them.
1. Bolshoi Theatre – Russia
Famous Russian theater originally designed by architect Joseph Bove. It is famous for remarkable ballet and opera performances, but also of amazing scenographies and costumes. The artists from Bolshoi are contracted to create the most important artistic events, to design the costumes for athletes. It was founded by Prince Pyotr Vasilyevich Ouroussoff and Michael Maddox in 1776, initially performing in a private home, but with time it acquired the Petrovka Theater. After a few damages caused by fire, it was re-opened in 1825 as the Bolshoi Petrovsky Theatre with a performance of Fernando Sor’s ballet, Cendrillon. Until now Bolshoi is a house of the highest quality art and the best theater traditions in Russia.
2. Wierszalin – Poland
The fascinating group founded in 1991 by Piotr Tomaszczuk, who stays the director of the group of actors who cooperate with him. The theater is based in Supraśl near Białystok but traveled around the world. Wierszalin visited scenes in Tokyo, Chicago, Toronto, London, Sydney, on The Hanover World Exhibition EXPO 2000, many times has performed in Germany, Italy and Switzerland has succeeded spectacularly while performing in 2005 at the stage of New York Theatre LA MAMA. Wiersalin is famous for their fascination for the cultural heritage of borderlines of the European civilization has formed both distinctive esthetics of this theatre and the weltanschauung perspective. T The unusual simplicity, the spectacles full of music and vocals, wooden sculptures, forms and masks coexisting with living actors make their performances unforgettable.
3. Teatr Pieśni Kozła – Poland
”Song of the Goat Theatre” is a multi-award winning company. It is well known as one of the most innovative theaters of Europe. The performances are based on the integrated movement, voice, song, and text. Their unique interpretations of works by Shakespeare brought them fame around the world. It is impossible to describe Teatr Piesni Kozła with words, you have to attend their performance to experience the original way of making the theater performance. One of the most famous, Macbeth from 2008, became one of the most important cultural events of the decade.
4. Arena Theatre – Slovakia
Theater based in Bratislava, one of the oldest in Slovakia. Although the currently existing building was constructed in 1898, the first construction that served as an open summer amphitheater and it was established in 1828 on the right bank of Danube. During the World War II, it suffered quite a lot. It waited until 1997 to be reviewed by the group cooperating with the mime artist Milan Sladek. After the opening performance, the theater received a new life. Now it stays a stage where the best performances of Slovakia are produced.
5. Yugoslav Drama Theatre – Serbia
The theater – symbol. It was established in 1947 in the former Yugoslavia as a theater that connected the artists from different parts of the country. The theater presented the classical works of the most important authors mostly from the Slavic countries. However, with time they started to perform with the other authors. The theater became an artistic center during all of the important changes in the history of this region. However, with time it started to be like a relic of the past.
In 1997, architect Zoran Radojičić won the competition for the new Theater. Nowadays it is one of the most awarded buildings of the theaters in Europe. It received for example: The Award of the Union of Architects of Serbia in 2005, The April Award of the City of Belgrade for Architecture and Urbanism for the object, Award of the company “Novosti” for architecture 2003, for the best architectural achievement, Grand Prix XXVI Salon of architecture and the BPB Award 2003 for the interior. New building brought new quality and the theater stays one of the most important stages in Europe.