June 10, 2021
It is not the first time that performances based on the works of Chingiz Aitmatov are shown at the Voices of History festival. In 2018, members of the creative association “Taratumb” from Moscow presented a production of the same name based on the novel by this author “And the day lasts longer than a century.” At this anniversary festival, viewers will be able to see two more performances based on the prose of Chingiz Aitmatov: the puppet parable “Piebald Dog Running Cream of the Sea” by the Ryazan Puppet Theater and “Mankurt” of the theater-studio “Gran” from Novokuibyshevsk.
At the heart of performance “Mankurt” – a legend from the novel “And the day lasts longer than a century” about severe invaders who turned prisoners into slaves, deprived of independence and memory. According to legend, a mankurt is a person who was captured, with the help of brutal torture turned into a slave soulless creature who forgot about his past life and fulfills any orders of his master. The concept of “mankurt” from Aitmatov’s novel migrated into the Russian language and became a household name, meaning a person who has lost touch with his historical, national roots, who has forgotten about his kinship.
In the play “Mankurt” of the “Gran” theater from Novokuibyshevsk, there are two main characters – a mother and a son. He is taken into a slave, where he was turned into a mankurt. She does not want to give up and is ready to return her son at any cost, believing in her maternal strength and love. In the center is not just the fate of the unfortunate mankurt, but the feat of his mother, who, in spite of everything, goes to save her son when everyone else does not believe in him, considering him a stuffed person. The main message of the production is to remember where you are from, where your roots are and who you are.
“The performance leaves a feeling of depth and fullness. The tragic legend about the power of mother’s love does not lower the audience into the abyss of suffering, but allows them to rise to the understanding of the infinity of the possibilities of the human spirit. What is man? Body, soul, mind, memory? Which part of it do we love? Is there a limit to maternal love? Theater “Gran” gives the viewer the opportunity to stop in the hectic run of everyday life and think about the serious issues of life “, – Margarita Petrova, the journalist of “Samarskaya Gazeta” writes about the play.
The premiere of the play “Mankurt” took place in 2019. The stage director was Viktor Tregubov, the choreographer was Anastasia Shabrova. The creators of the production defined its genre as “a word about God, about the sun, about oneself.” The performance was included in the long list of the Russian national theater award “Golden Mask” in 2020 (the most notable performances of the 2018/2019 season, according to the expert council).
Theater-studio “Gran” in 2020 celebrated its 50th anniversary. The theater is not much younger than the city in which it appeared, Novokuibyshevsk – a large industrial center in the Samara region, founded in 1946 and became a city in 1952. The Gran ‘theater itself has grown from an amateur drama club into one of the most interesting professional theaters in Russia. The theater is headed by director Denis Bokuradze, Honored Worker of Culture of the Samara Region, candidate of cultural studies, member of the Golden Mask jury.
At the XV International Theater Festival “Voices of History” the play “Mankurt” by the “Gran” theater studio is included in the competition program. The production will be shown twice: in Cherepovets and Vologda. 6 july at 18.30 the audience will be able to see him on stage Cherepovets Chamber Theater, but July 8 it will be shown outdoors in the walls Vologda Kremlin, in the Consistory yard. The beginning is at 22.00.
Cultinfo editorial office, photo of the Gran ‘theater group