Belka Productions

Third Floor

15 Maiden Lane

London WC2E 7NG

020 8123 1604

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Belka's education and outreach arm is headed by Oleg Mirochnikov, one of the country's foremost experts on Vakhtangov and his teachings.

Vakhtangov is the first and arguably the only director in the history of the theatre to have achieved a practical synthesis of the methodologies of the two revolutionary masters of the Russian school of acting - Stanislavski and Meyerhold. He called this synthesis "fantastic realism" and considered it to be the most artistically valid way of creating theatre.

"Fantastic realism" holds answers to many pressing questions faced by today's theatre: question of reality and artifice; psychology and physical expression; theatricality and behaviour. To the world of performance torn between kitchen-sink naturalism and Hollywood artificiality, Vakhtangov's work brings a freshness of approach that leads to innovative and invigorating theatre.

Inspired by Vakhtangov's system, Oleg Mirochnikov has developed a unique approach to the training of actors which places at its heart the exploration of character, story and dramatic relationships through imagination, improvisation and movement. It challenges the actors and gives them permission to push their creative boundaries and to develop their imaginative and physical capabilities to the full.

Yevgeny Vakhtangov (1883 -1922) was the seminal Russian theatre practitioner who founded the Vakhtangov Theatre in Moscow. He was a close associate of Stanislavski and a mentor of Michael Chekhov.

Vakhtangov was born to Armenian-Russian parents from Ossetia, and was educated at the Moscow State University before joining the Moscow Arts Theatre in 1911. Rising quickly through the ranks, he was in charge of his own theatre studio by 1920. Four years after his death, the studio was re-named The Vakhtangov Theatre in his honor.

Vakhtangov was greatly influenced both by the theatrical experiments of Vsevolod Meyerhold and the more psychological techniques of his teachers, Konstantin Stanislavski, Leopold Sulerzhitsky, and Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko. His productions incorporated masks, music, dance, abstract costume, avant-garde sets as well as a detailed analysis of the texts of plays and the psychological motivations of its characters.