Alexander Tairov

Alexander Tairov

Sums'ka, Ukraine
Death 5 Sep 1950 (aged 65)
Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia
Burial Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia
Plot Section 2, Grave 14
Memorial ID 23980391 · View Source
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Theatre Director. He is ranked among the most important Russian stage directors of the 20th Century. An inventive eclectic, Tairov developed what he called "synthetic theatre", in which traditional genres such as drama, comedy, opera, and ballet were combined to form a new kind of spectacle. To this end his performers were trained as singers, dancers, musicians, and acrobats, as well as "straight" actors. He was particularly influential in his pioneering use of abstract sets. Alexander Jakovlevich Korenblit was born in Romny, Poltava, Ukraine, into a Jewish family. He studied law in Kiev, but his opposition to the Czarist regime's anti-Semitic pogroms drove him to St. Petersburg under the assumed name of Tairov. His theatrical debut was as a bit player with Vera Kommissarzhevskaya's company in 1906, under the direction of Vsevold Meyerhold. In 1914 he founded the Kamerny (Chamber) Theatre in Moscow, which he headed as producer-director for 35 years. From his earliest productions Tairov employed spare Cubist and later Constructivist designs to suggest rather than reproduce settings, so that audience attention would be focused entirely on the actors. Meyerhold would seize upon and radicalize this approach, and it remains ubiquitous in international theatre to this day. State-sponsored from 1920, the Kamerny Theatre ensemble went on three successful world tours (1923, 1925, 1930) and became the leading exponent of Western drama in the USSR, performing Shakespeare and Wilde in addition to new plays by Shaw, O'Neill, and Claudel. In 1930 Tairov premiered the first production of Brecht and Weill's "The Threepenny Opera" outside of Germany. At that point Stalin's increasingly xenophobic cultural policies compelled the director to lean more heavily on Soviet repertory, though only Vishnevsky's "An Optimistic Tragedy" (1933) scored an unqualified hit. Tairov weathered the political purges of the late 1930s by touring the Far East and during World War II the company was relocated to Siberia. He was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1945. With the Kremlin's postwar crackdown on the arts Tairov came under increasing official attack for "formalism" (roughly, emphasis on style over realism), and his theatre was finally shut down in 1949. He died of cancer the following year, leaving his autobiography unfinished.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 15 Jan 2008
  • Find a Grave Memorial 23980391
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Alexander Tairov (6 Jul 1885–5 Sep 1950), Find a Grave Memorial no. 23980391, citing Novodevichy Cemetery, Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia ; Maintained by Find A Grave .