Sunday, August 17, 2008

Spotlight: Vladimir Pankov

John Freedman, of The Moscow Times, writes about Russian theatre artist, Vladimir Pankov. Pankov is currently working on the second half of a diptych based on the prose of Nikolai Gogol. His "Gogol. Evenings. Part I," which premiered last September, was hailed as one of the most memorable shows of the season. Read the full text here.

Pankov, 33, began making his mark as the so-called ‘new drama’ movement got under way at the beginning of the decade…But Pankov has no desire to be pigeon-holed by any label, whether it's ‘new drama’ or not. "People are constantly trying to hang slogans and formats on you," he explains. ‘I don't want to live under any label.”

As paradoxical as it may appear on the surface, the freedom-loving Pankov most often tends to seek inspiration in the riches of age-old traditions. Perhaps this is his way of escaping fads and avoiding conformity. Or perhaps it is simply a way of life he has lived all along.

"At some point, I realized what a great thing theater is," Pankov explains. "Everybody comes into a hall and sits silently, but the actor has the opportunity to speak. Someone from above granted him that right. If you're an actor you can speak out. Only you'd better do it sincerely, because it's instantly obvious when you lie."

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