On the one hand, I grew up in a Tatar environment. My dad, after all, every time we drank tea, would tell me some Tatar saying or a story about some person, and I grew up directly absorbing songs at our family meals. On the other hand, there seems to be some truth to it, because I know less Tatar literature than Russian literature, or in comparison with world literature. Not knowing it at all, though, would be stupid.
For some reason, that ... worried me. Like, Dostoevsky, for example, or Tolstoy, they created this image of peasants as godly, divine, but drinkers. Mired in laziness, sure, but godly. And you start to believe it: he's sincere ... he may never even sober up, but his soul is pure. You … how can I put it? Turn it into an archetype.
But you'd get the impression that Tatars don't have such sad villages, even if we try to look objectively. It's a different mentality. At least it was. And this gave rise to a kind of cognitive dissonance. My answer to it was that maybe Tatar literature doesn't have the same sincerity. That is, Russian literature recognizes Russian shortcomings. And by recognizing these shortcomings, it becomes stronger, so to speak ... If we're talking about literature. And this also affects theater, because Russian theater is, after all, a very literary theater.
On the other hand, my dad was born in 1938, and he said in childhood there was one drunkard in the village, that is, someone who was considered a drunkard. The collective consciousness gave him the role of drunkard. But he was like a drunkard on payday, or something. He drank once a month, in general. He drank and then walked down the street telling the truth about everyone ... The next day, he'd have a hangover, and that's it. Well, maybe he kind of ... idealizes the village. He says people started drinking after the war. There was a big change, he says, after the war.
Therefore, the reluctance to show, for example, scenes with drunkenness, these ethnic boundaries, in the theater may be an echo of a former mentality that is now being lost.
Longing for our departed image?
Yes, but it's not only a problem in theater. In our workshop, for example, the worst thing you could do was to "show." You're not allowed to show. If you start showing, you're acting. If you're acting, it's a lie. We don't want lies, either on stage or in real life. This is the philosophy I returned with.
And then, like, of course, you have theater acting. If I said that theater acting is inherent to Tatars, that would be a very big compliment. Tatar theater falls between two chairs. It has neither theater acting nor realistic acting. Of course, that's not only a problem of Tatar theater, it's a problem inherent to the system. Hiding behind the name of Stanislavsky ... and, honestly, introducing contradictions into his system: it's the same for Russian theater. That is, it's not a problem of the ethnicity of the theater, but the education system.
After all, our course was assembled at the Russian Youth Theater in St. Petersburg, so I know all the ins and outs of theater.