by Tatiana Burakova
Russia is said: “The theatre begins from the stand.” What does it mean?

I think an idea of the perfect theatre is laid in it.

Imagine yourself such a theatre where architecture, design, light and music are existed in consent and unified in one surge. In enfilade of the ideal theatre beginning from the stand premonition of holiday and mystery is born. It is increasing steadily with approach to the hall that is the purpose where all spaces, music and light, and the viewer's soul and body are aimed. In attracting enfilade of opening doors the drape is the last barrier to the performance.

Drape is the border between performance and reality, between inspired and daily life. This border is lively and anxious like inspiration, premonition of miracle. In the same time drape is fully material blind of big size and weight, it is the main wall and drapery from the hall interior. Meeting coloring, style and design of the hall interior drape is a part of stage. It means it is not only under proportions, functions and liveliness of the stage space, but also it keeps action and force of the performance.

So drape is the dramatic phenomenon made and existent according to the theatrical law. It is an overture to the performance to be. It is the show with script, direction and performance. I call script as a subject and fabrics like material basis of the drape. Direction is a composition including coloring, pattern and rhythm of masses and lines. Performance is the artist's handmade thing and authorship in the task solution of the script: subject, direction and composition.


Performance expands the stage cube in space and time dynamically. Stage borders extend under effect of the play with time: from the present to the past or the future, still unperformed, only accentuated, but suddenly felt in reality by the audience.

Centripetal performance force breaks the stage space in pieces leading audience away from daily routine.

Graphically movement of spaces is cleared in my mind like centric composition of the tree sliding apart folds of fabrics-time with its branches and growing into infinity. This movement is laid in the functions of drape, movement of ploughing-up, energy of return like in the function of the theatre with actors devoting their spiritual energy to the audience.

Sliding drape with composition splitting space hypnotizes attention on the stage and then doesn't exist gone to another dimension.

One more dynamic is laid in composition of drape like in its existence as the forth wall of the hall. It is movement to the centre, to the point where audience aims having passed enfilade of spaces. Dynamic directing to the centre owns not smaller force and it is initial from the “stand” – beginning of the theatre. Centifugal force drawing space to the point, soaking it up is cleared to my mind like sphere, square, vertical line in the balanced centre of composition. Thus, composition of the drape is made, from the one hand, with static and centrifugal character; from another hand – with centric and dynamic character. Thus liveliness of the drape surface and dramatic effect of artistic character can be approached.

Besides of dynamic lines – diagonals and static lines – sphere, I'm interested in lines of folds holding static character of the composition and hiding future movement of space dimension in the depth of fold. Such composition holds mystery and a great number of movements and spaces reflecting force of the performance and energy of the audience.

Viewer being in hall perceives the drape as a whole accentuating attention on the central bottom part of composition. It means this surface must be more marked out with colour, pattern and decor. Coloring and pattern of the drape is connected with the hall interior, but it owns all sufficient expressiveness as the main wall of the interior. I consider even coloring of traditional drapes can be unbanal and unexppected provoking interest to the performance. This purpose is served with variety and large-scale of forms, rhythms and masses. Rich and complicated colouring, varying and much-stylized pattern, sometimes detailed, sometimes generalized make monumentality of composition of drape. But the drape is differed from the other types of monumental art with tonal contiguity of composition that “holds” the wall of the audience and is blind between two spaces – stage and hall. Stage and the hall are two types of energy, devoting and soaking up. They are absolutely contrary, but unified with the word and the sense – “Theatre”.