A Theatrical Tower of Babel
1 February 2022
Photo by Olympia Orlova

An article dedicated to Boris Yukhananov has been published in Didaskalia, a Polish theatre journal.
The author Katarzyna Osinskaya is a professor at the Institute of Slavic Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences,
a specialist in Russian theater of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Boris Yukhananov or the Theatrical Tower of Babel

This article attempts to interpret the theatre work and pedagogical practices of Boris Yukhananov (b. 1957), the Artistic Director of the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre in Moscow. A closer look at Yukhananov’s ideas, the concepts he uses, the historical context in which he began his work and the sources of his inspiration leads to the conclusion that the artist’s aim is to depart from textual interpretation in theatre. Downplaying the importance of authorship does not mean lack of style. The postmodern aesthetics of his performances is balanced by references to esoteric religious-philosophical strands, such as anthroposophy and Kabbalah. The confusion of languages and ideas found in the director’s work is explained in the article by means of the metaphor of the Tower of Babel as interpreted by Jacques Derrida (developed by the Polish philosopher Adam Lipszyc).