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MIMICRY AND MEANING IN STAGINGS OF HENRIK IBSEN’S PLAYS IN LATVIAN THEATRES IN THE SEASON OF 2017-2018

M. Burima
Friday 9 November 2018 by Libadmin2018

ABSTRACT

The season of 2017/2018 in Latvia was especially rich in stagings of plays by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen (1828 – 1906). Ibsen’s plays were staged both in theatres and opera, in the capital city of Riga and other towns in Latvia. On the whole in the season of 2017/2018 Latvian audience could watch 7 staged plays by Ibsen. 2 of them are interpretations of “Peer Gynt” in Latvian National Theatre (premiere on 27 October 2016, director Viesturs Kairišs) and Latvian National Opera (premiere on 28 October 2016, author of choreography and conception Edvards Klugs); 2 of them are interpretations of “Hedda Gabler” performed at Liepāja Theatre (premiere on 7 October 2017, director Laura Groza-Ķibere) and Ģertrūde Street Theatre (premiere on 17 March 2018), “The Wild Duck” at Latvian National Theatre (premiere on 21 April 2016, director Elmārs Seņkovs), “Nora” at New Riga Theatre (premiere on 29 March 2017, director Māra Ķimele), “The Master Builder” (premiere on 15 April 2016, director Dāvis Auškāps). One of the reasons of so great popularity of Ibsen’s literary reception is related to previously regular promotion of the playwright’s works in Latvian culture space that has been studied by Benedikts Kalnačs in his monograph “Ibsena zīmē” (Under the Sign of Ibsen, 2000) Maija Burima in her monograph “Ibsens Latvijā” (Ibsen in Latvia, 2006). Burima accounts for the phenomenon of Ibsen’s popularity in Latvia by the vivid interest in Nordic literature in general. Another reason is that the season of 2017/2018 is a medium point between the commemoration of Ibsen’s birthday and death. Such occasions traditionally raise the public interest in internationally recognized authors. The above-mentioned stagings of the season share common trends. Their mimicretic codes frame Ibsen’s play stagings at Latvian theatres and opera in various aesthetic languages and sign systems. Directors produce their interpretations on the shift of anthropological discourses of the post-modern society regarding many issues: religious practice, individual facing a situation of choice, modelling personal opinions. In the ethical perspective the performances focus on the historically determined and relative content of moral. By means of stagings directors carry out investigations on human conduct in micro- and macro-society, their attitude towards existential issues.

Keywords: Henrik Ibsen, theatre staging, reception, mimicry, mimicretic codes, social adaptation


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