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Khatuna Damchidze


Theatre is a synthetic art with all its components. Choreography is also a synthetic art - it is characterised by plasticity, movement and combinations of movement. The music and the content (the libretto or oral poetry in folklore) combine the whole into a unified organism. Choreography is integrated into a play with all its components, although in this case it should follow the basic element of the drama, and in this way the body of synthetic theatre consisting of many components is created in the form of the drama.

Choreography in theatre performance is a hitherto unexplored field. Choreography plays an important role in the creation and existence of a theatre play and ensures the content and visual presentation of the performance. In this article, we are interested in researching those choreographers who have participated in the epochal changes and development trends of theatre art in Georgia since the beginning of the 20th century.

As it turned out, the topic to be explored is quite comprehensive. Based on this, we have limited ourselves to the representation of the choreographic aspects in the drama studio of Giorgi Jabadari, as well as in the work of the directors Alexandre Akhmeteli and Kote Marjanishvili.

Giorgi Jabadari’s studio (1918-1920) was founded to develop synthetic theatre and universal actors. The same idea inspired the directors Al. Akhmeteli and Kote Marjanishvili were inspired by the same idea. G. Jabadari had gained his professional experience in France and other European countries and he applied this experience in Georgia.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Georgian theatre paved a new way - it changed from comedy and vaudeville theatre to the European aesthetics of European theatre. In this theatre, choreography was not only a part of the performance, but an organic part of it, and in some cases, choreography even became the language of the performance. In the Jabadari theatre, dance and the plasticity of the actors played a major role.

The beginnings of Georgian professional stage choreography were marked by: S. Vakarez, M. Bauer-Sachs, V. Benderovich-Jghenti, Alelov, Overloo, in the field of Georgian dance - El. Cherkesishvili.

Choreography occupies a special place in the work of Al. Akhmeteli's work. Two moments are highlighted: 1. the development of plastic skills in actors, 2. the transformation of choreography into an inseparable part of the theatre performance. When determining the professional suitability of the actors, the director assumed that the actor of the new era should be capable of the art of dance, he should be in control of his body and be elastic, gifted with a “spark”. Accordingly, the theatre performance would be spirited and “effervescent”.

Considering that in the work of Al. Akhmeteli's work was based on the idea of fusing the heroic and the romantic, it becomes clear why the director made the idea of the national theme and, accordingly, the national aesthetics the main motif of the theatre’s development. The new theatre sought new means everywhere - both in rhythm and in plasticity. Added to this was the sharpness of the psychological image of the characters in heroic theatre. For Al. Akhmeteli, the new image of the Georgian was the basis for heroic theatre. The theatre was to become a forge, a kind of laboratory in which an exemplary hero was to be created for the Georgian spectator.

Al. Akhmeteli was often the author of choreographic compositions himself. In his theatre productions: “The Rift”, “The Robbers - In Tyrannos”, “Tetnuldi”, “Anzori”, “Salome”, “Bertrand de Born”, “Other Times Now”, “Lamara”, “Berdo Zmania” - the following choreographers worked on the dances and choreographic scenes alongside Al. Akhmeteli, the following choreographers worked on the dances and choreographic scenes: on “Salome” - N. Begtabegov, on “Anzori” - D. Dmitriev, I. Sukhishvili.

Kote Marjanishvili’s theatre performances were distinguished by their musicality (by the abundance of music). K. Marjanishvili wrote that he provided almost every performance with a musical accompaniment, thus achieving the effect that the text of the actors acquired a completely different sound, rhythm and intonation. K. Marjanishvili’s rehearsals were also accompanied by music; the composer always had to be present at rehearsals.

The very first chord set the tone for the beginning of the rehearsal and for the entire theatre production. In K. Marjanishvili's theatre performances, the music was not a background or staffage, but was organically interwoven into the stage work like an invisible acting person. Together with the music, the choreography formed the eloquent language of the stage work. K. Marjanishvili was particularly fond of pantomime (mimodrama), where choreography played a decisive role.

It can be seen from the edited sources that K. Marjanishvili developed a practice of collaboration with choreographers in drama theatre. His creative collaboration with the choreographer David Machavariani proved to be particularly fruitful - D. Machavariani not only created the choreography for K. Marjanishvili’s performances, but also composed the music.

Of Kote Marjanishvili's stage works, the following should be emphasised:

“Fuente Ovejuna” (1928) - on the premiere poster the name of the choreographer was

Futlin, in the programme booklet - S. Sergeev.

“Mseta-Mse” (1926) - according to the memoirs of Tamar Vakhvakhishvili (the composer), K. Marjanishvili's assistant Valentina Venderovich (who worked as a teacher of rhythm and plasticity) and ballet master Alberti worked on the theatre performance of “Mseta-Mse”. It can be assumed that the choreographer of the first performance of “Mseta- Mse” was S. Sergeyev.

“The Fire” (1929) - according to T. Vakhvakhishvili, choreographer David Machavariani worked on the renewed pantomime.

“Beatrice Cenci” (1930) - choreographer David Machavariani, “Hitting the mark” (1928) - choreographer David Machavariani, “Oops, we're alive! “ (1928) - choreographer David Machavariani, “Yes, but!” (1930) - choreographer David Machavariani,

“The Worker Solnes” - it is not possible to find out exactly who the choreographer was - it is only stated that it was a ballet master from the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, “Khatije” (1930) - choreographer David Machavariani,

“Uriel Acosta” (1929) - choreographer David Machavariani,

“Maskota” - choreographer S. Sergejev,

“The Game of Interests” - choreographer S. Sergejev.

The synthetic collaboration between directors and choreographers gave the Georgian drama theatre at the beginning of the 20th century its characteristic features. All this played an important role in the development of the peculiar colouring of Georgian drama theatre.

Published: May 20, 2024

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How to Cite
Khatuna Damchidze. (2024). CHOREOGRAPHY IN GEORGIAN DRAMA THEATRE. Art Researches, 5. Retrieved from