TanzLaboratorium, Kyiv, Ukraine

Direction: Larysa Venediktova
Performers: Larysa Venediktova, Oleksandr Lebediev, Olga Komisar (Savchenko)

The show lasts 60 minutes.

“Kurbas. Reconstruction”
Theatre and film director, actor, playwright, theorist, teacher, and polyglot-translator, theatrical reformer Les’ Kurbas (1887-1937) created a world class modern Ukrainian theatre. His actors studied Spengler, Steiner and Plato. They made studies after Newton’s laws. Vsevolod Meyerhold admired him, mentioned of him as the most outstanding director of the Soviet Republic. Alexander Dovzhenko considered him as his teacher. Practically, all known Ukrainian actors of 1920–1960s were either Kurbas’ students, or felt his strong influence.
Les Kurbas has been shot on the 3rd of November, 1937 in Sandormakh, Karelia.
Just there from October, 27th till November, 4th were executed 1111 political prisoners – “in honour of preparation for celebrating 20th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution”.
As clothing is removed from the body, a person is deprived of his/her cultural skin. He/she works to survive in circumstances which have changed. In desperate attempts to find a new identity, the person loses his/her footing. The process of undressing repeats again and again, leading the human being to pure existence.
“TanzLaboratorium” does not use the dancer’s body as a professional instrument; rather, it calls to what is buried most deeply in the body – the pre-human, found in every living and existing being – to “body-memory.”
The performance incorporates the sounds of old records. These include phonograph recordings of dance music from the 1930s and ’40s, and fragments of experimental composer Thomas Brinkmann’s work.


TanzLaboratorium is an independent performance group from Kyiv, Ukraine, which performs both onstage and in site specific performances. The group was founded in 2000 by Larysa Venediktova, who is its artistic director. TanzLaboratorium works towards developing a context for contemporary dance in the sphere of contemporary art in Ukraine. TanzLaboratorium has had a long-term artistic residency at the Les Kurbas National Centre for Theatrical Arts in Kyiv since 2006.