東京 (Tokyo): 建設社 (Kensetsusha), 1933. First edition. Hardcover. Large octavo. 192pp. . Housed in a modern dark grey cloth clamshell box, with gilt lettering over a red leather label on the spine. Original light brown cardboard slipcase with Cyrillic and Japanese lettering in black and red on the covers and spine. Tan and green photo-illustrated buckram boards with black and red lettering in Cyrillic and Japanese on the front cover and spine, respectively.
This monograph is a detailed analysis of the more recent trends and developments (early 20th century) in Russian/Soviet avant-garde theatre and film, by Japenese theatre director and critic Kinnaru Sonoike. The author had been invited to the Soviet Union the previous year, where he had visited various theater and saw productions in Moscow and Lenningrad. The book acts as something of a report and is organized according to his experiences there. Theaters and figures discussed include: Moscow Arts Theatre, Vaktangov, Meyerhold, and the Revolutionary theatre in Moscow, National Academy Theatre and the Children's theatre in Lenningrad, among many others. Also covered are Russian ballet and Opera. Famous productions featured include Gorky's "The Lower Depths","The Death of Ivan the Terrible" by Tolstoy, "Princess Turandot" by Pucini, "Hamlet", and "The Revolution of 1905", among others.
The fourth chapter deals with Soviet cinema, and includes Sonoike's observations about his meeting with filmmaker Vsevolod Pudovkin, experiences going to the movie theater and visiting the Moscow film school.
The work is illustrated throughout with 12 double-sided plates of b/w photographic reproductions. The plates contain a total of 92 images to accompany the text, depicting performances, mise-en-scenes, set-design, and portraits of actors in and out of costume, from various stage productions. These images dislay a wide range of fascinating production designs ranging from proletarian scenes, soviet realism, to more avant-garde expressionist type of staging. Also included are images of Nemirovich-Danchenko and Stanislavki.
The final group of images is of soviet films, including stills of the famous "Odessa Steps Sequence", from Sergei Eisentein's landmark film Battleship Potemkin. Additional in-text b/w lithographic illustrations of set designs and caricatures of theatre figures, as well as some tables and charts, throughout. Among the theatre figures whose work is discussed in the book are Yevgeny Vakhtangov, Nikolai Evreinov, and Vsevolod Meyerhold. Text in Japanese.
Slipcase with some light rubbing to extremities, with some light staining to the corners, and some additional smudges and scratches. Binding with some light rubbing to extremities, and some minor scratches to the covers and along the spine. Cover image bright and clean. Minor staining along the side edge of the book block. Interior with some offsetting to pages opposite the plates, and some sporadic light creasing to a few pages. Slipcase and binding protected by modern mylar. Slipcase in good+, binding and interior in very good- to very good condition overall. Scarce. g+ to vg. Item #43724
* Kinnaru Sonoike (1896 - 1972) was a Japanese theatre director and critic during the Taisho and Showa eras.
* The final page includes the author's seal.