Expressionism in gene expression neither “style” nor a set of techniques. Expressionism is not just a way of artistic expression, this attitude of mind and heart to the world, and the essence of this relationship can be briefly summarized in two words “alarm” and “rebellion”. Unlike other areas (e.g., cubism), expressionism was not limited to the visual arts, but, in with new faces, emerged in literature and poetry, music and theatre. The place of its occurrence and distribution is considered to be mostly Northern (Norway, Sweden) and Central (Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia) Europe. He developed in other countries, for example, but as the distance from the center of the development of its specific features was losing its certainty. In Latin countries, expressionism generally not declared itself. Perhaps that is why he has long remained undervalued.
Generated by anxiety and instability, expressionism became a means of protest. Not finding the desired harmony in the visible world, the material reality that surrounds him, people turned to the world of visions, of dreams, of dreams. Proposed naturalism a copy of the external world was no longer meeting his needs.
The emergence of expressionism, therefore, was primarily due to the pronounced crisis of civilization, perceived as a disaster. In this period the bourgeoisie, it would seem, was at the top of the economic power, but it seeks to impose values contrary to the aspirations of the individual covered by the premonition of the upheavals of the First world war and the 1917 revolution In the postwar years a feeling of anxiety and protest against the harsh reality of the surrounding world has only increased.
In Germany there has been the greatest in her history, the crisis collapsed the age-old imperialist dreams, began inflation, the government collapsed, the government was forced to resign from the illusions gone. In contrast to the conformism of the bourgeoisie and its commitment to naturalism, expressionism appeared as a sudden flowering of German soul as free and varied art and distraction. “A new feeling of peace, wrote Bernhard Diebold protests, against the dead formulas of today. It’s nostalgia for the depth of life.”
The first manifestation of the new feeling became art (Kokoschka, Marc, Kandinsky, Beckman). Passivity impressionistic “impressions” expressionist contrasted the activity of the eye, penetrating to the essence of the world and of the human person, revealing the hidden essence of things is inaccessible atomistic approach of the Impressionists. In all areas of art expressionists sought above all to convey the world of the spirit, imagination, visions, to reproduce not what they seem things and explore their inner meaning.
A sense of the fragility of life, underlying this approach is reflected in the tendency to abstraction and symbolism. He’s unfamiliar with the techniques of classical art, such as, for example, perspectives, rules of symmetry and anatomy, he strongly rejects the narrative and creating the illusion of reality. “The world is given to us, said to repeat it is absurd, to penetrate the essence, and then recreate the main task of art.”
It is accepted that radical innovations in the art of preceding transformations in the theatre. However, in most cases it turns out that in reality the situation is somewhat different, because different types of art are not Autonomous but in constant interaction. However, with regard to the expressionism of the above extremely fairly.
What can be considered expressionistic premiere in the theater? Perhaps it took place not on the stage, and on canvas. We are talking about the painting of the Norwegian artist, one of the outstanding predecessors of expressionism, Edvard Munch, written in 1893, and in 1895 it was made by lithography. Called the painting “the Scream”, and that it embodied the principles essential to the expressionistic drama and theatre. In the center of the painting the figure of a man; he clenched his head in his hands, his gaze wanders, from the widely open mouth pulled out a cry, which in concentric circles to fill the entire world: the water of the fjord, shore, sky, illumined by the flames.
In the direction of the two retreating, as if indifferent to everything silhouette. Munch himself spoke about the history of painting: “One day I went for a walk with two friends. It was getting dark. Suddenly, the sky turned red as blood, and I felt a sudden sadness. I stopped, leaned on the parapet. Everywhere in the dark waters of the fjord, the walls of the city the sky was cast a bloody glow like flames. Friends left far forward, and I stood alone, full of vague alarm. It seemed to me that all of nature is shaking by a strong Creek, which has no end”.
It is enough to compare the picture and the commentary of its author to understand the extent to which this work was a forerunner of expressionism (anxiety, Creek), as anticipated the expressionist theatre. Is there no hint of “psychodrama” (Traumbuhne), it does not look like any melodrama, in which the world is given in the perception of a single character? You can even think that we have before us one of the episodes of the so-called “drama state” (Stationendrama), where the actors are almost abstract.
So, it is the painting that heralded a new direction; many of its techniques were borrowed by the later expressionist theatre. However, a considerable role is played here and the development of scenography. Because in art there are no trifles, and technological innovation is sometimes less important than the actual creative as they influence not only the evolution of certain types of art, but also their interaction with each other.
Like Munch and van Gogh were the forerunners of expressionism in painting, Strindberg, Appia, Craig, Reinhardt anticipated it in the theater. Appiah proposed the concept of the stage space, adapted to the rhythmic movement of the actors, and used light as a factor shaping the spatial environment, which have necessitated improvements to stage equipment and, in particular, led to the invention of the spotlight.
Edward Gordon Craig was one of the first rejected realism in the theatre, contrasting it symbolic solution of the performance, the construction of which should be based on highlighting the main motive of the work; he denied the specificity of naturalistic acting and suggested the idea of the actor’s “overmarine”, advocated the Union of all the means of stage expression in the name of maximum expressiveness of the drama.
“The art of the theatre, he wrote in 1905, is not taken separately acting text of the play, a dramatization, a dance form that combines these components: gesture as the soul of the game, the text as a skeleton of the play, line and color as the essence of the scenery, rhythm as the basis of dance.” Finally, Max Reinhardt, although criticized by the Jessner, Martin and Wichert for excessive penchant for eclecticism and impressionism, in some of the productions was close to the expressionist solutions decorative in the interpretation stage lighting. For example, his play by Sorge “Poor” (1917), despite some inconsistency in the organization of the stage space and can rightfully be called a transition towards expressionism.