Theory of biomechanics of the body and the “conscious arlequin” (It. Arlecchino). Body material in the theory by Vsevolod Meyerhold and Les’ Kurbas
The thesis is the analysis of two perspectives on the actor’s body in the time of Great Theatre Reform. The body concepts depended on the artist at that time — one treated it either as a material or the essence of theatre. However, the body was never being used as a mean of getting over the emotions and never acting out any feelings. Both Meyerhold and Kurbas were highly interested in the new body concept and they derived their different theories from that — first „biomechanics”, second „conscious arlequin.” The thesis proves that the acting body was the main part of the performance for Meyerhold. His biomechanical theory was based on the mathematical experiments. Thinking through the actor’s body is what the author finds specific for this director. Unlike the previous theory, the one by Kurbas contradicts it on some levels. His theory might be described as an expanded version of Meyerhold’s proposition. However, perfection of the actor’s body and its technique was still necessary but what Kurbas marks is the consciousness of an actor — education and knowledge. In his mind the perfect actor was highly aware of his action on stage and only a craftsman. He was far from executing tasks.