Costume design for “Harlequin, Dealer of Slapstick Blows”

From The Director's Prism: E. T. A. Hoffmann and the Russian Theatrical Avant-Garde by Dassia N. Posner

  • This design illuminates the Borodinskaia Street Studio’s experiments with multiple planes of action in the manner of Callot’s Balli di Sfessania. Harlequin stands in the foreground, slapstick in hand, in diamond-patterned motley, while two other figures dance in the background.

    “Harlequin, Dealer of Slapstick Blows,” for which this costume was created, was one of the pieces featured at the Borodinskaia Street Studio’s sole public performance on February 12, 1915. Rykov’s design is one of many examples from the Russian theater of this period of a costume design that is also a mise-en-scène design.

    See book: p. 68; figure 16

Creator Role
  • Performing Arts
  • Premiere: February 12, 1915
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  • Alexander Rykov, costume design for “Harlequin, Dealer of Slapstick Blows,” Borodinskaia Street Studio (premiere: February 12, 1915). Paper on cardboard, gouache, 29.9 × 23 cm. КП 180169/1536. Copyright © A. A. Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum, Moscow.