Balance, drawing

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

  • Constructivist drawing of Kumeiko, dressed as a clown (lower right), and Knorre (center) peforming the balancing act for which the duo became famous. Sergei Yutkevich later described this act in the context of both this drawing and Columbine’s Garter, in which Knorre was to have performed the role of the tightrope-walking Harlequin:

    “There was a duo: Knorre and Kumeiko, ‘The Balance Act.’ Kumeiko would enter in clown makeup and Knorre in an elegant suit and white shirt, very handsome. They put tables atop each other; after about the fourth or sixth they put bottles on the table and on top of them a chair. Knorre sat on it and did an astonishing balancing act. They took it to all the cabarets of NEP-era Moscow and made a living from it. I even made a drawing—Knorre and Kumeiko. Before this… in 1922 Eisenstein and I wrote the pantomime Columbine’s Garter. Harlequin was to have crossed the entire theater auditorium on a tightrope. We offered Knorre this role, and he agreed, but the production never took place.”*

    *M. I. Turovskaia, M. I. Babanova: Legenda i biografiia (Мoscow: Iskusstvo, 1981), 161.

    See book: p. 174

Creator Role
  • Performing Arts
  • 1923
Related Section
Content Type
Citable Link
  • Sergei Yutkevich, Balance. Drawing of Fedor Knorre (in the air) and Evgeny Kumeiko (below) (1923). Russian State Archive of Literature and Art f. 3070 op. 1 ed. khr. 412: 1.