2013 Central Slavic Conference Keynote Speaker
For the 2013 Central Slavic Conference, this year's keynote speaker will be Dr. John Bowlt from the University of Southern California. Dr. Bowlt will be delivering his presentation on November 9, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. in the Center for Global Citizenship, Room 124A.
"Kingdom of Mystery: Nicholas Roerich and the Sacre du Printemps"
The sets and costumes which Nicholas Roerich (Nikolai Konstantinovich Rerikh, 1874-1947) created for Sergei Diaghilev's Paris premiere of the Sacre du Printemps (in Russian: Vesna sviashchennaia, literally, "Spring Sacred") on 29 May, 1913, have been discussed many times and, to the Western observer, at least, they constitute Roerich's primary claim to fame as an original stage designer. That Roerich was also an accomplished studio painter, historian, photographer, anthropologist, archaeologist, collector, philosopher and astute businessman is perhaps less familiar to the average theatergoer. However, all these facets of Roerich's biography are important, interfusing in his professional life and providing numerous examples of "interdisciplinary" scholarship. Pursuing many métiers, Roerich travelled constantly in Russia, the West and the East, and, in truly Symbolist fashion, contended that culture was the synthesis of many perceptions and that the exact sciences (e.g. ethnography) and the arts (e.g. painting) should be the components of a single creative expression and that belief in a theocracy, whether Christian, Buddhist or Theosophical, was a sure path to spiritual enlightenment and a semaphore to cosmic truth. The first production of the Sacre du Printemps was the synthesis of these considerations.