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ELENA А. SЕMЕNОVА
Institute of Art Education and Cultural Studies
of the Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, Russia
THE STREET THEATRE IN THE CONTEMPORARY MEDIA SPACE AS A REDUCED FORM OF THE CARNIVAL PLAZA
Abstract. The present article examines the issue of transferring the specificity of carnival laughter into the present-day media space, revealed on the example of the contemporary street theatre. The author holds true that while the carnival culture formed in Europe is presently going through the natural stage of disintegration into humor and irony, the Russian carnival culture, part of which is the street theater, not having yet been fully formed, has been forcibly submerged into the digital era in which one can observe a rapid modification of the element of laugh. Attention is drawn to the ever increasing interest on the part of science in studying the specificity of human dialogue and humor in internet communication.
The article asserts that those street theatres, which possess a strong carnivalbased core, maintain the greatest independence from the capabilities of internet communication, notwithstanding their active use of all modern media properties (replications, diachronies, simultaneities, multiplying, etc.).
As a confirmation of this thesis, the three forms of the street theatrical culture are examined: street theater (Theater-Ex); the street theater festival (the “Burning Man” Festival); as well as various scientific-educational projects in the field of street theatrical culture (Vyacheslav Polunin’s “Fools on the Volga,” “Caravan of the World”; “Village Theater,” a project of Theatre-Ex).
Rap battle is given as an example of carnival plaza, which was originally reduced in the media space, and which, in comparison with street theater, in some of its forms (humor, irony, satire) has a rather loud sound.
In conclusion, it is inferred that spontaneous carnival laughter in rap battles and in street theater, in contrast to humor and irony, the latter two easily reproduced in the media, cannot be imitated. This, in turn, presents a proof that carnival laughter resists to the utmost degrees any attempts to deprive it of its corporeal existence.
The author bases herself on the positions of Mikhail Bakhtin regarding the reduced forms of carnival laughter; on Alexander Kozintsev and Victor Shklovsky’s theoretical positions regardiing the humorous nature of parody; on Boris Porshnev’s theory of brake dominant.
Keywords: street theater, media space, reduced carnival square, rap battle, M. Bakhtin, Alexander Kozintsev, Boris Porshnev, Victor Shklovsky.