LEV ABRAMOVICH DODIN
Born in 1944 in Siberia, where his mother had been evacuated during the war. Began studying theatre as a child at the Leningrad Young Viewers’ Theatre chaired by Matvey Dubrovin, an excellent teacher. Entered the Leningrad Theatre Institute immediately after graduating high school and studied under the famous stage director and teacher Boris Vulfovich Zon.
Dodin’s debut as a director came in 1966 with the televised performance of First Love based on the story by Ivan Turgenev. Then came dozens of shows staged at theatres in St. Petersburg, Moscow and abroad. Performances include It’s a Family Affair—We’ll Settle It Ourselves (Leningrad Young Viewers’ Theatre), The Minor and Rosa Berndt (Leningrad Theatre of Drama and Comedy), A Gentle Creature with Oleg Borisov (BDT and MKhAT), The Golovlev Family with Innokenty Smoktunovsky (MKhAT), Bankrupt (Finnish National Theatre), the opera Elektra at the Salzburg Festival together with Claudio Abbado, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District at the Florence Musical May Festival, The Queen of Spades in Amsterdam, Florence and Paris together with Semen Bychkov, and Mazepa at the La Scala in Milan with Mstislav Rostropovich, and Demon at the Châtelet in Paris together with Valery Gergiev.
Work with the Maly Drama Theatre started in 1975 with Karel Chapek’s The Robber. The staging of Abramov’s The House in 1980 determined the fate of Lev Dodin and the Maly Drama Theatre. Lev Dodin has been the theatre’s artistic director since 1983. Those years have brought stagings of Brothers and Sisters, Lord of the Flies, Stars in the Morning Sky, Gaudeaumus, The Devils, Love under the Elms, Claustrophobia, Chevengur and others. The performances staged by Dodin after A. Chekhov`s plays make a tetralogy: Cherry Orchard, A Play Without a Title, The Seagall, Uncle Vanya.
In 1992 the theatre directed by Lev Dodin and Lev Dodin himself were invited to join the Union of Theatres of Europe, and in 1998 Dodin’s theatre was the third theatre granted the status THEATRE OF EUROPE after the Odeon in Paris and the Piccolo in Milan. Lev Dodin is a member of the General Assembly of the Union of Theatres of Europe.
In 1967 Dodin began teaching acting and directing. Now he is a professor at the St. Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy where he chairs the stage direction department. Lev Dodin has raised many generations of actors and directors and has taught master classes at theatre schools in Great Britain, France, Japan and the USA. Many directors working in St. Petersburg have been his students one way or another.
Today the MDT Company unites Dodin’s students old and new. Lev Dodin’s directing and productions have won many state and international prizes and awards, including state prizes of Russia and the USSR, the Triumph Independent Prize, Golden Mask National Awards and a Laurence Olivier Award. In 2000 Dodin was presented the highest European Theatre Award – Europe Theatre Prize, and in 2001 he received the Russian Presidential Award.
USSR State Prize 1986
Laurence Olivier Award 1988
French Theatre and Music Critics’ Award 1992
Regional English Theatre Award 1992
TRIUMPH Russian National Independent Award 1992
Russian State Prize 1993
UBU Italian Prize 1994
Stanislavsky Foundation Prize For Excellent Teaching 1996
Golden Sofit St. Petersburg Theatre Award 1996
Golden Mask National Theatre Award 1997, 1999, 2004
Abbiati Italian Critics’ Award For Best Opera Production 1998
Awarded the Order of Literature and the Arts as an officer For Considerable Contribution to Russian-French Cultural Ties 1994
European Theatre Award 2000
Received a Russian Presidential Award For Outstanding Service 2001
Tovstonogov's Award For Outstanding Contributions to Development of the Theatre 2002
Russian State Prize 2003
Chayka Moscow Theatre Award 2003
The National Association of Italian Critics` Prize for 2003/2004 seasons.
Prize of the St. Petersburg Government in the field of literature, arts and architecture, 2004
Pro Cultura Hungarica, Hugary State Prize 2005
International Baltic Star Prize for the development and strengthening of humanitarian relations with Baltic region countries, 2007
The Highest Theatre Prize of St. Petersburg Golden Sofit 2007
Man of the Year Prize of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, Theatre nomination, for the outstanding contributions to Russian art and the production of Life and Fate 2007.
The Highest Theatre Prize of St. Petersburg Golden Sofit 2008
Stanislavsky Prize For Contribution to Development of the Theatre 2008
Awarded the Order of Merit to Fatherland of 3d Degree 2009
Interviews with Dodin have appeared in the following newspapers:
Libération, 1991, France
Le Monde, 1992, France
Figaro, 1992, France
Berliner Zeitung, 1992, Germany
Tagespiegel, 1992, Germany
Morgenpost, 1992, Germany
Bild, 1992, Germany
The Herald, 1993, Great Britain
Time Out, 1994, Great Britain
Financial Times, 1994, 1998, Great Britain
The Times, 1994, 1996, 1999, Great Britain
Le Nouvel Observateur, 1994, France
The New York Times, 1994, 1998, 2000, USA
The Guardian, 1995, Great Britain
Thuringer Allgemeine, Germany, 1999
La Repubblica, 1999, Italy
Il Messaggero, 1999, Italy
l’Unità, 1999, Italy
Il Giorno, 1999, Italy
La Vanguardia, 2000, Spain etc.;
…and also in a number of magazines:
Time, 1996, Great Britain
Theatre der Zeit, 1996, Germany
Focus, 1996, France
Vogue, 1998, Italy, etc.
Permanent member of the jury for the Northern Palmyra Professional Literary Competition. Member of the jury for the Golden Sofit St. Petersburg Theatre Prize. Member of the editorial board of the Baltic Seasons almanac.
Professional Debut, Avrora, 1983, 2
Notes for Every Day, Teatre, 1983, 5
Old Words, Avrora, 1986, 5
Why does the Director Need a Company?, Teatralnaya Zhizn, 1986, 18
Paper on K. Stanislavsky presented at the Academic Conference in Honor of the 125th Anniversary of the Birth of Stanislavsky at the St. Petersburg Theatre Academy
Article in the collection Talking with Beginners, St. Petersburg Humanities University, 1999
Paper presented at the conference of the Union of Theatres of Europe held in Taormina, 2000. Kolya was a real Ruffian – and professor (speech at the memorial evening of Nikolai Lavrov), Baltic Seasons. 2004, 11 About Efremov, Oleg Efremov. Album of Memoirs. Moscow, 2007