My name is Nina Alovert, I am a theater photographer. For over half a year I have been preparing to release my book of photographs entitled “SERGEI YURSKY’S THEATER”.
In my photo archive, photographs of Sergei Yursky occupy a special place.
On 16th of March at the “Russian Samovar” restaurant in New York an evening will be held in memory of Sergei Yursky dedicated to his 85th birthday. His friends and fans will gather. In anticipation of this evening, I want to address you with a request to take part in the project “SERGEY YURSKY’S THEATER”.
The first time I saw him was as Chatsky in Griboedov’s “Woe from Wit” on the
Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theater stage in the mid-60s, and so my viewer love began at first sight.
Since then, I remained a constant fan of Yursky the actor and Yursky the reader.
Yursky is not only a unique, multi-talented artist, he’s the Voice of a generation that was the first to refuse to fit into the Soviet order. He is not like everyone else. He was adored by the audience and hated by the Soviet party authorities.
All his life he was creating his own Theater, as if “parallel” to the official, reflecting his ideas about dramatic art in different periods of his life.
And I have been photographing this “Sergey Yurky’s Theater” for years.
The first time I photographed a play staged by Yursky outside the walls of the Bolshoi Drama Theater was “The Chosen One of Fate” by Bernard Shaw, where he played Napoleon. The year was 1970.
In 1971, a young dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov brought me to the television shoot of the film “Fiesta” directed by Yursky, where Baryshnikov played the role of Pedro Romero. Yursky joyfully welcomed my presence, which incredibly embarrassed me. Since then, with his permission, I have shot many performances, television shoots and reading evenings until 1977 in Leningrad, and from 1987 to 2017 whenever possible: during Yurky’s tour in America or during my visits to Russia.
In total in my archive there are about 400 photographs of Sergei Yurksy, most of which are unique.
After the artist’s death, I consider it necessary to publish a book of my photographs in order to leave a memory of his creative life to the extent that I can manage to do it.
I put together a 250 page book, which includes 300 photographs from various years of his life. The preparation of the album “SERGEI YURSKY’S THEATER” is nearing its end. We have already done the bulk of the job and come to the final stage: computer prototyping and offset printing.
I appeal to all theatergoers, friends of Yursky and the fans who once waited for him at the theater exit after the performance to get his autograph, let’s finish the project together. For this, we open a fundraiser, information about which you will find at the end.
Yursky loved my work, he believed that I captured the essence of what he does on stage. I say this not for the sake of boasting. But this reinforces my belief that a book of photographs about his life must be released.
The book “SERGEI YURSKY’S THEATER” contains 250 pages and will be published as a “gift edition” – hardcover, on good paper, and offset printing. The book will include about 300 photos, as well as an introductory article by Nina Alovert.
The first edition of the Album will be released in a limited edition.
For those who want to take part in the project and help release an album, we offer the following support programs:
1. Contribution of $50-100: a set of 5 photos (5×7 inches) not included in the album with the autograph of the author Nina Alovert, priority in purchasing the album, priced at production cost, shipping at the expense of the recipient.
2. $125-200 dollars – album autographed by the author as a gift, shipping at the expense of the recipient.
3. $250–500 album autographed by the author as a gift, free shipment.
4. $550-1000: album autographed by the author and a CD: interview with the friends of Sergei Yursky in America, shot by Eduard Staroselsky (Bravo Studio), free postage.
5. Over $1000: the same as in point 6 plus a portrait of Yursky size 8×10” autographed by the author, and additionally: either a 2nd copy or the Nina Alovert book “Theaters of Leningrad”, and as a special thanks to the first 3 donors who donate $1000 – a portrait of Baryshnikov autographed by the author, size 8×10.”
The final pages of the album will list all the names of the project donors who have sent over $300.
Tatyana Borodina (funder of the online magazine Elegant New York and International Art Alliance) and Eduard Staroselsky (movie studio Bravo) take part in the album’s publication.
For all the money donated to us, we will report to each donor of the “SERGEY YURSKY THEATER” project.
All photos by Nina Alovert