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Viacheslav Kulaev has been in the profession for 25 years. Here's what he has to say about his experience directing.

Trendless: Viacheslav Kulaev on directing and choreography

Many people would answer positively to the question whether there are trends in directing, but it is not the case of the well-known creative director, choreographer and show director, who has worked on such major projects as the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, the Opening and Closing Ceremony of the International Expo Exhibition and the Closing Ceremony of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Viacheslav Kulaev recently shared with us his vision on the absence of trends in directing and choreography. Let’s try to dig deeper to find out what he means.

Viacheslav Kulaev has been in the profession for 25 years. Already from early childhood he aspired to creative self-expression through dance, which later made him get higher education as a ballet master and begin to successfully realize his potential in this field by working in television, cinema, musical shows and choreographic performances, theater and ballet productions. Later he managed to take part in major international projects of Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the International Exhibition EXPO 2017 and Closing Ceremony of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

Nowadays, Viacheslav works in two directions at once: he is creative director as well as choreographer’s director of show. 

“A choreographer is the creator of a fully-fledged story expressed in movement. To makeit work, in addition to imagination and choreographic skills he needs to think on the plot, on drama, on meanings, which is the work of a scriptwriter and, if you like, a playwright. In fact, of a full-fledged author. You need to work on music, images, lighting, props and set design as well. Most of the time all these tasks are handled by a choreographer rolled into one, it is true at least for the concept stage. That is already a complex work of the creative director, director of the show, all multiplied by the work of the choreographer”, — he says.

Viacheslav is convinced that as such there are no trends in either directing or choreography nowadays.

“I do not see any trends since something successful often comes up as something unique, and this is no longer a trend but an individual phenomenon. But subtle work with music, plot, story and multimedia is what can ensure success.”

Viacheslav considers music to be one of the most important factors in this process, to him it is the basis of everything. And it’s hard to argue with that, because music seems to be a trajectory for the development of both emotion and plot in almost every project of his.

“For me it is important to primarily think about the emotional impact of the show, which is not always about external spectacularity, but more often about subtlety and contradiction. The viewer, especially a well-seasoned one, will not be surprised by common solutions. That’s why the best trend is its absence.”

Working with music, understanding the importance of its impact on the viewer’s emotions and the harmony between musical and visual content are the main things Viacheslav relies on when working on his projects.

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