Dikii, Aleksei Denisovich
Born Feb. 12 (24), 1889, in Ekaterinoslav, now Dnepropetrovsk; died Oct. 1, 1955, in Moscow. Soviet director and actor. People’s Artist of the USSR (1949).
In 1910, Dikii was accepted into the Moscow Art Theater, and in 1911 he began working in the First Studio of the Moscow Art Theater (later known as the Second Moscow Art Theater). Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World was among Dikii’s first works as a director at the First Studio (1923). In 1925, at the Second Moscow Art Theater he staged N. S. Leskov’s The Flea, playing the role of Platov. By that time, the principal characteristics of Dikii’s work as a director and actor had been formed: a sharpness and expressiveness of form and a fondness for combining bright stage colors and dynamic striking stage design with breadth and scope in the actors’ portrayals. Dikii’s art had an optimistic energy. It tended toward farcical humor, wrathful satire, passion, and epic scope. In 1928, Dikii staged a production of Faiko’s Man With a Briefcase at the Moscow Theater of the Revolution. In 1931 he founded a theatrical studio, where he directed, taught, and produced several plays (for example, Leskov’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District). During the period 1932-36 Dikii directed the Moscow All-Union Central Trade-Union Council Theater in Sailors From Kattaro by Vol’f, and Remote Province by Svetlov. In 1936 he staged a grotesque, phantasmagoric production of Death of Tarelkin by Sukhovo-Kobylin at the Maly Theater. That year he moved to the Gorky Bol’shoi Drama Theater in Leningrad and in 1941 went to the Moscow Vakhtangov Theater, where he staged Oleko Dundich by Rzheshevskii and Kats and Russian People by Simonov. In a production of Korneichuk’s The Front (1942), Dikii played one of his best parts—the role of General Gorlov. From 1944 to 1952 he worked at the Maly Theater and from 1952 at the Moscow Pushkin Drama Theater. Among Dikii’s works during the 1940’s and 1950’s were Smug Citizens by Gorky (1946), Viburnum Grove by Korneichuk (1950, Maly Theater), and Shadows by Saltykov-Shchedrin (1953, Moscow Pushkin Drama Theater). Dikii also performed in motion pictures, playing the title roles in Kutuzov (1944) and Admiral Nakhimov (1947), among others. Dikii won state prizes in 1946, 1947, 1949, and 1950. He was awarded the Order of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, and various medals.
WORKSPovest’ o teatral’noi iunosti. Moscow, 1957.
Stat’i, Perepiska, Vospominaniia. Moscow. 1967.
K. L. RUDNITSKII