Before class started the students were onstage looking for some thing Marya regu larly loses, her handbag. All at once Tortsov’s voice unex pec tedly rang out. He had been watch ing

us from the orches tra stalls for some time. ‘The picture-frame stage and the glare of the foot lights reveal what

is happen ing so well. You were really exper i en cing what you were doing while you were looking. Everything was truth ful, we could believe everything. The small phys ical tasks were performed with preci sion, they had defin i tion and clarity, atten tion was sharp. The Elements we need for creat ive work were func tion ing prop erly and harmo ni ously . . . In a word, a real work of art was being created onstage,’ was the unex pec ted conclu sion he made. ‘No . . . How could it be art? It was reality, genuine truth, a “common-

place event” as you call it,’ the students objec ted. ‘Repeat this “event”.’