Yuri Belyaev is a Russian classical actor with a very interesting and striking appearance. He first caught my eye in the remarkable film Edinozhdy solgav… (Who had once lied…) about the complex emotional upheaval of a Soviet conformist artist, whom he played.

Yuri Belyaev, actor #1 © Sasha Krasnov Photography

Yuri Belyaev, actor #2 © Sasha Krasnov Photography

I met him in person at the rehearsal of the theatrical play White sheep based on the works of Daniil Kharms, a landmark Soviet writer who died during the Stalinist repressions.

I was invited to shoot the rehearsal, in which Yuri Belyaev played the lead role. The scenes were rehearsed several times, which made it possible to shoot them from different angles.

Yuri Belyayev, actor #3 © Sasha Krasnov Photography

Having been separated from his beloved one, the character of Yuri Belyaev experiences emotional distress and tries to find her in his dreams and thoughts. He is, in fact, an embodiment of the author of the play, Daniil Kharms.

The action takes place in the dreams of the main character, around whom muses are slipping by, planting texts of his future works in his mind.

The play was very unusual, its scenes were distinguished by great dynamism and expression, reflecting the creative disquiet of the main character.

But I was lucky. In one of these scenes, Yuri Belyaev sat on a chair in the middle of his dreams and thoughts and, staying put, reasoned about the essence of love. And it was that very moment!

© Sasha Krasnov