Directed by Jean-Frédéric Chevallier and Surujmoni Hansda, Essay on Seasonal Variation in Santhal Society works on opening, moving, and even re-enchanting the death of two women from Borotalpada by combining daily actions, trees, red earth, dance moments, video projection, music, testimonials and questions to the public, in Santhali, French, English and Bengali. In order to further integrate the spectators, the device is tri-frontal: in the middle (the courtyard of Trimukhi Cultural Centre), front (a platform of red clay) and side (an area cover with trees). After watching the show, Ariane Mnouchkine told, “I was very moved most of the time. Sometimes I was moved without knowing why. The actors were actually magnificent. They were so simple, so pure, without any pathos. I was very, very admiring. In fact the emotion came from the very subtle interplay between the cinema, the rhythm, the music, the performers, the fire, the lighting.’’
The performance I saw in Borotalpada village was very much like what I can see today in Paris in the best theatre places: it was contemporary theatre at its best, which means not the live adaptation of a text, but rather a kind of choreography of live audiovisual effects in a real space, using all the elements by which a scene can be produced today, video, sound, performances, voice, song, lights, etc. What I saw in this small village of West Bengal compares very well with performances staged by world famous directors like Romeo Castelucci, Christoph Marthaler, Pommerat, or Rodrigo Garcia.
Patrice Maniglier, “What Global Art Might Look Like “, Fabrique de l’art, n°3/4, 2017-2018, p. 101.
I was very moved most of the time. And sometimes I was moved without knowing why. And I thought that the team, the company, the children, the actors, were actually magnificent. Because they were so simple, so pure, without any pathos. I was very, very admiring. In fact the pathos or the emotion came from the ensemble of the vision, came from the very subtle interplay between the cinema, the rhythm, the music, the performers, the fire, the lighting. I am very very easily bored in the theatre. Very often bored. And I was not bored for even one second.
Ariane Mnouchkine, “Theatre – Today”, Fabrique de l’art, n°3/4, 2017-2018, p. 154-155.
ESSAY ON SEASONAL VARIATION IN SANTHAL SOCIETY theatre of presenting
directed by Jean-Frédéric Chevallier in collaboration with Surujmoni Hansda produced by Sukla Bar Chevallier for Trimukhi Platform performed and lighted by Jean-Frédéric Chevallier, Dananjoy Hansda, Dhani Hansda, Dulal Hansda, Joba Hansda, Ramjit Hansda, Chintamoni Hansda, Salkhan Hansda, Sukul Hansda, Surujmoni Hansda and Pini Soren texts Bhudray Besra, Jean-Frédéric Chevallier, Dhani Hansda and Marc Hatzfeld recorded voices Budhray Besra, Surujmoni Hansda and Marc Hatzfeld video projections Jean-Frédéric Chevallier production assistant Dhani Hansda biographical investigation Bhudray Besra lighting set-up Dulal Hansda and Sukul Hansda computer Chintamani Hansda photographies of the performance Elodie Guignardand Dhananjoy Hansda video registration of the rehearsals and the shows Dhananjoy Hansda and Magali Chevallier
presentations on February 5 and 6 2018 at Open Air Theatre (OAT) in Jadavpur University, Calcutta during Theatre Today with Ariane Mnouchkine and Trimukhi Platform • presentation on March 20 2018 at Open Air Theatre in Vidyasagar University, Medinipur, during the international conference on “Performance Art and the Prospects of Folkloric Tribal Culture of Eastern India”
in the press