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The theatre performance has three parts. In the first, a lyric singer of strong corpulence sings César Frank’s Panis Angelicus while snorting in the water of a lake at the edge of which a young Santhal girl, slender and graceful, is enunciating strange things in Bengali. For example: “In the darkness, don’t think without stopping to make things to think for your children that your children, only your children are your children“. The second part takes place in the middle of a narrow path where a pretty young woman tells a love story, in Santhali and untranslated, while, further, a tribal violinist plays a few notes and the young girl of before comes and goes on a bicycle. In the third part, on the esplanade of Trimukhi Cultural Centre, at that time under construction, alternate moments when the audience is challenged by a woman of the village and others, sonorous and strident, where silhouettes cross and re-cross under beams of light grazing. It ends with a cumbia that the Mexican director Héctor Bourges invites Santhal actress Falguni Hansda to dance and a more than unlikely conversation where a village leader talks with a France anthropologist, one in Santhali and the other in French of course, what the activities of the Cultural Centre will be in a few years: it is about the arrival by helicopter of an Indian president and the realisation of an international symposium on Deleuze.
The set-up on which the artwork relays tends to produce, in the spectators’ eyes a quadruple series of dissonances that interrogates and stimulates their senses and thought. The first dissonance consists in situating the stage not in the heart of an urban metropolis but in a rural and almost wild environment. The second dissonance consists in putting in the mouth of people whose grass root existence is obvious ex-temporal words without geographic anchor. The third has to see with the fact that the words they say are dislocated, broken, as if they would be trying to free themselves from the exigency of conveying a meaning. The last level of dissonance is produced by the coincidence, in a same visual field of individuals whose presence and actions do not want to answer one to the other. Once in the periphery, the spectators discovered first a young girl of about 12 years old whose grace relays on the simple elegance of her quotidian way of standing. An opera singer with strong body and heavy movements (and heavy because taking place inside the water) answers her with an aria from César Frank. And it is the spectator the one who has to hold together this two images, this two natures of movements, this two body and the forces they call. The apparition of two women helps him: both meet, exchange bicycle and water pot but without any narrative purpose. This is this lack of negativity that invites the audience to put together the image of the gracious girl and the image of the strong singer.
GUIGNOL’S দল theatre of presenting
written and directed by Jean-Frédéric Chevallier in collaboration with Marc Hatzfeld produced by Sukla Bar Chevallier for Trimukhi Platform supported by Proyecto 3 (Mexico) and CONACULTA (Mexico) translation to Bengali Sukla Bar Chevallier assistant director Girish Soren lyric singer Arjobeer Aniruddha santhal violinist Mohan Hembrom with Héctor Bourges, Falguni Hansda, Kisun Hansda, Parboti Hansda, Surujmoni Hansda, Marc Hatzfeld, Kalicharam Hembrom and Molina Hembrom
première on February 25, 2012 during Night of Theatre n°5 at Trimukhi Cultural Centre • Borotalpada • West Bengal • India