Bengali art producer Sukla Bar, French choreographer and philosopher Jean-Frédéric Chevallier and Santhal dance-theatre performer Joba Hansda believe in the beauty of in diversity. Supported by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) during Covid pandemic times, they went to the seashore of Bay of Bengal to rehearse and film a video dance piece (or a film-theatre or a screen-dance, depending on your vocabulary preferences) that weaved together contemporary performing arts outdoor and cinematographic experimentation for online viewers.
Still, LET IT BE is not a video performance in situ but cum situ – with the site, “cum” meaning “with” in Latin. The environments (grove, sand, bird, wave, etc.) are elements among other elements, also in action, and also entering into the artwork combinatorial game, with neither more nor less importance than the others. To state this is to “question the all-encompassing ontological divisions, especially the one separating ‘humanity’ from the ‘environment’.” (Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Cannibal Metaphysics) In fact, there are no more habitats than there are inert decors. “The habitat of a living creature is only the weaving of other living ones.” (Baptiste Morizot, Ways of Being Alive) Even English subtitles are included inside the images, since these written words are also part of the combination of differences that LET IT BE offers. In this sense, the film is a way to share the surprising aesthetic effects that making dance together different present elements and enhancing the strength of each unexpectedly bring up.
The film editing took place in Kolkata over a month and the avant-première on Trimukhi Platform Youtube channel from May 11 to May 21, 2021. LET IT BE was then part of the video-dance installation Los indios también hace teatro at the Ex-presidencial Palace in Mexico city from May 28 to June 6, 2021 and at Trimukhi Cultural Centre in Borotalpada village during Night of Theatre n°13. The film is projected again on Sat. November 4, 2023 at Metropolis Kino in Hambourg, Germany, during TANZAHOi festival.
LET IT BEvideo dance
composed by Sukla Bar, Jean-Frédéric Chevallier & Joba Hansda• directed & filmed by Jean-Frédéric Chevallier•performed by Joba Hansda• produced bySukla Barfor Trimukhi Platform • text by Jean-Frédéric Chevallier•bengali translation & french reading by Sukla Bar • santhali translation & bengali-santhali readingsJoba Hansda• video editing & sound design Jean-Frédéric Chevallier• in complicity with Sukla Bar • in collaboration with Joba Hansda• costume Jean-Frédéric Chevallier, Joba Hansda• hair & style Sukla Bar • music extract “Concerto in A minor” by Antonio Vivaldi (transcription by J.S. Bach) interpreted by Munich Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra & Pierre Cochereau (courtesy of archive.org) • artistic inputs Promila Bar, Susmit Biswas, Marie-Laurence Chevallier, Joseph Danan & Ruchama Noorda• logistic support Lucy Besra, Kabita Lindenmeyer• supported by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF)• co-produced by the Metropolitan University of Mexico city (UAM – Cuajimalpa)
Sukla Bar born in a tiny Bengali village very closed to the Bay of Bengal. After getting two Bachelor degrees, studying Indian tabla percussion, heading first a home for students from disadvantaged villages of Bengal, then a Non Formal Education and International Child Development Program on alternative education for children from tribal areas, working in Chicago (USA), in migrant children’s homes, resuming her studies to obtain from Indira Gandhi National University a Master in Social Work, her path in life changed again once she co-founded Trimukhi Platform and became art producer of all the events and artworks done by the tribal organisation.
Born in Borotalpada tribal village, India, Joba Hansda prefers to be an “actress” and a “contemporary dancer” to anything else, which she is doing already since more than 12 years. That is to say: the first time she performed with Trimukhi Platform, she was 7 years old. Apart from Jean-Frédéric Chevallier and Sukla Bar, she has performed also with Japanese Ikue Nakagawa, Canadian André-Eric Létourneau, Mexican Héctor Bourges and Karla Rodriguez. Next December, she will be rehearsing with French and Senegalese choreographer Amala Dianor. This year, she is also in-charge of Trimukhi Cultural Centre in Borotalpada tribal village.
Born in Paris suburbs, France, Jean-Frédéric Chevallier is a good example of what “worlding” could mean: philosopher, theatre director and video artist, he was briefly lecturer at Sorbonne Nouvelle University in France and, at a longer length, professor at National University of Mexico. He is living in India since 2008, where he co-founded the tribal organisation Trimukhi Platform. With about 40 dance-theatre performances and 16 video art films to his credit so far, he has published the essays: “El Teatro hoy” (2012), “Deleuze et le théâtre” (2015) and”Le Théâtre du présenter” (2020).