The Night of Theatre n°9 • La Nuit des idées, a night-long festival of contemporary performing arts and inventive thought, took place on Saturday 28th January 2017 at Trimukhi Cultural Centre in the Santhal tribal village of Borotalpada, West Bengal, India. Artists and scholars from Kolkata, Paris, Madrid and Montréal, together with Santhal actors, dancers and musicians both showcased in situ performances and evolved in stimulative conversations about art and thought. The night-long program ended with a joyful multicultural dance party.


 WITH Jean-Frédéric Chevallier [Paris, Kolkata] Samantak Das [Kolkata] Cuqui Jerez [Madrid, Berlin] André-Éric Létourneau [Montréal] Patrice Maniglier [Paris] Yazel Parra Nahmens [Caracas, Barcelona] Sukla Bar [Kolkata] Bhudray Besra [Chaulbata village] Motilal Hansda [Borotalpada village] Surujmoni Hansda [Borotalpada village] Chandrai Murmu [Bhangabhandh village] Sunandan Roy Chowdhury [Kolkata]

 PRESENTED BY Trimukhi PlatformInstitut Français in India AND French Embassy in India IN PARTNERSHIP WITH Alliance Française du BengaleEcole des Médias de l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)Acción Cultural Española AC/EMACEHexagram


Full programme in PDF →
Press on Night of Theatre →





BEFORE THE NIGHT • PHILOSOPHICAL CAPSULES what is art? what is thought?

capsule 1 “What is art?” written and read by Jean-Frédéric Chevallier capsule 2 “What is thought?” written and read by Patrice Maniglier translation from the French by Fui Lee Luk


ATANG DARAM• PSYCHOGEOHÖRSPIEL II santhal welcome + radio art manœuvre

santhal ritual performed by Delkho Hansda, Falguni Hansda, Laxmi HansdaParboti Hansda, Panmoni Hansda, Sombari Hansda, Mado HembromShaloti Hembrom, Chinta Soren, Kapra Soren and Sukmoni Soren sound art manoeuvre directed by André Éric Létourneau in collaboration with Sukla Bar Chevallier sounds and voices recorded by Bhudray Besra, Chintamoni Hansda, Dhananjoy HansdaDhani Hansda, Dulal Hansda, Joba Hansda, Ramjit Hansda, Sukul HansdaSurujmoni Hansda, Chandrai Murmu live sound interventions by Chintamoni Hansda, Dhani Hansda, Dulal HansdaJoba Hansda, Ramjit Hansda and André Éric Létourneau


BURU JATRA santhal dances + words of welcome

music and dance by Chita Hansda, Delkho Hansda, Falguni Hansda, Ganesh Hansda, Kanai HansdaLaxmi Hansda, Parboti Hansda, Parmoni Hansda, Patoram Hansda, Salge HansdaSombari Hansda, Gurubadi Hembrom, Kalicharam Hembrom, Kapra Hembrom, Satho HembromBasanto Soren, Chamru Soren, Chinta Soren, Kapra Soren, Subul Soren and Sukmoni Soren words of welcome by Nicolas Idier (Book Attaché of Institut français India) and Motilal Hansda (Parani of Borotalpada village)



directed by Jean-Frédéric Chevallier and Surujmoni Hansda with/lighted by Jean-Frédéric ChevallierDananjoy HansdaDhani HansdaDulal HansdaJoba HansdaChintamoni HansdaRamjit HansdaSalkhan Hansda,  Sukul HansdaSurujmoni Hansda et Pini Soren texts Bhudray BesraJean-Frédéric Chevallier, Dhani Hansda, Marc Hatzfeld recorded voices Budhray Besra, Surujmoni Hansda and Marc Hatzfeld video Jean-Frédéric Chevallier produced by Sukla Bar Chevallier for Trimukhi Platform producer assistant Dhani Hansda biographical investigation Bhudray Besra light set-up Dulal Hansda and Sukul Hansda computer Chintamani Hansda 



written and directed by Cuqui Jerez translation Budhray Besra régie technique Chandrai Murmu with Cuqui Jerez, Falguni Hansda, Lakhi HansdaYazel Parra Nahmens and the participation of Dashorothi Hansda, Jiten Hansda and Robi Hansda


ART & THOUGHT philosophical discussion 1

with Samantak DasAndré Éric Létourneau and Patrice Maniglier moderator Jean-Frédéric Chevallier translator Sunandan Roy Chowdhury


TRY ME UNDER WATER reshaped landscape + video installation

interventions dans le paysage conçues et réalisées par Dananjoy HansdaDhani HansdaDulal HansdaJoba HansdaRamjit HansdaSalkhan HansdaChintamani HansdaSukul HansdaSurujmoni HansdaPini SorenBhudray Besra et Chandrai Murmu production Sukla Bar Chevallier coordination et réalisation vidéo Jean-Frédéric Chevallier  produit par Trimukhi Platform


THOUGHT & ART philosophical discussion 2

with Jean-Frédéric ChevallierSunandan Roy Chowdhury and Cuqui Jerez moderator Patrice Maniglier translator Samantak Das words of thanks Damien Syed (Consul General of France in Kolkata)


THE IMPROBABLE JOY • STANDARD IV diner and multi-cultural dance-party

sound installation by André Éric Létourneau device conceived and built by Chandrai Murmu voice Piyusha Chatterjee diner cook under the direction of Buddhadev Dastracks music tracks chosen by Dhananjoy Hansda, Sukul Hansda and Piru Soren 






Conversation after the Night (2017)

On 1st February 2017, 7 pm, at Alliance Française du Bengale,

Trimukhi PlatformInstitut Français in India and Alliance Française du Bengale invited the theatre director Cuqui Jerez (Madrid, Berlin), the sound artist André-Éric Létourneau (Montréal), the philosopher Patrice Maniglier (Paris) and  the performer Yazel Parra Nahmens (Caracas, Barcelona) to share their thought with Jean-Frédéric Chevallier after their experience in Borotalpada Santhal Village during Night of Theatre n°9 / La Nuit des Idées. To stimulate the production of thought, wine was offered by the General Consulate of France in Kolkata.

Conversation after the Night (2016)

On 16th March 2016, 7 pm, at Alliance Française du Bengale

On 16th March 2016, at Alliance Française du Bengale, Kolkata, Jean-Frédéric Chevallier (Trimukhi Platform) invited Suvojit Bagchi (The Hindu newspaper) and Samantak Das (Jadavpur University) to share their thought after their experience in Borotalpada village. This was part of a dry rehearsal for Night of Theatre n°9 that took place on 12th March 2016 at Trimukhi Cultural Centre in Borotalpada village.








I didn’t expect what I found in Borotalpada Santhal village during Night of Theatre 9 • La Nuit des Idées. And surprise is the true sign of an experience. Trimukhi Platform is not simply a theatre company; it is the set up for a total experience. It constantly interrogate those who go through it about what they are actually attending to. On the one hand, what I saw in Borotalpada in January 2017 – more specifically the two parts performance Essay on Seasonal Variation in Santhal Society and Try Me Under Water – was very much like what I can see today in Paris best theatre places, like the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris or other national venues: 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, sing, lights, etc. What I saw in this small village of West Bengal sustains very well the comparison with performances staged by world famous directors like Castelucci, Marthaler, Pommerat, or Rodrigo Garcia.

There were, however, a few differences. First, it was not staged in a theater room, but at the edge of a village. There is a stage, built by the company, in front of Trimukhi Cultural Centre, but the performance constantly overflows its supposed limits. At one time it appears on the side, and it goes behind the spectators, and then again we have to follow it down to the nearby lake where a screen waited for us in the water. It was impossible to distinguish, eventually, whether small events were or not part of the show. The entire night started playing for us, with us.

But there another, more significant difference. Those young men and women who perform here are not professional actors. They are delegated by the villagers to give this performance. This performance is not aimed at an external audience: it is something people do for themselves. Therefore I wondered: is this theater? Is this theater in the sense I understand it when I’m in Paris. Is not Trimukhi Platform a very subtle machine aimed at producing misunderstandings. Misundersandings in the sense that of course we can all share this experience in its beauty and power. But the place for that experience in our world is not the same. This is not simply a show; it is life continued. And the way it is played confirmed this intuition. Performers don’t try to play at being anyone else; they are exactly what they give us to see. They are young Santhali villagers and true contemporary artists. They belong to (at least) two worlds at the same time, two worlds that precisely communicate at the moment of this performance. In the very confusion in which we all find ourselves at this moment, a common place is cleared. This common place is not the end of everything. It is only the beginning. Starting from this experience, the very question of our differences can now be raised. Those differences don’t preexist to this experience. They only exist as far as we are ready to go in the exploration of this savvy misunderstanding. What is at stake here is the very sense it makes to do theater – and even more generally to experience “art”. The problematic nature of this experience comes to the fore in the question whether we share exactly in the same experience, we, that is: the performers and me, but also the villagers who are here to attend to the performance and who contribute to it if only by welcoming me and the other invitees, but also the people from the nearby town who have come to attend to the show too as well as the spectators who came from Kolkata by bus. This unlikely “we” only exist because of the show. And each part of this “we” now has to redefine itself by the particular way it belongs to this we. No one comes back unaltered from Borotalpada.

Trimukhi Platform is made for that: so that differences be not anymore given borders between already existing groups, but lines of fault that traverse each one of us. In a globalised world, Trimukhi represents an alternative to the standardized devastation of the world. Not because it vindicates the purity of each particularity; Trimukhi does not bother with authentic ethnicity and what it offers, as I have said, could very well exist in Avignon or Wuppertal. But it creates a common ground that is not preempted by one interpretation. For this reason we can say it is “global”. The global is not one and the same reality for everyone. The global is what we have to share and that in which we have to replay our differences. I think I have witnessed maybe for the first time in my life, in the small village of Borotalpada, in West Bengal, what global art of the future might look like.