Hosted by Borotalpada Village, September 2007 Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre, Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India, Calcutta, January 2008 Departments of English and Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University, Calcutta, January 2008
Why not think about theatre as an act of presentation that brings into play movement, energy? Then, attention is drawn to the relationship created between the stage space and the spectator space. What comes out of this in-between space – what is produced by the creation of an in-between space – can be viewed as symbolic, not in the common sense of the expression ("this symbolizes that") but rather in its etymological sense: "this (the symbol) relates that (the actor) with that (the spectator)". With this in mind, Jean-Frédéric Chevallier proposed to 15 people from Borotalpada, a Santal village in West Midnapur District, West Bengal, that they all together produced an experimental stage work. Over three weeks (daily, from 6 pm to 9 pm) they collectively composed and practised a play that they finally called Monsoon Night Dream. It is a complete non dramatic proposition. There is no character, no story, no conflict, only a sweet invitation to contemplate, in a very simple way, the presence of the seven women, three men and four musicians who are there, sometimes performing quotidian actions or gestures from their daily lives, sometimes performing parts of Santal dances, sometimes just remaining there, looking at someone in this audience. As an aim of building bridges between different cultures and peoples, the performance, after being presenting in Borotapalda in September 2008, hasd been brough into the metropolis of Kolkata in January 2009.
Surely, this proposition is quite different from what the city public is used to see. If there is any meaning, it is built by each one in the audience, personally, differently, and from his or her own feelings. So Monsoon Night Dream becomes a way to enjoy and share the diversity of our world.
Pourquoi ne pas penser le théâtre comme un simple acte de présentation qui met en jeu mouvements et énergies ? Alors, l'attention se porte sur la relation entre l'espace scénique et l'espace public. Qu'est-ce qui surgit dans cet entre-deux ? Qu'est-ce que cet entre-deux produit ? C'est avec à l'esprit ces questions que Jean-Frédéric Chevallier a proposé à 15 acteurs, danseurs et musiciens du village santal de Borotalpada (au sud du Bengal occidental) de construire ensemble un spectacle. Et, de sorte que des ponts soient dressés entre différentes cultures et populations, ce dispositif scénique après avoir créé à Borotalpada en septembre 2008 a été présenté au Centre Culturel Est du Ministère Indien de la Culture ainsi qu'à l'Université de Jadavpur, Calcutta, en Janvier 2009.
THE PRESENTATIONS IN KOLKATA TOOK PLACE THANKS TO THE SUPPORT OF EASTERN ZONAL CULTURAL CENTRE, MINISTRY OF CULTURE, GOVT. OF INDIA AND DEPARTEMENT OF ENGLISH AND DEPARTEMENT OF COMPARATIVE LITERATURE FROM JADAVPUR UNIVERSITY. THE REHEARSALS IN BOROTALPADA WERE ORGANISED WITH THE HELP OF SEVA KENDRA CALCUTTA AND BALIGERIA MISSION.