• The contemporary theatrical act: presentation and symbols

    JEAN-FREDERIC CHEVALLIER

    The contemporary theatrical act: presentation and symbolsAbstract of the essay Le geste théâtral contemporain : entre présentation et symboles

    published in L'Annuaire Théâtral # 36, Ottawa University, 2004. pp. 27-43.

    ISBN: 0-88927-201-8.

     

     

    Theoretical texts

     

    Theatre tends to become an act of presentation that brings into play movement, energy and drives rather than a plot with a conflict unfolding of action and a message. Attention is drawn to the relationship created between the stage space and the spectator space. If seen with the hermeneutic eye, what comes out of this in-between space – what is produced by the creation of an in-between space – would be viewed as symbolic, not in the common sense of the expression (“this symbolizes that”) but in its etymological sense: “this (the symbol) relates that (the actor) with that (the spectator)”. To speak then of a theatre of presenting and to attempt to describe the relationship that it establishes (re-establishes) leads to underscore the need to think theatre practise as a viable alternative to mercantile logic and the transformation into spectacle of this logic. The contemporary theatrical gesture implies attempts to intensify the powers of theatre itself: through the common presence of actors and spectators, to wake up in each participant not only a desire for life, but also a will to get more deeply engaged in its construction, i.e., in many cases, in its reinvention (which also implies the invention of other forms of theatre and thinking).

     

     

     

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