Video | More than simply a theatre company, set up for a total experience: Trimukhi Platform – West Bengal

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Trimukhi Platform is not simply a theatre company; it is the set up for a total experience. It constantly interrogates those who go through it about what they are actually attending to. On the one hand, the two parts performance Essay on Seasonal Variation in Santhal Society and Try Me Under Water I saw in Borotalpada village 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, song, lights, etc.

There were, however, a few differences. First, it was not staged in a theatre room, but at the edge of a village. There is a stage 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. And there another, more significant difference. Those young men and women who perform here are delegated by the villagers to give these performances. This is not simply a show; it is life continued. Performers don’t try to play at being anyone else; they are exactly what they give us to see. They are young Santhal villagers and true contemporary artists. They belong to (at least) two worlds at the same time. In the very confusion in which we all find ourselves at this moment, a common place is cleared. Starting from this experience, the very question of our differences can now be raised.

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 could very well exist in the best international festivals. 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 what global art of the future might look like.“

Patrice Maniglier, Paris-Nanterre University


directed by Jean-Frédéric Chevallier in collaboration with Surujmoni Hansda produced by Sukla Bar Chevallier for Trimukhi Platform performed and lighted by Jean-Frédéric Chevallier, Dananjoy HansdaDhani HansdaDulal HansdaJoba HansdaRamjit Hansda, Chintamoni HansdaSalkhan HansdaSukul HansdaSurujmoni Hansda and Pini Soren texts Bhudray BesraJean-Frédéric Chevallier, Dhani Hansda and Marc Hatzfeld recorded voices Budhray Besra, Surujmoni Hansda and Marc Hatzfeld video projections Jean-Frédéric Chevallier production assistant Dhani Hansda biographical investigation Bhudray Besra lighting set-up Dulal Hansda and Sukul Hansda computer Chintamani Hansda photographies of the performance Elodie Guignardand Dhananjoy Hansda video registration of the rehearsals and the shows Dhananjoy Hansda and Magali Chevallier

The performance I saw in Borotalpada village was very much like what I can see today in Paris in the best theatre places: 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, song, lights, etc. What I saw in this small village of West Bengal compares very well with performances staged by world famous directors like Romeo Castelucci, Christoph Marthaler, Pommerat, or Rodrigo Garcia.

Patrice Maniglier, “What Global Art Might Look Like “, Fabrique de l’art, n°3/4, 2017-2018, p. 101.

I was very moved most of the time. And sometimes I was moved without knowing why. And I thought that the team, the company, the children, the actors, were actually magnificent. Because they were so simple, so pure, without any pathos. I was very, very admiring. In fact the pathos or the emotion came from the ensemble of the vision, came from the very subtle interplay between the cinema, the rhythm, the music, the performers, the fire, the lighting. I am very very easily bored in the theatre. Very often bored. And I was not bored for even one second.

Ariane Mnouchkine, “Theatre – Today”, Fabrique de l’art, n°3/4, 2017-2018, p. 154-155.

Date accessed: 23 October 2018

Night of Theatre 10

Night of Theatre n°10 • La Nuit des Idées, a night-long festival of contemporary performing arts and inventive thought, will take place on Saturday 27th January 2018 at Trimukhi Cultural Centre in the Santhal tribal village of Borotalpada, West Bengal, India where artists and philosophers from France, India, Japan, Canada and Mexico together with actors, dancers and musicians from Borotalpada village will both showcase in situ sound, theatre, dance or dance-theatre performances and evolve in stimulative discussions about “flows of intensity”… before inviting all to join for a joyful multicultural dance party until the sun rise again… This event is part both of Institut français’ international Nuit des idées (“Night of Ideas”) to celebrate all over the world the stream of ideas between countries, cultures, topics and generations, and of Bonjour India, a four-month-long celebration of Indo-French innovation, creativity and partnership.

The journey starts on Saturday 27th January 2018 at 1 pm from Howrah station, Kolkata, coming back in Kolkata next day at 11 am. Booking is open from 17th November 2017 to 15th January 2018 online as well as at Alliance française du Bengale and MACE. A limited number of seats is still available.

Source: forwarded by Dr. Boro Baski (by email)