Une esthétique du drame figuratif. Le geste théâtral de Kossi Efoui : d’une dramaturgie du détour marionnettique aux territoires politiques de la figuration sur « les lieux de la scène »

Abstract : At the crossroads of philosophical, political and anthropological issues, this dissertation in theatre studies aims to theorize the notion of "figurative drama" through analyzing Kossi Efoui's aesthetics in his dramatic work. A playwright, philosopher and novelist, born in 1962 in Togo, Kossi Efoui’s political and poetical choices foreshadowed, from his first play Le Carrefour, the major aesthetical turn taken by the dramaturgies of French-speaking sub-Saharan Africa and diasporas at the beginning of 1990s. Shaped by colonial history and the history of migrations, Kossi Efoui’s theater put the diasporic body in question, as well as the identities that were assigned by historical discourses and by the rise of capitalism since the time of the slave trade. This aesthetics is the result of a theatrical attitude based on a figurative writing. By questioning this paradoxical attitude, this dissertation shows how it is translated into dramaturgical choices. Indeed, in Kossi Efoui’s theater, on one side the body is everywhere in discourses, while on the other side it’s missing on stage: the characters are most often deprived of a body and looking for one. Shaped by various ways of producing text (intertextuality, transtextuality, fragmentation, decomposition, assembly, gesture of the stage) the dramaturgical writing makes a detour via the universe of the mask and the puppetry arts, thereby exploring the actor’s body and the theatrical devices in order to create a process of resilience. By analyzing this dramaturgical detour via puppetry, this dissertation questions the presence of bodies and voices in the textual material itself and their relationships to the stage. It formulates the hypothesis of an attitude, producing a figure that comes from the writing and takes its place on stage (on les lieux de la scène, as Kossi Efoui calls it). The body becomes a political territory and summons up haunting traumas that put the collectivity to the test. By using the theatrical space as a mnemonic interface, the writing takes trans-disciplinary creative paths, renews our conception of dramaturgy and produces what we identify as "an aesthetics of figurative drama".
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Pénélope Dechaufour. Une esthétique du drame figuratif. Le geste théâtral de Kossi Efoui : d’une dramaturgie du détour marionnettique aux territoires politiques de la figuration sur « les lieux de la scène ». Musique, musicologie et arts de la scène. Université Sorbonne Paris Cité, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018USPCA116⟩. ⟨tel-02149389⟩

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