2009 : Bicentenary of the birth of Charles Darwin

and 150th anniversary of the publication of

On the Origin of Species


On the occasion of the celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species, in 2009, Teatro del Silencio will lead a journey of research and creation across the work and the life of Darwin.


Scholar and man of science, inexhaustible thinker, his discoveries have profoundly changed science, philosophy, religion, and man in his nature and continue to question them even today.


World-famous, Darwin remains a mystery for the great majority of the public. A man whose importance is known by everybody but whose work finally is relatively unknown. A "stranger", confined in his thoughts and reflections.


We’ll speak about the man, we’ll question the current world and the world of tomorrow - as in our works on Arthur Rimbaud (Malasangre or the 1001 nights of the poet) and on Antonin Artaud (Nanaqui - Dossier 262 602 ) - with our own means of researchers and creators: poetry, words, music, pantomime, theater and dance …

Emma Darwin : a mirror look

Mauricio Celedon's letter of intent

Artistic director of Teatro del Silencio


Why Darwin ?

Maybe we had to wait 200 years to be able to get tangled with languages which are not ours.

So much time was necessary to understand a genius.

But can we imagine the world without Darwin ? Without the deep marks he left ?

We chose to continue our theatrical research on this character who shines nowadays and who can enlighten us all.

Charles and Emma Darwin. We are going to go through their biographies, their lives, to hand them once more in the theatrical lucidity.

Theatre is man’s fantasy, that’s why we speak about a soul so dear as the one of Charles Darwin and we wish to create this magnificent story by ways as only theatre can make it.

We question ourselves on our existence and our evolution.

We still remain an occult poem. It is why I like to make theatre.


She speaks to us about him.

He speaks to us about her.

She speaks to us about her journey aboard The Beagle in Patagonia, in Brazil, in Ecuador, in Argentina, in Chile, in Tierra del Fuego.

He speaks to us about Down, about this infinite suffering of the death of his daughter: Annie.

She speaks to us about his doubts about the existence of God, about this sick man.


Disguise of memories : she carries his memory. And he carries the memory of the Patagonia, the Amazonia. Then, pure greenery, end of street of the sun, Tierra del Fuego, exuberance of unfathomable forests like this world we do not know.

She will then become that wild victorian, that woman who is transformed and carries words that come from a long way away, from a deep earth, from the Pacific, to the compass of a music that moves our souls.

Emma Darwin and Charles Darwin


In 1839, Darwin married his cousin, Emma Wedgwood, settled with her first in London and then to Down, one hour from London, where he bought a property.







THE QUESTION OF GOD


Charles Darwin following, in this matter, the son of its thoughts and reflections tells in its autobiography :



« The state of mind that I wish to preserve with respect to you, is to feel that while you are acting conscientiously and sincerely wishing and trying to learn the truth, you cannot be wrong, but there are some reasons that force themselves upon me, and prevent myself from being always able to give myself this comfort. I daresay you have often thought of them before, but I will write down what has been in my head, knowing that my own dearest will indulge me.

Your mind and time are full of the most interesting subjects and thoughts of the most absorbing kind, viz. following up your own discoveries—but which make it very difficult for you to avoid casting out as interruptions other sorts of thoughts which have no relation to what you are pursuing, or to be able to give your whole attention to both sides of the question.

There is another reason which would have a great effect on a woman, but I don't know whether it wd. so much on a man.

I mean whose understanding you have such a very high opinion of and whom you have so much affection for, having gone before you—is it not likely to have made it easier to you and to have taken off some of that dread fear which the feeling of doubting first gives and which I do not think an unreasonable or superstitious feeling. It seems to me also that the line of your pursuits may have led you to view chiefly the difficulties on one side, and that you have not had time to consider and study the chain of difficulties on the other, but I believe you do not consider your opinion as formed. May not the habit in scientific pursuits of believing nothing till it is proved, influence your mind too much in other things which cannot be proved in the same way, and which if true are likely to be above our comprehension. I should say also there is a danger in giving up revelation which does not exist on the other side, that is the fear of ingratitude in casting off what has been done for your benefit as well as for that of all the world and which ought to make you still more careful, perhaps even fearful lest you should not have taken all the pains you could to judge truly. I do not know whether this is arguing as if one side were true and the other false, which I meant to avoid, but I think not. (…) But I daresay you meant in actions which concern others and then I agree with you almost if not quite. I do not wish for any answer to all this—it is a satisfaction to me to write it, and when I talk to you about it I cannot say exactly what I wish to say, and I know you will have patience with your own dear wife. Don't think that it is not my affair and that it does not much signify to me. Everything that concerns you concerns me and I should be most unhappy if I thought we did not belong to each other for ever. I am rather afraid my own dear Nigger will think I have forgotten my promise not to bother him, but I am sure he loves me, and I cannot tell him how happy he makes me and how dearly I love him and thank him for all his affection which makes the happiness of my life more and more every day. »


"Letter of Emma Darwin to Charles Darwin"

in Vol.II de John Murray, 1915



Museum of the end of the world




A work of "naturalist" of gesture and word

A search on the actor-puppet

A work on the image and video projections


Since its foundation, in 1989, Teatro del Silencio pursues its researches of a total theater, a theater which realizes the fusion of performing arts, with the determination to create a theatrical language that is accessible to all, allied to a reflection about our time.


The creation of Emma Darwin which will be in the continuity of this search will be the occasion to introduce new researches on :


the actor puppet,

as well as a work on the image and video projections.



About the scenic space :

Tower of Babel of our evolution



The team of creation


Emma Darwin will be the fruit of different artistic collaborations.


Temporary distribution

Artistic Direction : Mauricio CELEDON. Choreographies : Lhacen HAMED BEN BELLA and Mauricio CELEDON. Musical Composition and Direction : Carlos FIERRO, Pablo QUEZADA. Scenography : Marcelo PIZARRO. Costumes creation : Claudia VERDEJO. Lighting Creation : Christophe SCHAEFFER and David BOUTTENOT. Actors : Guillermina CELEDON, Claire JOINET, Julie JOURDES, Claudia VERDEJO, Lhacen HAMED BEN BELLA, Nelson ESTIBILL, Luis HORMAZABAL. Musicians : Jean-Michel RAUSSOU, Favio VILLARROEL. Sound Technician : Francisco ARAYA. Lighting Technician : David BOUTTENOT or Christophe SCHAEFFER. Graphics : Gala MARTINOIA


Partners and co-producers





Projected calendar of creation


From April 20th till May 02nd, 2009

Regard et Mouvements in Pontempeyrat

From 20 till 30 June 2009

Le Moulin Fondu in Noisy-le- Sec

From 05 till 25 October 2009

Les Ateliers Frappaz in Villeurbanne

In April, 2010 / 2 weeks

Le Fourneau in Brest

In May, 2010 / 3 weeks

Le Parapluie in Aurillac

In progress

In October / November, 2009 even in 2010

Residence "EnCourS" chez KompleXkapharnüM in Villeurbanne



Teatro del Silencio is subsidized by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication / DRAC Auvergne


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