Dronken Kalender

Dronken Kalender is een poëziebundel annex kalenderhervorming, en tevens een performatieve jaarcyclus (for more of that, see below in english).

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Drunken Calender (also: C*Y*C*L*U*S) is a seasonal theatre cycle by sjamandada of 8 performances, made in accordance with the ecological circumstances and psychological attitudes that come with every specific season. All of its performances melt into the following calender:

Yule (midwinter, christmas/sinterklaas): De Wilde Jacht (wild hunt, 2012), noodduister (emergency dark, 2013), Zwarte Klaas (2014-2016)
Imbolc (Carnival): Janus meets Februus (2015); Operatie Kar-Na-Val (occult-political intervention during Carnaval in Brabant/Limburg, 2019)
Ostara (spring equinox, Eastern): Ostara, of hoe ik het Hazenpad koos (2014)
Beltane (may tree): De Achtste Dag (15:15 Frascati 2016) Huilende Krijger (Jihad in Mij) (2018)
Litha (midsummer): Zonnekult (2014) & PANIEKBLOEI! (2013)
Lammas (harvest): God Sterft (2014)
Mabon (autumn equinox, sacrifice): Turning Point (2014), OFFER (2013)
Samhain (Helloween, All Souls): the Wandering Jew (2012-15)

Seasonal cycles form our dung heap. Everybody knows what is the most important place in the garden. It’s the dung heap. The dung heap is the engine, where the wheel of death is creating the fuel for new life: compost. Last few years, I’ve learnt to understand my work as a theatre maker & performer as that of a gardener. It needs attention, care, timing, musicality, love, balance, and a constant eye on the dung heap of society, there where everything ends up that most people would love to keep out of their sight. Our fuel.

We are burnt out. We have to admit. We want constant summer. We are asked to always excel, always represent. We are asked to Be The First To Like This. All the time, we are asked to be the sun. We hide our moon. We are asked for strawberries at Christmas. We are asked for Cabbage in July. In winter we sleep as little as in summer. In harvest time we Facebook from India as at home the crops of our lands lay ignored in endless grocery stores. We burn out. And as our fuel runs out, we burn our loved ones. We burn our environment. We need our seasons back, to drive the fire back into the stove before the whole town burns down.

Drunken Calender is an attempt to ritualize/dramatize all stages of our personal and collective seasonal cycles. Its frame is loosely based on the pagan, pre-christian calendar that celebrates the year at 8 stages, marked by the solstices, equinoxes and the 4 cardinal points between them. These feasts go from harvest to sacrifice, from descending into the dung heap of death where we meet our ancesters and our demons, to the returning of the light and the sprouting of new life, from the doubled face of fasting and feasting to the time of sowing the fresh seeds as the sun gains new strength, and from the rebirth of the warrior to the celebration of our full fruits again. The title Drunken Calender is a wordplay, referring to the drunken Qalanders, radical muslim mystics that would be constantly exstatic, defying the laws of time and space and therefore apparently ignorant of social rules, which often brought them in conflict with the orthodoxy.

Seasonal Theatre can be anything from a street intervention or a 10 min. performance in a freespace to a full fledged location piece or indoors theatre show. It can be linked with (pre-) christian folklore, old/new mythology reframing history, present socio-political circumstances, old pagan rites, as well as anything else useful. In my research for theatrical possibilities I’ve been thus far performing every spoke of the cycle at performance stages or in the streets, ever since graduation at the Mime School Amsterdam in July 2013.

At the same time, my plan is to over the years develop each spoke into a full fledged theatrical production that can travel throughout the year, reflecting in itself an interesting twist of climate chaos. My graduation solo ‘Wilde Jacht (wild hunt)’ for instance already was a main seasonal research, which I played at both midwinter, spring (Playtime) and midsummer (It’s Festival). That same graduation year around Halloween I started developing a nomadic mime monologue about our ancestors and the history of the end of the world called Wandelende Jood (Wandering Jew), which played at the Free Fringe Festival 2014. 2014 also rocked the controversial ‘Zwarte Klaas’ project, an externalized research with 5 performers about the same thematic as Wild Hunt.

The cycle keeps spinning into the future, wild like wilderness.


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