#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The Norilsk public library hosted an immersive play The Hunter and the Spirit of the Night over the weekend. The story, built on the northern myths and legends, was told by the five Taimyr ethnic groups representatives, who arrived from Dudinka and reindeer herding camp on the purpose, and the actors of the DA theater studio.
“An immersive performance is an action in which the audience is involved, they determine the action movement. This time, it depended on their strength, wisdom and dexterity whether the main character would defeat the dark spirit, whether the day light would return from the Lower World to people”, the organizers explained.
The performance was timed to coincide with the holiday of the Fresh Chum, when the Nganasans meet the Sun – in a large clearing near the lake they set up a Chum from new poles, covered with new skins, Fresh Chum. A deer is sacrificed. The holiday lasts from three to nine days, during which the shaman performs rituals in this chum, driving away evil spirits and calling for well-being of the communities.
The audience became full-fledged participants in the theatrical action. The Nganasan tribal community Nya Tansa’s project Hunter and the Spirit of the Night got a grant in the Nornickel’s competition of social projects. The partner was the Centralized Library System of Norilsk.
Representatives of five Taimyr ethnic groups arranged tests for the audience. So, for example, a black blizzard overtook the heroes on their way. To disperse the darkness, the Enets told the guests the legend the sun theft and invited them to take part in a snowy battle in order to bring the daylight back.
Nganasans introduced the traditional musical instruments that give energy for further battle. Travelers demonstrated their agility and strength at the Dolgan tent, where they played traditional national games.
In the Evenks’ camp, the guests got acquainted with the way of life and commandments of this people, guessed riddles and tasted food. The Nenets taught the audience to make amulets.
The animation video for the project was created in the Fablab-Norilsk laboratory. The scenery and characters were made using laser cutting technology.
Text: Anzhelika Stepanova and Marina Andriyuk, Photo: Denis Kozhevnikov and Norilsk city hall press office