October 23, 2010

Eugenio Barba - Italian Theater Diretor

I am reading a really interesting book by Eugenio Barba called The Paper Canoe. It is a Theater Antrophological Treaty which describes Barba's cultural experiences between Oriental and Ociental cultures and theater techiniques. Barba describes oriental theater schools and bring up references such as Decroux, Brecht, Meyerhold, Craig, Copeau, Artaud, Stanislavisk and Grotowisk. The author presents a really comprehensive study about acting and its different ideologies.

Eugenio Barba (born in Brindisi, 29 October 1936) is an Italian author and theatre director based in Denmark. He is the founder of the Odin Theatre and the International School of Theatre Anthropology, both located in Holstebro, Denmark.

Odin Theatre came to Brazil a little while ago to present its whole repertoire at Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil in downtown. The tickets were really hard to get. The demand was an absurd. After standing a long while in the line, I had the chance to watch one of their plays called Andersen's Dream.

The play was amazing. The arena stage had a mirror on top of it, so we had the chance of watching the play looking at the mirror upside down. There were more than 8 middle aged actors from all other the world. The play was acted in 8 different languages including portuguese (Augusto Omolu - a bahiano - joins the company for a long time). I can just say that i understood it all and it was so poetic.
No words were necessary for the message to be passed to the audience.

If Odin Theatre ever passes by your city or country, it is definitly worth to watch it!

During the past forty two years Eugenio Barba has directed 65 productions with Odin Teatret and the Theatrum Mundi Ensemble, some of which have required up to two years of preparation. Among the best known are Ferai (1969), Min Fars Hus (My Father’s House) (1972), Brecht’s Ashes (1980), The Gospel According to Oxyrhincus (1985), Talabot (1988), Itsi Bitsi (1991), Kaosmos (1993) and Mythos (1998). Some of the more recent productions are Salt (2002), Great Cities under the Moon (2003), Andersen's Dream (2005), Ur-Hamlet (2006) and Don Giovanni all'Inferno (2006) in collaboration with Ensemble Midtvest.

In 1979 Eugenio Barba founded the International School of Theatre Anthropology (ISTA). He is on the advisory boards of scholarly journals such as The Drama Review, Performance Research, New Theatre Quarterly, Teatro e Storia and Teatrología. Among his most recent publications, translated into several different languages, are The Paper Canoe (Routledge), Theatre: Solitude, Craft, Revolt (Black Mountain Press), Land of Ashes and Diamonds. My Apprenticeship in Poland, followed by 26 letters from Jerzy Grotowski to Eugenio Barba (Black Mountain Press) and, in collaboration with Nicola Savarese, The Secret Art of the Performer and the revised an updated version: A Dictionary of Theatre Anthropology (Centre for Performance Research/ Routledge).

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