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Odin Teatret



Odin Teatret, Holstebro, Danmark

Director: Eugenio Barba

Performed in Danish, Italien, English, Bengali and Balinese, without subtitles.

1 hours 20 minutes.

The Trilogy of the Innocent
The Innocence of War and of Its Victimsga
Innocent is a luminous word. We don’t feel guilty because we are ware that guilt is a reaction of our conscience. And this reaction is not automatically associated with a misdeed that we may have committed considering it a legitimate defence. Let’s look at the face of war: that of a tiger. The tiger tears a child to pieces. This is obviously a tragedy, but it doesn’t tarnish the innocence of the tiger. Innocence does not take damage into account, it demands only purity of intentions. For those fighting in a war, innocence coincides with a respect for their role within the mechanisms of a struggle whose purpose is to exterminate the adversary. We don’t usually associate the word innocent with war, but with its victims, those who don’t commit outrages and destruction. We think of orphans, widows, women who experience the innocence of war on their bodies. Odin Teatret’s trilogy speaks of the many forms of innocence, asking the question: are we all, perhaps, innocent?

Trilogy - First landscape: the past (1990-2000)

A land abandoned by birds

At the heart of the space, ancestrally bound to life, the tree of History grows vigorously and dead. The characters gravitate around this vegetal cathedral, alive yet extinct. Warlords, with their armies of child soldiers, sow death and chaos. Monks plant a pear tree in the Syrian desert, hoping that the absent birds will return. The daughter of a poet evokes her childhood dream to fly together with her father. A Nigerian mother flees hiding the head of her daughter in a gourd.

As customary in Odin Teatret’s performances, different languages and behaviours mingle, confronting each other. Actors from Bali, Canada, Chile, Denmark, India, Italy and England give life to a rite evoking mythical situations and historical facts.

In the faint light of the final scene, a Liberian and a Serbian warlord - real historical characters - fraternise. Twittering birds announce their return in a landscape that recalls Chateaubriand’s words: forests were there before civilisations, deserts followed civilisations.

The tree of History finally bends under the weight of fruit and offers a home to the birds that are flying over the heads of the spectators. But what kind of birds are they?

Luis Alonso, Parvathy Baul, I Wayan Bawa, Kai Bredholt, Roberta Carreri, Donald Kitt, Elena Floris, Carolina Pizarro, Fausto Pro, Iben Nagel Rasmussen, Julia Varley


Scenic space and Lighting designer: Luca Ruzza, OpenLab Company, Odin Teatret
Tree conception and realisation: Giovanna Amoroso and Istvan Zimmermann, Plastikart
Software programming: Massimo Zomparelli
Costumes and props: Odin Teatre
Musical director: Elena Floris
Technical director: Fausto Pro
Puppets: Niels Kristian Brinth, Fabio Butera, Samir Muhamad, I Gusti Made Lod
Dolls' heads: Signe Herlevsen
Dramaturge: Thomas Bredsdorff
Literary adviser: Nando Taviani
Text: Odin Teatre
Director's assistants: Elena Floris, Julia Varley


Eugenio Barba

Kaszás Attila Stage
Eugenio Barba

Eugenio Barba

Eugenio Barba was born in 1936 in Italy and grew up in the village of Gallipoli. In 1954, he emigrated to Norway to work as a welder and a sailor. At the same time he took a degree in French, Norwegian Literature and History of Religions at Oslo University. In 1961 he went to Poland to learn directing at the State Theatre School in Warsaw, but left one year later to join Jerzy Grotowski, who at that time was the director of the Theatre of 13 Rows in Opole. Barba stayed with Grotowski for three years. In 1963 he travelled to India where he studied Kathakali, a theatre form which was unknown in the West at that time. Barba created the Odin Teatret in October 1964. During the past fifty years Eugenio Barba has directed 76 productions with Odin Teatret and with the intercultural Theatrum Mundi Ensemble. Since 1974, Eugenio Barba and Odin Teatret have devised their own way of being present in diverse social contexts through the practice of the "barter", an exchange of cultural expressions with a community or an institution, structured as a common performance.

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