It unravels in streets and squares. A group of strangers making their way amongst strangers. From time to time the actors chat amicably with one of the spectators, but then this newly struck up relationship is suddenly interrupted by a call from their companions. Sometimes they make a halt, the spectators gather round them in a circle and the actors perform a grotesque number or an acrobatic dance. As soon as they have finished, they ignore the applause and continue their march in a tight group. With drums rolling, trumpets blasting and banners waving, they urge the crowd on or split it in two with their wedge-shaped formation. At times the giant figures on stilts collapse to the ground, while other figures suddenly appear on balconies or rooves, high on church spires, let themselves down into the square or street on a rope, start marching in the opposite direction, disperse, disorientate the people following them. A compact group which remains united until it reaches its goal. The reaching of the goal implies dissolution (therefore the title, which comes from the classical Greek Xenophon and his autobiographical and military odyssey, was not just a pretext). In the end, all the actors huddle together and are covered by a black sheet transforming them into a dark and shapeless monument, guarded by tall and lanky figures of death.

An itinerant performance, based on an elementary dramaturgy which exploits the basic opposition between the actors with their technical skills and the spectators that they encounter on their way.

Photos: Tony D'Urso

Created in Holstebro on the basis of experiences from the parades of the previous years, from the summer of 1974 onwards.

Actors: Torben Bjelke, Roberta Carreri, Toni Cots, Tom Fjordefalk, Francis Pardeilhan, Tage Larsen, Else Marie Laukvik, Iben Nagel Rasmussen, Silvia Ricciardelli, Ulrik Skeel, Julia Varley, Torgeir Wethal
(Some of the actors only participated in one of the various versions.)

Director: Eugenio Barba

Number of spectators per performance: No limit

180 performances from April 1977 to September 1984 (Colombia, Denmark, France, French Antilles, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Spain, Sweden, Wales)