A journey among the carnivals of different cultures, from India to Bali, from Japan to Brazil, from Africa to European ballroom dancing. A "musical" à la Odin: a mocking album of exoticism whose figures of flesh and blood prance about in front of a strange traveller, clad like a missionary, with the spectacles of a short-sighted intellectual and the backpack of a tourist.

The spectacularity and the candid joy of the opening scenes slowly reveal their opposites: dismay at the brutality which accompanies the explosions of life, the misfortunes which encompass the carnivals on the outskirts of empires, the exploitation and humiliation of women, the children with no future.

This exotic album becomes one of meditation reduced to its essentials: love, abandonment, old age, death. For the civilised traveller who is intimidated and vulnerable, the journey becomes escape, distance, involuntary cynicism. A procession of the Magi sings a lullaby to the skeleton of a child: "In a doorway in Bethlehem/ The Virgin and Saint Joseph...".

 

Photos: Jan Rusz

Created in Holstebro, Lima and Ayacucho (Peru), on the basis of scenic material prepared by the actors during travels, on their own or in small groups, in different parts of the world

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

Scenic space: Odin Teatret

Directed by Eugenio Barba
The dramaturgy consisted of a montage of various musical and dance numbers representing the stages of a journey

Number of spectators per performance: No limit

223 performances, indoors and in the open air, from September 1978 to October 1984 (Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, France, French Antilles, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, USA, Wales)